ATHENS – The more than 150 participants who packed to overflowing the meeting space of the Wyndham Grand hotel for the all-day BnB Guest Conference on January 24 were a striking testimony to the tremendous growth of the “Airbnb phenomenon” in Greece, especially in the greater Athens area.
Organized by Smart Press S.A., the conference featured panel discussions and presentations that described the economics and the practicalities of the industry in Greece and the resources available to homeowners who have dived into the sector that has contributed to both to the jump in Greek tourism and the recovery of the real estate market that was decimated by the economic crisis.
The guests were welcomed by Kostas Nostis, president both of Smart Press and the organizing committee for the conference, and they were also greeted by Stratos Paradias, president of Hellenic Property Federation (POMIDA).
It was noted that the company name “Airbnb” has become generic a generic term but other platforms such as Homeaway were also represented and discussed, along with companies whose activities serve the industry. AirDNA is an analytics platform that provides global short-term rental data and insights, and United Cleaning and Housekeeping Services helps homeowners keep up with the flow of guests.
It was emphasized that national tourism policies must incorporate the BnB reality, which it was noted is complementary to, not entirely antagonistic with hotels since different people at different times want to vary their travel experiences.
Tom Caton, Chief Revenue Officer, AirDNA, spotlighted the growth in the industry by noting that reservations in Greece jumped 21% from 59,379 in 2017 t9 72,144 in 2018.
Tourism experts provided valuable information about the impact of the short-term holiday rental market on property owners and the conference also aims to act as an information hub for all those involved in the short-term rental market.
It was standing room only in the main room and an adjoining space at the Wyndham Grand hotel in the Metaxourgio district. (Photo by TNH/ Constantine S. Sirigos)
Guests spoke with representatives of companies that had booths at the BnBGuest conference. (Photo by TNH/ Constantine S. Sirigos)