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Investors Eye Five-star Hotels as Greek Hospitality Market Changes

All the more investors are setting their sights on Greece as tourism flows increase and ailing businesses with non-performing loans need a way out.

According to a study published by Kathimerini and carried out by financial services provider Pepper Hellas, the Greek hotel market is undergoing change with the growing interest of large foreign brands pushing individual hoteliers to side.

Pepper Hellas expects investment activity to pick up facilitated by the accelerating management of non-performing hotel loans that will in turn pave the way for interest by existing or new hotel chains.

“In the coming months, we will see a number of moves in this direction, some of which will also be carried out abruptly, as banks have very high goals to achieve in ridding their portfolios of non-performing loans,” Pepper Hellas Chairman Ilias Ziogas tells Kathimerini.

According to Pepper data, the number of Greek hotels grew by 21.2 percent over the last two decades with the number of five-star units accounting for 5 percent of the total. Together with the four- and three-star units they account for 46.0 percent of the total.

Pepper goes on to note that international as well as local players are beginning to express interest in view of the fact that there are currently 407 five- and four-star branded hotels with a capacity of 72,126 rooms, representing 20.5 percent of the total.

“Investment activity in the Greek hospitality market has increased mobility compared to the early years of the financial crisis (2008-2014). From 2014, investments in this category have climbed to record levels, with total transactions being close to 900 million euros,” Pepper Hellas estimates.

The five largest hospitality brands currently in Greece, according to Pepper, are TUI Group, Thomas Cook, Starwood, Louis Hotels and Labranda Hotels – accounting for 18,300 rooms.

According to the same research, the top five Greek groups are Grecotel,  Daskalantonakis Group, Mitsis Hotels GroupAldemar Resorts, Helios Hotels, Mantonakis Group, and GHotels – holding a total of 14,632 rooms.

The five strongest local players are the Hatzilazarou Group on Rhodes, Sbokos Hotel Group on Crete, Kipriotis Hotels on Kos, Esperia Hotels, and Aquila Hotels.

And finally, mixed capital company Sani/Ikos Group currently controls 1,930 rooms, set to grow to 2,300 by 2019.

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