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Tourism

Luxury Hotels, Resorts Coming to Greece, Boost Tourism Hopes

November 15, 2021

ATHENS – There’s no shortage of accommodations for wealthy visitors to Greece but hotel and resort developers are bringing more, anticipating a faster return to boom times in the tourism sector.

In a feature, Business Daily noted the trend, reporting investments in resorts on the islands of Mykonos, Crete, Corfu and Zakynthos, according to data from Arbitrage RE.

That came a few days after an announcement that the Sani/Ikos group said it was developing a 125-million euro ($143.12 million) project on Crete as Greece continues to attract investors in the hotel and resort sector.

Tourism has shown a better-then-expected return in 2021 during the lingering COVID-19 pandemic but isn’t likely to hit former record 2019 levels until 2023, but the hotel and resort industries are already anticipating the demand coming.

Vassilis Fotopoulos, Associate Director, Hospitality Lead at Arbitrage RE, told the site that, “Greece is now becoming a pole of attraction for large tourism investments that will draw luxury tourism.”

“Demand for hotel properties by foreign and domestic institutional investors did not stop during the pandemic, while new reliable and international investors expressed their interest in placing themselves in the Greek market,” said Fotopoulos.

“Demand was focused on two main categories, city hotels in need of renovation and large-scale resorts on popular island destinations, with the possibility of upgrading and having their management taken on by international brands,” he added.

Among the resorts that will open their doors in 2022 is the five-star hotel Once in Mykonos, located in Ornos (managed by Louis Hotels), and the One & Only Aesthesis in Asteria Glyfada, which will have 127 rooms, suites and villas – a collaboration between Kerzner International brand with Grivalia Hospitality, the site said.

Besides new facilities, foreign hotel chains are planning to upgrade existing hotels, especially in Athens which has become a buzz city in Europe, no longer just a jumping-off point to the islands.

A number of new hotel units are opening in the center of Athens in investments that are estimated to exceed 100 million euros ($114.5 million) for 2022 alone.

Citing data from Tourism Economics, consultants GBR estimate that there will be a strong rebound in 2022, but that “the full recovery is expected in 2023, while long-distance travel in Greece is expected to recover in 2024”.

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