Sensing Niche Opening, Big Hotel Brands Flooding Greece

Grand Hyatt in Athens (Photo: Business Wire via AP, file)

Hoping to benefit from record tourism runs, particularly from the well-heeled who can afford luxury spaces in a sector where only 1.7 percent are operated by big brands, multi-national hotel operators increased by 15 percent in Greece in 2018.

The figure was listed in the annual report by Horwath HTL, which included the Greek hotel sector and most other European countries, said the business newspaper Naftemporiki, with people of means willing to spend for better hotels which are also trying to compete with short-term rentals like Airbnb.

Major brands could fill a niche for luxury and higher-priced units in a country where the vast majority of hotel spaces are less than 5-Star accommodations.

The report found that 150 luxury hotels opened their doors in Greece last year, with the number of five-star hotels reaching 550; 1,581 four-star hotels. Both high-end categories account for 21.6 percent of total hotel capacity in Greece.

In November, 2018, TUI group, the world’s largest tourism, travel and leisure company, said it would add four hotels in Greece, adding a 5-Star facility on Santorini as well as the hotels TUI Sensimar Insula Alba and TUI Family Life Elounda Beach on Crete, as well as the TUI Sensimar Zante Maris on Zakynthos.

In October, 2018, British holiday company Thomas Cook, the biggest hotel operator in Greece with 7,268 rooms, said it would open 20 more hotels by the end of 2019 including four in the country, to compete with online travel agencies.

“Expanding our own-brand hotel portfolio is central to the success of the whole business … These latest announcements demonstrate further progress in developing our Hotels and Resorts division into a hotel company within Thomas Cook,” Enric Noguer, Chief of Hotels & Resorts told Reuters.

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