Greece is emerging as a champion of the recovery of the short-term rental sector, according to data presented this week by Eurostat for the first time. In the first half of this year, the number of nights spent in accommodation in Greece amounted to 8,041,191, which was 12.85% higher compared to the corresponding period of 2019 – i.e. before the outbreak of the pandemic.
This was the best performance recorded among the countries of Southern Europe, including Spain, Italy, Portugal and Cyprus, but although there was a significant improvement on an annual basis, the number of overnight stays continued to fall short of those of 2019. Specifically, in Italy, the drop was of the order of 9.4%, in Cyprus the decline reached 8.75%, while in Spain and Portugal, the numbers were slightly below those of 2019 (-1.5% and -0.1% respectively).
It is worth noting that this is the first effort by Eurostat to record the course of short-term leases in the European Union. This move is the product of an agreement by the statistical service of the EU with the four largest digital platforms for short-term rentals, namely Airbnb, Booking, TripAdvisor and Expedia. Previously the market had to rely on private surveys such as AirDNA’s.
At the pan-European level, in the first half of this year, 199 million overnight stays were recorded in short-term rental accommodation, a size that represents an increase of 138% compared to the corresponding period last year, but also by 3.5% compared to the first half of 2019.
According to Eurostat, this is the first time this has happened since the pandemic started. In fact, it should be mentioned that this achievement was observed both in the first and in the second quarter of the year. In the first quarter, the recovery at the EU level compared to 2019 reached 4.5%, while in the second quarter it stood at 2.5%.
Of course performance varies from country to country, with countries that do not show much seasonality performing better compared to those that depend mainly on the summer months to attract large numbers of visitors.
This article was previously published at ekathimerini.com.