No. 83. SHORT-TERM ACCOMMODATION RENTALS IN GREECE (in Greek)
E. Athanasiou, A. Kotsi. 2022. | ISBN 978-960-341-133-8
Short-term accommodation rentals offered via online platforms represent a new and rapidly growing economic activity that has attracted significant interest, raising several issues in relation to its economic effects and the need for institutional interventions to regulate its operation. The present report focuses on the case of Greece and provides an economic analysis of recent developments and characteristics of the country’s short-term accommodation sector.
As a background, the report investigates the multi-dimensional economic effects of short-stay rentals, based on a review of the insights obtained from the extensive recent literature concerning this activity. Furthermore, the report examines in detail the legislative interventions for the regulation of short-stay rentals in Greece, while also providing an overview of the relevant institutional framework and the new regulatory initiatives pursued at the level of the European Union (EU). As the review of the relevant literature shows, the range of potential effects of short-stay rentals is particularly complex and can vary significantly depending on the characteristics of each individual case and the institutional framework for the operation of this market.
The report utilizes recent economic data on short-term accommodation rentals in Greece and the EU. The data, which originate from official sources (Eurostat, European Commission) and include new statistics that became available for the first time in the year 2021, are employed in an original analysis focusing on the case of Greece. The analysis examines the size and evolution of short-term rentals in Greece at the national, regional, and metropolitan level, while also capturing key factors related to the supply and demand for these accommodations in the country
The growth of short-term rental activity in Greece was favored by international trends and technological developments, as well by as certain characteristics in relation to the country’s tourism market, the real estate market and the general conditions relating to the domestic economy, employment, and incomes. From the comparison of the size of the short-term rental sector to the corresponding size of the hotel sector, it appears that, both in the EU and Greece, nights (guest nights) spent at short-term accommodation fluctuate at quite substantial levels in relation to nights spent at hotels and similar accommodation. Prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, short-term rentals seemed to have gained ground, without, however, a notable effect on hotel stays.
In Greece, nights (guest nights) spent in short-term rentals take place mainly at entire accommodations of a size of less than 10 bedplaces. In relation to the spatial distribution of nights, the region of Attica (which encompasses the metropolitan area of Athens) gathers the highest share, followed by the regions of the South Aegean, Crete, the Ionian Islands and Central Macedonia. From a comparison of the spatial distribution of nights spent in short-term rentals and the hotel sector, there is evidence of a clear positive correlation of moderate intensity. Most of the nights spent in short-term rentals concern foreign visitors, who absorb a larger share of the sector’s services in Greece compared to the corresponding proportion in the EU. The majority of visitors come from the EU, followed by visitors from other European countries and America. Accommodation in short-term rentals generally exhibits stronger seasonality in Greece compared to the EU, with the months of July and August gathering a high share of the total nights spent. Compared to the hotel sector, seasonality in short-term rentals appears relatively more pronounced, while significant differences are also observed among the regions and cities of Greece.
According to the European Commission’s Eurobarometer survey data, the supply and use of short-term rentals has seen significant growth, is more widespread in Greece compared to the EU average and concerns all individual categories of suppliers and users in terms of socio-demographic characteristics such as gender, age, and education. Greece is characterised by relatively high development of the more professional form of short-stay accommodation, with a high share of the properties offered having been bought for that purpose. Earning additional income was the main motivation for offering short-term rentals, while the main problems encountered were a lack of clarity about how to provide services legally, a complicated system for paying tax, an unclear impact on the employment status and difficulties with consumers. The higher affordability of short-term rentals booked via platforms is the main reason for their selection by visitors, followed by other advantages in terms of location, facilities, the availability of ratings and reviews and more choice. Accordingly, the disadvantages reported by users were a lack of clarity about who is responsible in the event of a problem, misleading ratings and reviews, misuse of personal data and less trust in the providers of the services offered. The majority of users used short-term rentals on top to their habitual use of services offered via traditional channels, but the percentage of users who had partially or completely replaced traditional tourist accommodation services was also significant.