By Nikos Krinis
Alternate Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura invited international investors to explore the significant opportunities of Greek tourism and increase exchanges with Greece, while speaking at the 17th Capital Link Forum on “Investing for Growth” in New York on Monday.
“I am here to support your business efforts and help you in establishing a network so that you can take advantage of the opportunities offered by the timeless brand name Greece“, she said while speaking during a panel discussion on Investment Opportunities in Tourism & Hospitality.
The 17th Capital Link Forum was attended by over 1,000 delegates from international investment funds, financial institutions, multinational companies, organizations and business leaders. Attendees included George Logothetis, John Calamos, Sr., John Catsimatidis, Efthimios Elias Mitropoulos, John Alfred Paulson and William Vrattos.
Greece encourages foreign direct investments
During her speech, Ms Kountoura said that it is the government’s strategic decision to encourage foreign direct investments. She added that all new investments in Greece target a 12-month product.
“Our regulatory and legal framework is being updated to boost investment and offer diverse and complex products of thematic interest all around Greece”, Ms Kountoura said.
In its latest country report, the World Travel & Tourism Council projected an annual growth of 4.7 percent in tourism investments in Greece for the next ten years.
“Major funds mostly from Europe, the United States and the Middle East, as well as international investors, are eager to enter this booming market, looking at concrete opportunities in tourism and real estate”, she said.
“About half of the currently running projects are being financed by foreign companies and most of them reflect a shift in demand for complex and integrated tourism resorts.”
At this point the minister informed investors that Greece’s regulatory framework is in the direction of developing condo hotels, luxury and boutique hotels, as well as facilities for seniors, families and tourists of multigenerational travel.
“Spas and wellness centers, sports and recreation facilities, medical resorts and theme parks are on prime demand, with priority to quality, sustainability and environmental protection, as our biggest investment in the future.”
She added that the ministry has established a “One-Stop-Shop” service that has already facilitated a large number of large-scale projects.
“We are going to introduce a new investment law within the first two months of 2016, which applies to tourism projects as well”, she informed.
The Capital Link Forum is considered the most important conference in North America that exclusively concerns the promotion of investments in Greece and each year attracts distinguished Greek-American and international investors.