The Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) pictured the harsh reality shops of tourist interest operating in the principal shopping district of Athens are facing, as its recent research shows that tourist shops in Athens recorded zero turnover. As president Stavros Kafounis stated, with 13.7% of the stores closed and the whole sample recording a huge drop in turnover compared to the corresponding period of 2019, “something that we all expected is now being confirmed, given that this field is exclusively supported by internal tourism, which is still non-existent”.
He explains that this research proves that the shops in this area and every tourist area in the country “should be treated as purely tourist businesses and boosted with special support measures”, in order to remain in operation in 2021, Mr. Kafounis said.
The ACCI presented the results of the survey on the reopening of the tourist shops in the traditional market of Plaka, which opened on Monday, May 11, after a two-month inaction.
Expressing concern about the viability of its members who operate in the purely tourist area of Plaka, as well as in the traditional tourist markets across the country and maintain commercial businesses of tourist interest, the ACCI decided to carry out this research in order to record the real situation prevailing amidst this difficult time in this special market, which is completely dependent on internal tourism.
As the survey shows, there are no multinational companies operating in the region, nor large Greek chains, but small and very small Greek family businesses, which target exclusively incoming tourism (Shopping). Sales of products to foreign visitors are in fact direct exports and all these small commercial enterprises of tourist interest are an active part of the country’s tourism product.
The ACCI sample of the survey conducted on June 9th and 10th, consists of 153 stores.
The stores that took part in the research belong to the categories of commercial tourist interest and catering and are active in the purely traditional tourist area of Plaka. The main commercial areas of the field include D. Areopagitou, Makrygianni, Vyronos, Kydathinaion, Adrianou, Aiolou, Pandrosou, Areos, Hephaestus streets, Monastiraki and Ag. Asomaton Squares etc.
The grim reality
Regarding the turnover, none of the businesses included in the survey had a better or the same turnover compared to the same month last year. The vast majority (79.1%) either did not resume business at all or recorded close to zero turnover during the first month of reopening their business.
Of the respondents, 62.1% of the sample consider the expansion of the rent by 40% until the end of the year to be the most important factor in the viability of their business.
Less than 1/3 (28.1%) of the respondents indicated the tax and insurance relief as the second most important factor that will ensure the survival of their businesses. Finally, 9.2% stated that the financing of companies through loans or NSRF programs to ensure an immediate increase in liquidity is the least important factor in their survival.
Asked if they were included in any loan aid or NSRF programs, 71.9%, which translates to 110 of the 153 companies in the sample, could not or did not want to join any financial tool, for various reasons. /ibna