The Greeks had high hopes that somehow officials and good luck would help rescue the 2020 tourism season. Some hoped foreign visitors form so-called “safe countries” would somehow arrive, while others pinned their hopes to a resurgence of domestic tourism. But the numbers are still not adding up. Hoteliers who prayed for the reopening to save them, are left holding a bag of loans and worse.
The President of Hellenic Hoteliers Federation Grigoris Tassios was cited by Greek Reporter and other media admitting that “July is leaving us with an average occupancy of 25 percent nationwide, despite the opening of the countries.” He also suggested that August would be sluggish as well. Hoteliers are reported as being “optimistic” for August, but in reality “desperate” is a better term to describe their situation.
The Instagram below reflects tourism at Bali on Crete. Here locals now make up the biggest customer metric. And during the week Greeks are working and cannot go to the beach. Some of the world’s most epic stretches of paradise are lonely stretches of sand now.
According to data from STR, both the Middle East and Africa saw their lowest absolute occupancy and RevPAR levels for any June on record. Or in short, 2020 is a catastrophe. In Europe occupancy is down almost 73 percent. The ADR is down almost 35%, and RevPAR is off a whopping 83 percent! Add to this the nightmare stories already coming in about tour agency foul-ups for closed hotels still listed as open, and so forth. This report from GBR hospitality consultants better reflects the true situation.
“In June occupancy levels of hotels in operation reached a level of about 26%, but occupancy based on full inventory (economic occupancy) was just 5%. By way of comparison, during June 2019 Attica hotels achieved an occupancy of 93%.”
Finally, in my honest opinion the only thing that can “rescue” 2020 for Greece are more stories like this one about a UK family’s great experience visiting Kos Island. Greek officials pounding their chests about measures being taken are great, but people don’t trust much of anything these days, and especially not politicians. Gail Hadfield-Grainer flying with her daughter to Kos last week with her daughter, and discovering a secure experience, says more than 1,000 Athens decisionmakers standing at podiums or before cameras.