Greek tourism even stronger in 2023
According to the second European Accommodation Barometer, European accommodations are on track for a record-breaking year with revenue outlook appearing the most positive in Spain and Greece, where 69% expect “the highest revenue year” in the history of their establishment. “This is no coincidence as both countries are a favorite among summer vacationers and consumers continue to splurge on leisure travel post-COVID,” it is noted in the study.
In fact, Greece is one of only 5 national markets that have managed to exceed pre-Covid 2019 connectivity levels, according to the latest edition of the Airport Industry Connectivity Report; at 4% above 2019 levels, Greece is coming in 4th place. Additionally, few individual airports managed to outdo 2019 connectivity levels, with Athens International Airport (AIA) coming in 2nd place (+33% up).
In terms of arrivals, some 5.3 million international air arrivals were recorded at Greece’s main airports during the January-May 2023 period, 1.2 million more than the same period in 2022. According to data from the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA), the increase in air arrivals compared to the corresponding five months of 2022 is at 29.3%; compared to 2019, the rise is at 9.6%.
Greece and Greek islands are top world destinations in 2023
Greece is among the world’s top 10 luxury destinations this summer, according to the “Holiday Habits Luxury Travelers Guide 2023” released by Condé Nast Johansens.
Coming to individual destinations, Athens has made it into the Top 10 most popular city destinations for the summer of 2023, according to travel intelligence provider ForwardKeys, moving up one place from 11th spot in 2022.
Santorini has been declared the most popular European holiday destination in the world, according to CV Villas, an international travel company, conducted a comprehensive study using Google data from the past year across 185 countries.
At the same time, the islands of Rhodes and Crete are among the top 10 world destinations that showcased the highest increase in holiday package searches in 2023 so far, compared to the same period (Jan-Apr) in 2019, according to the first ever Travel Trends report by British Airways Holidays (Rhodes 3rd and Crete 7th).
Investment in Greek tourism remains strong
While global deal activity in the travel and tourism sector witnessed a significant drop (-41% in numbers and -80% in value) across all the regions in Q1 of 2023, compared to 2022, according to GlobalData research, this seems not to be the case in Greece: dozens of hotels have gone to new owners in Q1 2023, demonstrating a growing demand among local and international investors, according to GBR Consulting. This activity includes more than 200 3- and 4-star mostly family-owned hotels in Greece are being sold off to the best bidders, most of them to be upgraded to 4- and 5-star units.
Additionally, 170 hotel projects got the "green light" in Q1 2023, with Athens and Thessaloniki as reference points, as revealed in its analysis of the hospitality industry in our country by the well-known real estate consulting firm Cushman & Wakefield Proprius.
Major completed investments in Q1 cited by the report include two hotels in Peloponnese, the AKS Hinitsa Bay and the AKS Porto Heli, along with the White Coast Pool Suites on Milos which is renamed Domes White Coast Milos. Also operated by Domes, the new Domes Noruz Kassandra opened in the Kassandra peninsula, Halkidiki (Northern Greece), the first property for Domes Resorts in this region. On the Ionian island of Corfu, the second Ikos resort (and sixth overall), Ikos Odisia, just opened in a secluded bay across from its sister resort, Ikos Dassia.
Grivalia Hospitality recently unveiled the progress of a number of its investment projects that include luxury hotel units in popular Greek destinations, like the Avant Mar Luxury Hotel on Paros, the luxury camping (glamping) project in Voula, in the Athenian Riviera (to be ready in February 2024) and the recent announcement of Grivalia Hospitality’s partnership with Six Senses for the development of a big hospitality project on Petalioi island complex in the Gulf of Evia, the Six Senses Megalonisos.
This activity is in line with the multinational brands strengthening their presence in the Greek market.
On Thessaloniki’s unique seafront, the landmark Makedonia Palace Hotel has recently joined the WorldHotels Luxury collection as the brand’s first hotel in Greece. Dusit Hotels and Resorts, a Thai company, is establishing itself in Europe with the opening of its first hotel, a luxurious boutique hotel on the Athenian Riviera. In the same area, the iconic One&Only brand has finally come to Greece with its second property in Europe, the One&Only Aesthesis, in Athens , to open in 2023. One&Only’s second property to open in Greece, One&Only Kéa Island, will then host guests on the closest Cycladic island to Athens, Kea.
Brown Hotels continues to expand its five-star offering with the arrival of Isla Brown Chania, located on the coastline of northern Crete, Mandarin Oriental is opening its first luxury resort in Greece this summer with the launch of this beachfront retreat in Costa Navarino, Messinia and the Lindian Village Beach Resort Rhodes, Curio Collection by Hilton, joining the recently opened Sea Breeze Santorini Beach Resort and The Royal Senses Resort & Spa Crete.