Tourist traffic in Athens has increased but the satisfaction of its visitors has decreased

A decrease in the satisfaction of the visitors from the experience of Athens was recorded in the Survey “On satisfaction of visitor & Attika Hotel performance 2017″, which took place this summer and autumn and more specifically from July 1 to October 20, 2017 in hotels – members of the “Union Hoteliers of Attica & Argosaronikos”. According to the results of GBR Consulting’s survey, the total tourist experience of 8/10 in 2015 fell to 7,9/10 in 2016 and to 7,7/10 in 2017, while the percentage of tourists which would recommend Athens to others, gradually decreased from 95% in 2015 to 94% in 2016 and 91% in 2017.

Hotel occupancy and performance data up to and including September 2017 (occupancy +4,1%, room average price +4.2%) and unofficial figures of October 2017 (occupancy +4,2%, room average +4,6%) compared to the previous years, reveal the dynamics of the destination through the significant increase in demand for Athens. Nevertheless, the Athens hotels is experiencing conditions of over-taxation on hotels and unfair competition, while Athens has not yet managed to solve its chronic malfunctioning problems.

The figures were presented today at the 47th Annual General Meeting of Members.

The UHAA president Alexandros Vasilikos, pointed out in his speech that “at this moment the figures show signs of recovery in relation to the negative past (2008 – 2013), but it would be wrong to stand on a quantitative approach. If we really want to see where we are, we will have to compare the results of Athens with the competition. While Athens hotels do not record more than 3 million arrivals of foreigners, Athens’s competitors still attract double visitors (such as Rome with 7,4% arrivals of foreigners in hotels, or Barcelona with 7,2% arrivals – figures GBR 2016). As far as prices are concerned, we also have a long way to go because we have not even reached the 2008 prices. For example, in September 2017, the average price in Athens hotels was 100,44 Euros when the corresponding average in Rome was 149,76 Euros and in Barcelona 149,15 Euros, while of course other European capitals have even higher prices.

At the same time, the fact that the satisfaction of the visitors from the destination decreases steadily every year must be a matter of concern for us in time and focus on solving the chronic problems of the city and on creating new thematic options for the visitor to keep the interest that will drive demand upwards. Visitors’ satisfaction ratings are currently not considered negative, but their trend is declining for the second consecutive year and this has to be taken seriously. Tourism requires stability, method and targeting. There is a long-term strategy for the development of the tourist product, which will ensure Athens the place it deserves, not temporary excitements.Similar excitement for Athens was experienced around the time of the Olympic Games, but it lasted only four years, because what was missing was -and still is- the right strategic planning for the future”.

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