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Greece a Prime Destination For Tourism Investments, Say Experts

Brown Hotels Founder Leon Avigad; Kyvernitis Travel Managing Partner George Kyvernitis; SWOT Hospitality Chairman Stelios Koutsivitis; Mitsis Hotels President Christina Mitsis; Oliaros Managing Director Iasson Tsakonas; Greek Travel Pages (GTP) CEO Maria Theofanopoulou.

Greece has a number of assets to be a destination of choice for tourism investments, experts highlighted during the 7th Delphi Economic Forum held in the town of Delphi in early April.

Iasson Tsakonas, managing director of property development company Oliaros, told a panel of industry experts that leading international investors were eyeing Greece for future tourism projects.

“Since 2019, investors have seen Greece as an investment opportunity due to its political stability; successful handling of the Covid-19 pandemic; medical care programs and low prices,” he said during a session titled “Hospitality and tourism investment forces for the future”.

Mitsis Hotels President Christina Mitsis agreed with Tsakonas and cited more factors attracting investors to Greece:

“The Greek government has created the right conditions for more investments to take place in Greece by reducing bureaucracy, speeding up licensing procedures and slashing taxes,” she said.

More funding tools

Meanwhile, SWOT Hospitality Chairman Stelios Koutsivitis referred to the numerous funding opportunities offered in Greece, which include the National Strategic Reference Framework (also known as ESPA) and the EU Resilience and Recovery Facility (RRF) funds.

“RRF is a profound economic tool and will lead to investments that would not be possible otherwise,” he said.

Furthermore, according to Koutsivitis, “bank liquidity – in the form of loans – further fuels Greek economy while low real estate activity is attracting more investors”.

During the Delphi Economic Forum, Greek Alternate Minister of Development and Investments Nikos Papathanasis said the  government expected funding for Greece to exceed 77 billion euros during the next few years, from ESPA, the RRF and other funding tools.

“We wish to create an investor-friendly environment… Through hard work, we’ve eliminated bureaucracy and assigned many procedures related to investments to the private sector,” he said while speaking during another session on investments.

Papathanasis also confirmed the increasing momentum for investments in tourism, agribusiness, innovation, digital transformation and startups.

Real estate opportunities attract investors

During the forum, Brown Hotels Founder Leon Avigad said low real estate prices and strong demand for hospitality services was motivation for his brand to invest in Greece.

Brown Hotels Founder Leon Avigad.

Brown Hotels Founder Leon Avigad. Photo source: Brown Hotels

The international design hotel collection, which runs hotels in Israel and Croatia, has invested in the center of Athens and has plans for more projects in Greece.

Speaking during the “Hospitality and tourism investment forces for the future” session at the forum, Avigad said the government’s tax and health reform schemes and tourism incentives were tempting investors.

“We have a strong feeling for Greece and we recommend to our fellow investors to hop on the train,” he added.

On his part, Kyvernitis Travel Managing Partner George Kyvernitis said there were more investment opportunities for large hospitality projects in Greece but not for small hotel units.

He also referred to the significance of the traveling experience which in the case of Greece involves popular destinations such as Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Crete and Athens.

The“Hospitality and tourism investment forces for the future” session at the Delphi Economic Forum was moderated by Greek Travel Pages (GTP) CEO Maria Theofanopoulou.

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About the Author
Eleftheria has worked for several financial newspapers, magazines and websites during the past 19 years. Between 2004 and 2014 she worked as a radio producer, reporter and presenter for the Greek and English language program of “Athina 9.84 FM”. She also has hands-on experience in the MICE industry.

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