Signs of fa­tigue in Athens tourism

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - STATHIS KOUSOUNIS

Tourism in Athens is show­ing signs of stag­na­tion this sum­mer, with the oc­cu­pancy rate at ho­tels in the cap­i­tal cur­rently at very low lev­els.

Alexan­dros Vas­si­likos, the head of the Athens-At­tica and Ar­gosa­ronic Hote­liers As­so­ci­a­tion, yes­ter­day told an event ti­tled “Six Years of Ac­tion for Athens” at the Acrop­o­lis Mu­seum that the av­er­age oc­cu­pancy rate at ho­tels in the city in the first half of 2016 posted a 1.8 per­cent­age point drop year-on-year, slid­ing to 72.9 per­cent. Worse, the rate in June de­clined 2.5 per­cent­age points to 91 per­cent.

Vas­si­likos, whose as­so­ci­a­tion or­ga­nized the event, stated that “the first neg­a­tive in­di­ca­tions recorded af­ter the spec­tac­u­lar rise in the pe­riod from 2013 to 2015 are warn­ing us about the change in the hith­erto fa­vor­able at­mos­phere for Athens tourism and are call­ing on us to take mea­sures and col­lec­tive ac­tion that must be sched­uled in time to safe­guard the tourism prod­uct.”

Tourism pro­fes­sion­als at­tribute the stag­na­tion to fac­tors such as the mi­grant cri­sis, which has af­fected Greece’s im­age abroad, and the re­duc­tion in in­ter­est from long-haul trav­el­ers due to the coun­try’s prox­im­ity to des­ti­na­tions with se­ri­ous se­cu­rity prob­lems.

Oc­cu­pancy at Athens ho­tels in Jan­uary-June posted an an­nual drop of 1.8 per­cent­age points.

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