Tours with double-deck open buses are increasingly popular in many countries in the world. The bus tours are a form of practical tour with limited time but can reach many attractions in a relatively short time. In fact, Athens double-deck tour allows visitors, who pass through Athens, to see places of interest. Today, at least three double-deck open bus companies currently operate up to 42 routes a day, on a single route. This shows that there is great interest in the business. In recent years, a relative decline in customers has been observed, but the image has improved, as shown by managers from three companies. The three companies are competing with each other. Keep reading on this Athens bus tours guide!
For information, a high-quality service, City Sightseeing – Hop On Hop Off, has been active in Greece since 2008. The 12 company-level buses make three tours to Athens, exploring every interesting historical object. This is one of the big players in this business and this works all day. The route starts at 8.30 am for the Athens route and runs every 15 minutes, producing 42 tours every day (April – October), while in winter instead of ending at 9, they stop at 5 pm. There are 10 routes (per hour) on the beach and a total of 24 routes per day from Piraeus. During winter, route frequency is limited. The best year for the company, in terms of traffic, was in 2014, which was associated with good shipping performance, and at the end of the year, a 25% to 30% reduction was observed.
This year there has been an increase of no more than 15% compared to last year, 2018. The presence of Chinese tourists is very strong, and until last year the majority of travelers were European and few Americans. Significant attendance is expected this year from the Netherlands, Germany, Brazil and Russia. This is a situation which, after capital controls and increases in VAT on transportation in the middle of last year, has deteriorated significantly.
Meanwhile, the Athens Open Tour Gray Line was the eighth year of its activity and was the first Greek company active in the field of hop on hop off. The bus company employs around 45 people in all branches (administration, operations, sales, drivers, technicians, etc.), serving 13 double buses every day with around 800 passengers during high season (April – November) and 100 during winter. The majority of customers are American, British, German and Spanish. The tour takes place on three Athens, Piraeus and coastal routes (Glyfada – Vouliagmeni). There are around 65 visits scheduled every day from 8am to 9pm.
Whereas the Open Top Bus Hellas runs a route with 13 double-deck open buses starting in 2012, with the most popular routes passing through the Acropolis. Most of the company’s customers come from hotels and Athens travel agents. The owner, Thanos Georgopoulos, talked about the movement which was reduced by the crisis. The company’s schedule runs every half hour and every 15 minutes per chance. “We all run the same route and competition does not allow us to make a big difference,” he said.
Hop On Hop Off is one of the best ways to explore Greece without losing a lot of money. With complete facilities, even novice tourists can fully enjoy the land of the Gods. Tight competition and the number of routes served is an indication that the tourist business segment is very popular with foreign tourists. Hopefully this article can give you valuable information before you set up Greek land for a tour. Thanks for reading!