Greece recorded the highest increase in short-term rental bookings of any country in Europe so far this summer, as tourism has surged.
Greece leads the way in Europe for Airbnb-style rentals, which were up by 26.5 percent in the third quarter compared to the same period in pre-pandemic 2019, according to vacation rental research firm AirDNA.
It was the sharpest increase of any country in Europe, with Germany up by 26.4 percent, Austria by 17.5 percent and France by 14.5 percent. The third quarter is listed as the July to September period, which takes into account advanced bookings.
Expectations Were High For Record Tourism in Greece
In June, Greece was also at the top with a 27.2 percent increase in nights stayed compared to the same month in 2019. Germany was second and France was third for the month.
Short-term stay occupancy levels in Greece also rose. It was the third highest with an 8.4 percent increase. Italy was first in that category with a 12.9 percent increase compared to 2019, followed by Portugal with an increase of 12.2 percent.
Expectations for a strong season this year had been high.
Earlier this month, German tourism giant TUI said it predicted a record-breaking number of tourists to Greece this year. The pandemic hit Greece’s tourism sector, one of the most significant parts of the country’s economy, hard.
A TUI spokesman said the firm forecast “the highest level of demand ever…In total the group is expected to bring around 3 million holiday makers to Greece. A higher number of visitors than before the pandemic, when it was 2.8 million.”
The country’s summertime visitors this year may even top pre-pandemic numbers, experts have said.
Rooms were also seemingly slightly more affordable in Greece than elsewhere in Europe, compared to the same period last year. The average daily rate (ADR) dropped by 1.1 percent in Greece in Q3 while Europe-wide, it rose by 1.3 percent compared to 2021, according to AirDNA data.
In June, of the top twenty European countries in terms of short-term rental demand, Croatia recorded the largest year-over-year increase, up by 131.8 percent followed by Norway with an increase of 117 percent and Hungary, which saw an increase of 96.7 percent.
The lowest growth rates were in Finland, up by only 27.4 percent; the UK, up by 29 percent; and the Netherlands, up by 34 percent.
In a previous report, AirDNA said it expected Greece to achieve record highs in the short-term rental market, with demand increasing across the country’s regions.
Tourism on Greek Islands High
The Greek islands have been especially busy, with a bevy of celebrities already having visited. Recently, Italian actress Monica Bellucci was spotted on the Greek island of Paros, which she has described as among her favorite vacation destinations.
Other celebrities who have vacationed in Greece this summer include actresses Nicole Kidman and Sarah Jessica Parker, as well as billionaire Elon Musk, NBA star Magic Johnson, and Beatles legend Paul McCartney.