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Average tourist spends 178 euros per day in Athens

17 November 2010 / 12:11:38  GRReporter
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Nine out of ten tourists visiting Athens remained satisfied with their stay and would come back on holiday or would recommend their friends to visit the Greek capital. Athens Hoteliers Association presented a study conducted this summer among 1600 tourists in 44 one to five stars metropolitan hotels. Asked "What impresses you the most in the city?" the respondents’ most common answers were culture (in terms of heritage - author’s note), entertainment and easy access to airport and port. Tourists, however, did not forget to note that public cleanliness, noise pollution, smog and security in the city are problem areas that still need to be improved.

Visitors to Athens were mostly from Europe and USA and 33% of the respondents have booked their holiday through tourist agency. Another 34% arranged their stay in Athens through the Internet. Due to the important role of the Internet, Athens Hoteliers Association decided to develop a new web site containing all metropolitan hotels and attractions so that information about the city and its opportunities for recreation, entertainment and rest to be fully represented. Hoteliers want to create a new destination Athens - Attica - Saronic Gulf, which will represent the three regions together as a place for rest. The idea is to develop other areas around the capital better as they have beautiful bays and beaches, not just the familiar Athens starting point for cruises or urban tourism.
 
The survey estimated that the average budget a person spends a day is about 178 euros, which explains why the tourism sector contributes directly and indirectly about 20% of GDP annually. According to the President of the Association Yannis Retsos, the decline in the tourist flow was relatively low in the 2010 season than expected. The tragic events in May this year had a great impact on bookings. Retsos assessed the initiative of the Ministry of Culture for the annual marathon in Greece as very successful. In late October, when the was marathon held, hotels in Athens and the suburbs had 90% attendance. Initiatives that focus world attention on the Greek capital have very good effect on tourism and Retsos encouraged the organization of other similar events.

The study of the association showed that 85% of tourists in Athens have visited the Acropolis. Other 62% viewed the permanent exhibition in the new museum at the foot of the Parthenon, and 30.5% were impressed by the Central Park. Amazing was the fact that there are still tourists who do not know that there are islands in Greece. They are 28% of the respondents in the query. 58% familiar with the geography of the country said they had visited at least one Greek island and more than 90% would go back there to rest. As for the value for money ratio or how a service is worth its price in Athens, tourists are most dissatisfied with the price of taxis, urban cleanliness and public services associated with information. The most demanding are foreigners who have come in the Greek capital for business. That is why Retsos highlighted that the government should invest in improving infrastructure, public services and public cleanliness. They are crucial not only to build a good image abroad, but also for improving the quality of life in Athens.

Yannis Retsos acknowledged that the current economic crisis is not helping to improve the urban environment, but nevertheless it should be put as a priority. "Otherwise we risk a return to the era of 1980s and early 1990s, when about 85 hotels in the city went bankrupt," he concluded.

 

Tags: EconomyMarketsTourismAthens
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