Total rebound of Greek tourism in arrivals and revenue
Greece appears to be the only country (Graph 1) in Europe on the road to full post-Covid-19 recovery of its total. Though air connectivity recovery in Europe is incomplete and uneven, Greece is leading the way as the only state with an increase compared to June 2019, both in terms of number of flights and inbound arrivals – with 6 beach destinations (Graph 2) in the top-10. In terms of tourism income, the outlook is even better for Greece, despite the fact that prices are moving up. Mabrian Technologies conducted a study of average hotel prices by room type for all the main Mediterranean destinations, concluding that “Greece is the big surprise (Graph 3), with 4 and 5-star hotels (with an increasing share in hotel investments, as we pointed in recent article) seeing a 63% and a 110% increase respectively, compared to 2019”.
Graph 1 | Source: news.gtp.gr
Greece: an investment destination, with Tourism as a priority
These happen for a reason; the country has invested in tourism, both the private and the public sector. Growth in Greece will be higher than the eurozone average due to tourism, with related projects budgeted at 100 million euros to be covered by RRF funds.
At the same time, “Greece’s Attractiveness as an Investment Destination Remains Strong”, despite challenges increasing uncertainty, including the Covid-19 pandemic, the energy crisis and the conflict in Ukraine, according to the findings of Ernst & Young’s (EY) latest attractiveness survey on Greece.
According to the Henley Global Citizens Report for Q2, Greece is an “Investor Magnet for Planet’s Millionaires”. The report goes on to note that countries drawing wealthy individuals and families tend to be robust, with low crime rates, competitive tax rates, and attractive business opportunities; Greece is in the 8th place in terms of net inflows in 2022.
Additionally, Greece emerges as the country with the most sought-after Golden Visa program in the EU, according to a new report, as demand showed a significant increase in the first half of 2022 (127%!), followed by Turkey (+24%) and Malta (+18%).
Quality of Life is a key parameter for this strong position, highlighted also in a feature published recently in the online edition of The New York Times referring to Athens‘ creativity in Hospitality, Gastronomy, Art; as a result, the Greek capital features 34 new hotels in the last 2 years (26 of them in the city center) offering 1,982 rooms.
This is the reason that Germans are keen on buying homes in Greece, moving up to 1st place on the list of foreigners purchasing properties in the country, found a report published by the Athens News Agency; the number of property sales to German buyers increased by 300%, compared to 2021! The German newspaper BILD found in the Greek tourism the solution even to the threatened energy crisis, in an article titled “No German will freeze in Greece”: German pensioners could spend the winter in Greece, preferably in Crete, as “there is no better place than Crete to spend the coldest time of the year, because winter lasts only two months, but even these are interrupted by the "Alkyonides Days", where again the weather is excellent.
Graph 2 | Source: news.gtp.gr
International brands expand in Greece
Following this background, it is no surprise that international hotel chains and investors are coming or expanding in the Greek tourism market.
"The very strong tourist demand for Greece, which is one of the strongest tourist countries in the world, but also the ties between Israel and Greece and their societies are the main reasons that led the Israeli Brown Hotels to invest in Greece," said the CEO and co-founder of the Israeli Brown Hotels, Leon Avigad, which invests in 40 tourism projects in Greece.
Scheduled to open to the public in 2026, the “Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Athens” is a cooperation of the Greek construction firm GEK TERNA and the American casino operator Hard Rock International, as part of The Ellinikon project, Europe’s largest coastal park, to go up along the Athenian Riviera.
At the same time, Accor, the world leading hospitality group, recently held the official opening of the NIKO Seaside Resort, a member of the MGallery Hotel Collection, in Agios Nikolaos on the Greek island of Crete, the second MGallery hotel in Greece, and the first to open its doors on a Greek island. In the past two years Accor has doubled its presence in Greece and Maud Bailly, CEO of Accor Southern Europe, said Accor plans to double its footprint in Greece but in a respectful, sustainable, way. Accor currently has 1,400 rooms in Greece and the group’s target is to double this number in the next three years.
Graph 3 | Source: mabrian.com
Central Image Source: https://tours-greece.gr/