Over the past years hotel brands in Greece have expanded although their share still remains low when compared with other European countries, says tourism and hospitality consultant, Dr. Dimitris Koutoulas.
According to his recent “2009 Greek Hotel Branding Report,” four percent of hotels in Greece -that control 19 percent of the total room capacity- have an affiliation with one of 113 brands.
“When I first published the Greek Hotel Branding Report in 2005, only three percent of Greece’s hotels and 17 percent of all hotel room capacity had an affiliation with a brand,” Dr. Koutoulas said.
“Over the past four years, there has been a significant growth in branded hotels, with their capacity growing by over 20,000 rooms to a total of 77,464 rooms in 431 hotels in 2009.”
Dr. Koutoulas stressed that the share of branded hotels in Greece is still lower than in other countries.
“This is partly attributable to the heavy reliance on the inclusive tour market, as many Greek hoteliers look to tour operators to fill their rooms,” he said.
According to the report, Mitsis, Grecotel, Best Western, Classical, Iberostar, Club alltoura, as well as Cyprus-based Atlantica and Louis are the only brands active in Greece with 10 or more hotels.
Mitsis, the country’s largest hotel brand, operates 4,787 rooms in 16 hotels or 1.2 percent of the total room capacity available at Greek hotels.
Global brands, such as IHG’s InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn, Accor’s Club Med, Sofitel and Novotel, Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt have established a limited presence of one or two hotels in Greece.
Starwood is the only major hotel group that rapidly developed its Greek portfolio in recent years as it now has six Luxury Collection properties and one Westin.
The opening of two resort hotels on the Peloponnese in 2010 and the launch of the W Hotel in Athens in 2011 will double the present room count of Starwood over the next two years.
Also, the study showed that brands controlled by Europe’s large tour operators claim one fourth of all branded hotels in Greece, as they account for 77 hotels with 18,522 rooms (4.6 percent of total Greek hotel room capacity).
Many of these accommodations operate on an all-inclusive basis.
The German travel corporation TUI dominates this hotel segment as six of its hotel brands operate in Greece.
TUI has evolved to become Greece’s largest hotel operator that controls a total of 36 hotels with 8,869 rooms (2.2 percent of all hotel rooms in Greece) under the Atlantica, Grecotel, Magic Life, Robinson Club, Sensatori and Sensimar brands.
Other major European tour operators, such as Thomas Cook, Alltours and Rewe, have also introduced several of their hotel brands to Greece.
In regards to Greek brands, second to Mitsis is Grecotel -a 50:50 joint venture of TUI Hotels and Resorts and N. Daskalantonakis Group- with a capacity of 4,473 rooms in 19 hotels.
Share of branded hotels among the hotel sector of Greece in 2009