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Greek hotel prices soar

- by Andy Cornish

Record arrivals push up overnight room prices.

Booming tourist arrivals in the Greek Islands has triggered a boom in hotel prices with the cost of booking a holiday hotel room on some islands almost doubling this year.

It comes in the wake of record numbers of holidaymakers booking a holiday in Greece this year and follows a bumper rise in visitors last year which gave a good boost to the ailing Greek economy.

The tourist season got off to a good start in 2014 with airport arrivals from January to April up 21% with from 1.5 million tourists to 1.8 million.

With an April increase of 34% on last year, it is estimated that, including cruise visitors, foreign tourists to Greece could top last year's arrival record of 20 million.

Earlier this year, the Greek hoteliers gave assurances that price rises for hotel accommodation this year would be held at 3% to 5% but latest figures from accommodation sites show that high demand has seen hotel prices almost doubled on some islands.

According to the hotel room site Trivago, prices across Greece have risen sharply with the biggest increase being recorded on the popular Cycladic holiday island of Santorini.

The Santorini resort village of Imerovigli village, a favourite destination for celebrities, has seen June hotel prices jump 95% on 2013 with visitors paying an average €501 a night compared to €257 in 2013.

In neighbouring Firostefani, prices have jumped 51% on June 2013 with an overnight stay now costing an average €289 euros against €192 in June 2013.

The island of Mykonos, a popular summer destination for both Greeks and foreigners, has seen nightly hotel room rates soar by 46% to reach €184, against €162 last year.

On Crete, the rise in tourist arrivals has triggered a 21% rise in hotel prices to reach €109 compared to €90 last year, while on Rhodes, average room prices have risen 7% to €75.

The capital city of Athens, a stopover destination for many tourists taking ferries to the Greek Islands, has seen average room prices rise 35% on last year.