Delphi Forum: Investing in Luxury Tourism Should Be a Top Priority for Greece
Establishing Greece into a leading luxury tourist destination should be a top priority, said luxury market professionals during the 8th Delphi Economic Forum held in Greece in late April.
According to Chloe Laskaridis, chairwoman of the BOD Lampsa Hellenic Hotels, which includes such luxury brands as Athens’ Hotel Grande Bretagne and King George Hotel, Greece is moving up in world market with Athens gaining significant ground thanks to a longer tourism season and the wide range of offerings available in art, haute cuisine and shopping.
Of key importance, Laskaridis said, is ensuring more direct flights during the winter months, improving services and infrastructure, and making Athens and other major cities such as Thessaloniki final destinations and not stop-over destinations. Additionally, the creation of a modern conference center in Athens would contribute greatly to boosting tourism in the Greek capital, she said.
On his part, Chief Executive Officer at Athens International Airport (AIA) Yiannis Paraschis confirmed that bookings for Athens were up by 50 percent compared to 2021 and by 3.5 percent over pre-pandemic 2019.
Among others, he said that visitors to Athens stay longer – from two to 3.5 days – and the coastline and the Saronic islands close to Athens are finally entering the tourism experience. Paraschis also agreed that infrastructure must be improved as visitors now have increased demands.
Lastly, the owner and CEO of the 5-star Phāea Resorts, Costantza Sbokou- Constantakopoulou noted that Greece was no longer a cheap tourist destination or a competitive market for neighboring Eastern and Southern Europe. “Greece is now investing in the luxury hotel market, where there is a greater margin of profit and efficiency,” she said, adding that the luxury market is also more resistant to crises and that luxury brands help promote the country and its hotels as well as offer the workforce opportunities for specialized tourism training.