Visitors to Athens have Doubled in Six Years

Data for this year shows that visitor numbers rose again 2019, and a visitor satisfaction survey indicates the city can handle it.

In just six years, tourism arrivals in Athens have more than doubled, as the capital is emerging as a major travel destination in its own right, with an excellent record in visitor satisfaction, according to the 15th survey on Attica hotel guests conducted by the Athens-Attica and Argosaronic Hoteliers Association and GBR Consulting.

In the period from 2012 to 2018, Athens International Airport recorded an increase in annual visitors from abroad from 2.5 million to 5.7 million, while data for this year up until September showed a further annual increase of 12 percent. Most of this demand (87 percent) concerned recreational visitors, of whom 31 percent headed to other destinations within Greece.

The survey also highlighted the problems that tourists come up against, such as the lack of cleanliness in public spaces and air pollution, while a high number of Attica visitors, close to 1 million people per year, do not stay at hotels but at short-term rental accommodation.

Hotel occupancy rates dropped 2.4 percent in September 2019 from a year earlier, while hotel room rates increased 1.2 percent, the net result of which was that average revenue per room fell by 1.3 percent year-on-year.

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