Study: Greek hotel sector recovers 60% of pre-pandemic turnover in 2019 in 2021

Dmitry Kalinovsky /

The Greek hotel sector recovered 60% of pre-pandemic turnover levels in 2019, marking a 170% recovery, according to a new study published by ICAP CRIF, highlighting the importance of the sector as a driver of the Greek economy.

The clearly better course of tourism with double total arrivals in 2020-2021 resulted in an increase in total market size of 172%, said Konstantinos PalaiologosHead of the Financial-Sector Studies Department ICAP CRIF.

Key findings from the ICAP CRIF “Hotel Enterprises” study include:

international tourists accounted for more than 80% of overnight stays
– number of nights dropped by 70% in 2020, from 109 million in 2019 to 30 million due to Covid-19
average annual occupancy decreased from 48.7% in 2019 to 29.6% in 2020
5 star hotels accounted for the highest percentage – at 44% – of the total market in 2021
– from 2004, hotel infrastructure across Greece has been upgraded with more units offering better quality services
– a total of 10,052 hotel units operated in Greece in 2020 with a capacity of 870,000 beds
2 star hotels represent the largest percentage of Greece’s total hotel supply (about 36%).
– the South Aegean region has the highest number of beds with a share of around 26 percent.

Covid-19: A catalytic effect on the development of the industry

According to the “Hotel Enterprises” study, Covid-19 had a catalytic effect on the development of the industry. The crisis suffered by world and consequently Greek tourism has led to a contraction in the activity of hotel companies with a direct impact on their income. The drop in tourist arrivals in Greece exceeded 70% compared to 2019, curbing the upward trend of the national hotel market in 2020 and resulting in a drop of 76% compared to the previous year, said Paleologos, which has supervised the study.

Looking forward, Stamatina PantelaiouDirector of ICAP CRIF, underlined the importance for the Greek hotel sector to ensure a rapid rebound and to recover the revenue levels of 2019 as soon as possible. She underlined that the outlook for Greek tourism is positive with investment interest in the hospitality industry is stronger than ever as major international hotel chains have entered the Greek tourism marketwhile several others wish to expand to Greece, thus demonstrating their confidence in the Greek tourist product.

Accor is one of the major hotel chains strengthening its presence in Greece. On April 10, the chain will open its second MGallery establishment in the country: the Niko Seaside Resort in Crete.

Regarding the Russia-Ukraine war, ICAP CRIF analysts expect it to have an impact on tourist arrivals to Greece from the two countries which however represent a small market share – 1 .9% or 583,000 arrivals in 2019 – thus having limited losses for Greece.

On the other hand, the study expects consumer purchasing power to decline due to rising energy prices.

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Peter M. Doran