The article examines the strategies that Greek hotels have implemented to strengthen their competitiveness during recession. The research is based on a nationwide e-mail survey to hospitality managers/owners. The results reveal that the most important perceived competitiveness factor is cost reduction and implementation of actions against crisis, followed by innovation, human resource management and marketing. The study also proposes actions that can improve the competitiveness of accommodation establishments. The article helps fill the gaps in our understanding of how hospitality firms tackle competition during crises, and suggests managerial policies that can help hospitality firms to strengthen their positioning and competitiveness during crises. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.