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Tourism in Athens in its worst shape for the last fifteen years

22 February 2010 / 17:02:05  GRReporter
3333 reads

Victoria Mindova

The economic crisis, public and social instability and the high crime in the capital are the main reasons for the 10.2% decline in the turnover of Athens hotels. In business terms 2009 is the worst year in 15 years, by reporting the lowest income during this period for hotels in the capital, concluded Yannis Rechos, Chairman of the Athens hotels union. According to figures supplied by the union, average attendance of hotels in the capital has fallen from 68 percent in 2008 to 60.9 percent in 2009. The most affected are high-class hotels, which have received half visitors less than their full capacity throughout the year. Losses recorded during this period have led to the inevitable cuts in staff. Almost four thousand or about 25 percent of workers in the tourist sites in Athens and the Attica region were discharged as a result of the difficult financial situation. 

"Additional increase of operational costs of hotels and possible VAT increase on tourism services would be disastrous for the economy. Unlike other European countries, tourism in Greece is crucial for restoring the country's competitiveness. Any VAT increase threatens the viability of the business,” said Rechos. 

Another important issue that was discussed at the conference was the problem of crime in the capital. The union expressed their dissatisfaction with the lack of specific state policy to prevent the growing wave of violence and crime in the capital. Yannis Rechos quoted some of the most visited tourist sites on the Internet, where the center of Athens and in particular the areas around Omonia Square are defined as some of "the most dangerous places in Europe."

Tags: Tourism in Athens Greece Economy Hotels in Athens
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