The president of the Panhellenic Hoteliers Federation (HHF) Grigoris Tasios believes that this year's tourist season will be much better than in 2020, which is proven by the arrivals so far, that exceed 2.3 million tourists, when in the same period last year they were just 600,000. This is a finding that if it does suddenly change soon, and especially in the months of September and October, Greek tourism could be headed for an unexpectedly good year, Tasios told Business Daily. So far, this year's arrivals are four times higher than the same period last year.
Tassios emphasizes that the average occupancy in the country’s hotels in June was 45%, when last year in the same month it did not exceed 20%, while many hotels last year did not even open, something that does not apply this year. "This year all the hotels have opened", notes the HHF president, "while in July they are showing an average capacity of between 55% and 65%, depending on the area." However, everything will be decided, as he notes, on whether the season will remain "alive" in the months of September and October, something that will make an even bigger difference than last year.
Tasios stopped short of forecasting this year's tourism revenues, stressing that everything will depend on the epidemiological data that no one predict, while he simply stressed that in August he expects to see British tourists in Greece, adding that numbers from Germany look to remain stagnant. Speaking about the hotels of Halkidiki, an area he is active in, Tasios, emphasizes that "all the hotels in the area this year have opened unlike last year, while the occupancy rate is on average 60%, compared to 30% in the corresponding period of 2020 ". According to the president, Halkidiki hoteliers are attracting a large number of tourists from Eastern European countries, with a significant increase in arrivals from Romania this year.
Regarding prices, he notes that Greeks who want to vacation this year will find accommodation at good prices, which are up to 20% lower than last year, noting that hoteliers are keeping prices at 2019 levels, although the pandemic created additional costs. This, according to the HHF president, is due to the costs required for the implementation of the health protocols, which burden the operating costs of a hotel unit, in a period of reduced revenue.
Tasios did not hesitate to take a stand on the recent developments in Mykonos, noting that "the myth of Covid Free islands collapsed, when on the most touristic island in the country, Mykonos, restrictive measures were imposed resulting in hotel cancellations, pushing the government restore the island back to normal as of Monday." He notes that "the strategy for Covid free islands was not achieved, because the vaccination had to do with the island’s permanent residents, while, as it turned out, mechanisms were not in place to check tourists who arrived on the island. Greece should not have been divided into two and the result is what we are seeing now Mykonos," he added.