Dr. Angela Michalopoulou, director general for investments at Enterprise Greece, will host a regional round table on the Greek hospitality industry at the Mediterranean Resort & Hotel Real Estate Forum in Tarragona, Spain, Oct. 16-18. Michalopoulou’s session will take place on Wednesday, October 18.
Ahead of MR&H, Michalopoulou spoke with HOTEL MANAGEMENT about how Greece’s hospitality sector is growing, who is investing and what the future of Greek hotels will look like.
1. How are tourism and tourism-related industries helping the Greek economy?
Tourism is a central pillar of the Greek economy, and by many analysts it is considered to be the export champion for Greece. Even during the recent crisis, the tourism industry in Greece has been one of the mainstays of economic growth and employment, with a continued growth in tourist arrivals and revenues driven mainly by the determined efforts of the Greek tourism authorities and associations to upgrade the tourist product offering; and the development of new key markets, such as Israel, India, Middle East, China and strengthening of existing ones, such as Russia and United States.
According to the latest figures, in 2016, for a fourth consecutive year, Greece broke again its all-time records in tourist arrivals, by counting almost 25 million visitors (a 5-percent year-over-year increase) and €13.22 billion in tourist receipts, making tourism a vital sector for Greece, accounting for 18.6 percent of GDP.
2. How has Greek hospitality changed over the last 10 years?
Greece is particularly strong in existing hotel capacity with 9,730 hotels, 407,146 guestrooms and 788,553 beds (according to the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels). Between 2000-2016, hotel units grew by 22.6 percent, while in guestroom terms the stock grew by 31.7 percent.
Moreover, a comparison of hotel breakdowns based on their category shows that the country’s hotel potential has been extremely upgraded, as the five-star…