ATHENS – In another sign of how important Greece’s tourism sector is to the staggering economy, German tour company TUI said it wants to buy 10 hotels of four-and-five star status, most on islands that are the country’s biggest draw.
Greece is enjoying another record year for visitors although the figures haven’t been released on how they are spending after disappointing revenues for 2016. The country continues to draw people despite having not enough quality accommodations and with competition from nearby rivals such as Turkey.
TUI group CEO Friedrich Joussen, who spoke at a press conference in the capital, made the announcement about the ambitions of his company, Europe’s biggest tour operator. The target hotels could include some in the Peloponnese, the Greek business newspaper Naftemporiki said.
He gave the news after meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who is counting on tourism, which brings in about 18 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $165.78 billion, about $194.6 billion, to help save the economy.
Greek tourism officials have said it’s critical for the sector to have a better infrastructure and more quality accommodations and services to keep people coming. A bigger emphasis on improving services
Joussen said his group is interested in units that offer all-inclusive packages but with an emphasis on the “local (holiday) experience”.