Greece is at the forefront of investment funds and businesses operating in the hotel industry and in the hospitality and tourism sector in general. In fact, leading representatives of international brands revealed their intention to increase their presence in the greek market, speaking at the conference of the 22nd Prodexpo that takes place on 25-26 October 2021 at the Megaron Athens Concert Hall.
Maria Zarraluqui, Global development VP, Meliá Hotels International, on the occasion of the recent agreement of the Meliá Group with the hotels of the Papakaliatis family, the Zeus Hotels Group, mentioned that in Greece there are not only opportunities, but also the right partners, with knowledge and experience to provide high quality services. As Mrs. Zarraluqui mentioned, Meliá Group expects a greater recovery of the hotel and tourism industry in Greece, adding that there are plans for further expansion in Mykonos, Thessaloniki and Santorini. Greece is among the top markets seen by foreign investors, along with Spain and Portugal. The challenge for the greek market is the gradual independence from tour operators and their replacement by new selling methods, with a key tool digitization.
On his part, Ian Di Tullio, Chief Commercial Officer Southern Europe Accor, in response to a question by the panel’s coordinator, Mr. Costas Panagakis of Travelworks, predicted further development of the greek tourism market, with the hotel industry being transformed and moving from the level of overnight stay, to the level of service provision and upgraded experience.Given these trends and the national strategic framework for development, Greece 2.0, Mr. Di Tulio, indicated that Accor is going to strengthen its imprint in Greece by 50% in the coming years.
Mr. Nikos Chantzos, Consultant, International Hotel Development – Greece and Cyprus Marriott Intl, referred to the importance of upgraded and quality consulting services to enhance the influx of foreign investments in the greek hotel market. Taking as an example the recent Marriott agreement in Greece, he presented how crucial is the presence of five institutional investors, an international hotel manager, Domus, and an international band such as Marriott to converge and become a strategic investment. Therefore, for Mr. Hantzos, experienced and capable executives of the hotel sector who can play the role of advisor to investors, are “key” for new and more investments in this sector in Greece.
Mr. Thomas Doxiadis Founder doxiadis+ Architects shared on the panel of the 22nd Prodexpo his experiences on the importance of designing major brands in Greece. Indicatively, he referred to the Four Seasons, which operates according to international standards. However, as he explained, beyond the standard guidelines, the design trend today places great emphasis on the issue of the “in-depth” quality of the overall experience offered by a hotel. In this new trend, now the authenticity of the materials, the harmony with the characteristics of the location and the general contact with all the materials of the decoration and the functionality are the elements that make the difference.