DG EOT, D Fragakis: The tourist year is developing exceptionally well
In his intervention at APE-MPE, the general secretary of the EOT Dimitris Fragakis notes that "despite the structural problems that are common to the sector internationally (e.g. lack of staff, inflationary pressures) but also the unexpected that arose in Greece (fires, etc.) , the tourism year is developing exceptionally well. 2023, he explains, is the first "normal" year for Greek tourism after 3 extremely difficult years. In this light, we should also judge the performance of our tourism this year," he adds.
Focusing on the tourism figures of 2023, Mr. Fragakis states that "we have an increase in air arrivals throughout the country but also an increase in travel receipts at least for the first half of the year for which we have secure data. July and August also moved accordingly as Greece has proven to be one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. Consequently, it is a very good year without overlooking the individual differences in the performance of some of our destinations, but in any case we will "cash out" at the end of the year."
POX President G.Tassios: It is a given that there will be the income of 2019, but there are also estimates that speak of income of the order of 20 billion euros.
Regarding the development of this year, the president of the Panhellenic Federation of Hoteliers Grigoris Tasios tells APE-MPE that the season may have started numbly due to the weather conditions in May, however the summer months started with very high occupancy in the hotels, which was maintained until August 31. "Despite the great competition of the Mediterranean, Greece showed a very good image this year which has been maintained until now. It is typical that September moves with an average occupancy of 70%, while October will also do well in turn", emphasizes Mr. Tasios.
Focusing on the regions that are starring in this period, Mr. Tassios underlined that the destinations dominated by the mass model still magnetize foreign visitors. South Aegean, Ionian and Halkidiki are the geographical areas where visitor arrivals will be recorded until the end of October.
"As far as 2023 revenues are concerned, Mr. Tassios is clear: "It is a given that there will be 2019 revenues, but there are also estimates that speak of revenues of around 20 billion euros. But that remains to be seen", notes the president of POX.
Greece, in the difficult tourist year of 2023, as it is characterized by the natural disasters in Rhodes, managed to show good reflexes in terms of managing the situation after the fire, underlined Mr. Tassios. In support of the above is the fact that Rhodes lost a total of 10 days on the island, as far as the tourist season is concerned, while now we are talking about a full recovery, as was emphasized.
As far as the fund of hotel companies is concerned, the president of POX expressed his anxiety about how their operating income will be shaped at the end of the year, which, as he explained, will be affected by the launch of the food chain but also from the rise in lending rates.
An additional factor that deprives the coffers of hotel companies remains the flourishing of short-term rentals in Greece, with Mr. Tassios stating that he expects this year to finally enter, as he says, a framework for their operation. It is characteristic that this year the large arrivals at the country's airports were not accompanied by a corresponding increase in hotel overnight stays.
Looking ahead to next year, when, as is well known, hotel units are already signing contracts with international tour operators, Mr. Tassios expresses his optimism for 2024 as well. Explaining the above finding, Mr. Tassios notes the as follows: "And next year will be a year oriented towards organized travel (a travel package that will include an air ticket and a hotel). This favors us to be optimistic about next year", says the president of POX.
Crete: More than 2019 revenues and arrivals in 2023
As regards the flagship of Greek tourism, Crete, the island with the most arrivals, the season developed with very good occupancy, as the president of the Heraklion Hoteliers' Union, Nikos Chalkiadakis, reports to APE-MPE, pointing out that even in September the occupancy in the hotels of Crete reaches 90%. In any case, the tourism figures that Crete will achieve this year will surpass those of 2019, while the curtain for this season will fall at the end of October.
Mr. Chalkiadakis in his intervention focuses on the high costs that will affect the profitability of hotel units. In fact, he talks about a 15% increase in wage costs, a 35% increase in food costs, but also a significant increase in interest rates, which will affect all businesses that have loans.
In the meantime, the president of the Hoteliers' Union of Heraklion, emphasizes that the answer to the above is not the increase in room prices. It is characteristic that this year the five-star hotels in Elounda moved with 60% occupancy, a consequence of the high room rates.
How is the season progressing for Athens this year?
Athens plays a decisive role in the development of the tourist season as a whole in the country. It is characteristic that in the 7 months of 2023, the average occupancy in hotels appears at 75.4%, increased by 19.2%, compared to the occupancy of the corresponding period of 2022, but still maintains the negative sign of -2.1% in comparison with the corresponding period of 2019. The same applies to the average room price/ADR, which from 175.83 euros in June 2023, fell to 165.94 euros in July 2023, but also to the revenue per available room / RevPar which from 163.79 euros in June this year, fell to 148.30 euros in July 2023.
Mykonos: Extends the tourist season and makes up for losses
Mykonos seems to be winning the bet of extending the tourist season, in contrast to the small percentage reductions shown by arrivals during the first months of the tourist season. Combined with the income, the trend shows that it maintains its qualitative characteristics, as demonstrated by the figures that follow and published by the municipality of the island.
As the island's mayor Konstantinos Koukas points out to APE-MPE, according to official data, there has been an increase in arrivals to Mykonos since the beginning of the year, compared to last year. In addition, as everything shows, these will continue at the same pace in the following autumn months. This means that overall the tourist season will be better than last year despite the temporary, minimal, declines in the peak months that gave the false impression that traffic is not satisfactory.
Mykonos remains a stable pillar of support for our national economy and a leading international tourist destination with international recognition mainly in the American market from where, especially this year, the presence of visitors was evident, while the course from Latin America, Europe and Arab countries was and remains stable thanks to and the many direct flights, always with what the mayor of the island emphasizes.