Five-star ho­tels close to ca­pac­ity, push­ing prices up

Kathimerini English - - Focus - STATHIS KOUSOUNIS

Lux­ury trav­el­ers who have left their hol­i­day book­ings un­til the last minute this month may find the prices steep even by their stan­dards.

Ac­cord­ing to re­search con­ducted by Kathimerini, the oc­cu­pancy rate of five-star ho­tels at many pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions in Greece dur­ing mid-Au­gust is close to 100 per­cent. There has been high de­mand for rooms at lux­ury re­sorts since the start of the tourism sea­son, es­pe­cially at lo­ca­tions that at­tract high­in­come vis­i­tors. One of the big­gest on­line travel agents has put the av­er­age oc­cu­pancy rate for lux­ury ac­com­mo­da­tion on San­torini, Corfu and Rhodes at about 99 per­cent.

On My­conos, the av­er­age oc­cu­pancy rate is 97 per­cent, while at the Cre­tan re­sort of Elounda it is 89 per­cent. The cost of any rooms or suites still avail­able at th­ese lo­ca­tions is ex­tremely high. For ex­am­ple, the price of a dou­ble room at a five-star ho­tel on San­torini for five nights be­tween Au­gust 11 and 16 is 40,000 eu­ros. On Corfu, the equiv­a­lent is 15,244 eu­ros, on My­conos 11,647 eu­ros, at Elounda 7,640 eu­ros and on Rhodes 6,200 eu­ros.

Ac­cord­ing to re­cent data re­leased by the Hel­lenic Cham­ber of Ho­tels, 444 lux­ury ho­tels op­er­ate in Greece, out of a to­tal 9,730 units. Their to­tal ca­pac­ity runs to 67,407 rooms that can sleep 137,210 peo­ple. The to­tal num­ber of ho­tel rooms in Greece is 407,146, which can pro­vide ac­com­mo­da­tion for up to 788,553 peo­ple.

In terms of re­gional lo­ca­tion, most five-star ho­tels can be found in the south­ern Aegean. This area has 144 lux­ury ho­tels, with a to­tal of 19,715 rooms that can sleep 40,742 peo­ple. Crete is next on the list with 97 five-star ho­tels, which have 18,844 rooms that can pro­vide beds for 40,742 vis­i­tors.

Based on re­search car­ried out by Na­tional Bank (NBG), the pro­por­tion of high-in­come tourists visit­ing Greece fell from 27 per­cent of the to­tal in 2008 to 23 per­cent in 2016. The study high­lights that im­prov­ing the mix of tourists who visit Greece goes hand-in-hand with the qual­ity of ser­vices of­fered by ho­tels. The re­port points out that five-star units at­tract 52 per­cent of vis­i­tors with large in­comes, while those with fewer stars draw just 6 per­cent.

The study also points out that the qual­ity of ho­tels is not enough to counter the high sea­son­al­ity of tourism in Greece. Al­most 50 per­cent of in­come is earned by five-star ho­tels and those with fewer stars dur­ing the same two-month pe­riod in the sum­mer.

A lux­ury re­sort in Elounda on Crete.

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