2017 – A successful year for tourism
Greece can look back on an excellent year in terms of tourism. According to experts, in 2017 the number of international visitors will exceed the 30 million mark. The number of passengers arriving at Greek airports in the first nine months of the year increased by 9.4% compared to the previous year. Rightly, one can speak of a record year for the Greek tourism.
It is also amazing that the holiday season could extend. Even in the relatively “cold” northern Chalkidiki, the hotel season was about two weeks longer on average than in the previous year.
The forecasts for the coming year are even better. Finally, Greece is now writing good news and is again interesting as an international holiday destination. Certainly, the situation in some of the rival locations is one of the reasons for the interest in Greece. However, the main reasons may be the systematic location marketing and the maturing of the site in recent years. For the Germans, Greece is – after Spain – at any rate the second most popular holiday destination. But the interest from Great Britain is also stronger than last year, according to SETE (Greek Tourism Association). For many international airlines this is a good reason to offer their customers “regularly” Greece again. In addition, the takeover of fourteen Greek airports by airport specialist Fraport a few months ago will improve capacities and infrastructure quality.
Hotel investments in Greece
All this, of course, in the context of the positive forecasts for the coming years, leads to that hotel investments in Greece are already high on the agenda of many investors and hotel chains. TUI alone plans 10 new hotel projects for the coming years, which will be in the 4 * and 5 * star segments. In general, many projects of national and international investors are currently being implemented. This applies both to new hotels as well as the expansion of existing facilities. Many hoteliers are expanding their facilities in anticipation of even better numbers. Accordingly, in the hotel complexes at the famous holiday destinations there is currently busy construction activity recorded. The Minister of Tourism, Mrs. Elena Kountoura, has recently reported on 17 other major hotel projects. In addition, acquisitions of existing hotels have taken place in recent months. Many investors prefer to invest in or take over existing hotel companies. The corresponding portfolio of banks will therefore certainly meet with great interest.
Even if the upper segment has been partially increased in recent years, there is still a great need in this area, in particular due to the Greek government’s intention to further develop and upgrade tourism over the next few years. Furthermore, according to experts, it is not a utopia to assume 40 million international visitors in 2022. However, in addition to the hotel facilities, this also requires extensive investments in government infrastructure projects. Incidentally, a new law, which provides among others for the subsidy of hotel projects is already expected for the next few months.
Subsidy for smaller hotel projects
In addition to large-scale investments, smaller projects are important to the Greek state. Accordingly, hotel projects which do not exceed 50 beds and a project volume of 400.000, – Euro (min. 25.000,- Euro), can be subsidized the next months by the state up to 50%. In the period from 18.12.2017 to 28.03.2018, corresponding applications can be submitted (find here the respective publication).
In addition to the holiday hotel industry, there is currently also existing great interest in the city hotel industry, in particular for Athens and Thessaloniki, the two largest cities in the country. This certainly has to do with the increase in the number of visitors, especially since these cities are becoming increasingly interesting for city breaks. Athens is heading for the 5 million mark among international visitors, while Thessaloniki may overtake the 2 million hurdle this year. The interest of international chains in the development of centrally located 3 * and 4 *-hotels with a size of 80 to 120 rooms is already noticeable. However, in both cities it is not very easy to find suitable land or suitable existing real estate.
2017 is nearing its end. For the Greek tourism a very good year. Hotel investments in Greece are on the agenda. Perhaps the tourism sector will expose itself as an “ace up its sleeve” that will help Greece return to stable and sustainable economic growth. Let’s wait and see!