Five-star hotels close to capacity, driving up prices

Luxury travelers who have left their vacation bookings until the last minute this month may find the prices steep even by their standards.

According to research by Kathimerini, the occupancy rate of five-star hotels in many popular destinations in Greece in mid-August is close to 100%. There has been a high demand for rooms at luxury resorts since the start of the tourist season, especially in places that attract high-income visitors. One of the largest online travel agents estimated the average occupancy rate for luxury accommodation in Santorini, Corfu and Rhodes at around 99%.

In Mykonos the average occupancy rate is 97%, while in the Cretan resort of Elounda it is 89%. The cost of any rooms or suites still available at these locations is extremely high. For example, the price for a double room in a five-star hotel in Santorini for five nights between August 11 and August 16 is 40,000 euros. On Corfu, the equivalent is 15,244 euros, on Myconos 11,647 euros, in Elounda 7,640 euros and on Rhodes 6,200 euros.

According to recent data released by the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, 444 luxury hotels are operating in Greece, out of a total of 9,730 units. Their total capacity is 67,407 rooms which can accommodate 137,210 people. The total number of hotel rooms in Greece is 407,146, which can accommodate up to 788,553 people.

In terms of regional location, most of the five star hotels can be found in the southern Aegean Sea. This area has 144 luxury hotels, with a total of 19,715 rooms that can accommodate 40,742 people. Crete is next on the list with 97 five-star hotels, which have 18,844 rooms that can accommodate 40,742 visitors.

According to a study by the National Bank (NBG), the proportion of high-income tourists visiting Greece increased from 27% of the total in 2008 to 23% in 2016. The study highlights that the improvement in the mix of tourists who visit Greece go hand in hand with the quality of the services offered by the hotels. The report points out that five-star units attract 52% of high-income visitors, while those with fewer stars attract only 6%.

The study also underlines that the quality of hotels is not sufficient to counter the strong seasonality of tourism in Greece. Almost 50% of the revenue is earned by five star hotels and those with less stars during the same two month period in summer.

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