Editor: Viki Vamiedaki, journalist and tourism business consultant, [email protected]
As if not a day has passed from the glorious tourist past…it looked like July and August and as it seems, September – maybe even October – in the tourist Greek market, will be the same. Our country succeeded again!
When in April, from this column we recorded the gloomy situation that prevailed in the world of tourism, we made the estimation that the tourist movement to our country would start at the beginning of July with a last minute “rain of reservations”. And this was exactly the case.
Extracting information from the official data of the state of Greece, the tourist institutions and the banks, it appears that the Greek tourism succeeded and stand out in the most difficult year of its history.
If the current situation continues for the next two months we will reach the big goal, of 50% of the receipts of 2019. In fact, in its latest analysis, the National Bank, for its estimation of GDP in 2021, claims that the receipts may exceed 50% of 2019.
The data of ITEP, which started monitoring the traffic from 14th June, was extremely impressive especially in August, since in the heart of the month from 16th to 22nd August the average occupancy in the hotels that finally operated throughout Greece approached 80%, with the average price of a double room being around 114 euros and the average number of bookings per hotel being 22. The occupancy peaked in the second week of August, when the relative percentage reached 80.2%.
On the contrary, Athens was an exception, where its occupancy did not exceed 60%, all other destinations, even the mainland ones, scored high, with the champion in August, the Peloponnese. Crete and Santorini were the next most popular destinations, whose hoteliers claim that they have already exceeded 50% of the revenues of 2019.
Although it is still too early to talk about bookings for the 2022 season, we could estimate that if we succeed this year, we will be rewarded next year.
Our country remained consistent in its decisions from the beginning. It opened its borders in May with rules and they still remain open, without changes, back and forth and inconvenience. The tourists, as it appears from the data, did not burden the epidemiological situation of the country at all – that is why we took care of it ourselves, with the mini lockdowns in the most popular destinations bringing a temporary upset.
The Greek hoteliers, most of them well prepared since the 2020 season, managed to successfully cope with the difficult operating conditions imposed by the pandemic.
The most difficult issue this year that most of the tourism companies faced was the lack of staff. Deficiencies in key posts and inconsistency was the main problem. Even today, there are hundreds of ads for all specialties, as if it was March. Employment benefits that the Greek state offered during the summer apparently prevented many from returning to work. Unfortunately, there are hotels that did not open due to lack of staff. Hopefully this will not continue.