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Major Hotel Brands Have Big Plans for Greece

The rooftop facilities of Athens Capital Hotel-MGallery Collection.

Major international hospitality brands including Melia and Accor are betting on Greece, announcing plans to expand to the Greek market during the 22nd hybrid Prodexpo event held in Athens this week.

Greece appears to be attracting investor interest mainly in hospitality and tourism driven in large part by government plans to simplify procedures and do away with red tape.

One such group, Meliá Hotels International has expanded its portfolio in Greece with the addition of the Cosmopolitan Hotel, operated by Zeus Hotels, on the island of Rhodes, gaining a strong market share on the Greek islands.

Speaking on a panel titled “Hotels are Back: The Recovery of the Hospitality Industry”, Global Development VP for Meliá Hotels International, Maria Zarraluqui said Greece was winning investors over not only due to the many opportunities available but also because there are suitable partners who are knowledgeable and experienced in high quality services.

Zarraluqui went on to forecast a significant recovery of the hotel sector and of tourism and announced Melia Hotels’ further expansion plans for Mykonos, Santorini, and Thessaloniki.

Announcing plans to increase French hospitality group Accor’s presence by 50 percent in the coming years, Ian Di Tullio, chief commercial officer Southern Europe Accor, said he too expects the hotel sector to transition from offering overnight stays to a level of upgraded services and experiences.

Accor brand MGallery Hotel Collection opened its Athens Capital Hotel-MGallery Collection last month.

Speaking on the same panel, Nikos Hadjos, consultant at Marriott International, referred to the importance of high level consulting services that will facilitate foreign investments in the Greek hotel market.

Earlier this year, Marriott announced the opening of Domes of Corfu, a Marriott Bonvoy Autograph Collection Hotel.

Photo © Domes of Corfu

Lastly, founder of doxiadis+ Architects Thomas Doxiadis underlined the importance of brand design in Greece, which now focuses on the overall hospitality/tourist experience as it is created through authenticity, harmony, location, and functionality.

Two key takeaways from the Prodexpo panel discussion:

Greece is among the top destinations attracting investor interest in tourism and hospitality together with Spain and Portugal.

-In order for the country to enter a new era of hospitality it is crucial that the sector gradually cutback its dependence on tour operators and instead implement new sales methods based on digitized services.

Organized by Tsomokos, the 22nd Prodexpo Real Estate & Development Conference took place October 25-26 in Athens with specific focus on property development, gathering real estate leaders who wish to reconnect and prepare future investment strategies.

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About the Author
Chicago-born and raised, Maria Paravantes has over two decades of journalistic experience covering tourism and travel, gastronomy, arts, music and culture, economy and finance, politics, health and social issues for international press and media. She has worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, Time Out Athens, the Athens News, Odyssey Magazine and, among others. She has also served as Special Advisor to Greece’s minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the mayor of Athens on international press and media issues. Maria is currently a reporter, content and features writer for GTP Headlines.

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