A full recovery of the Greek tourism is witnessed this summer, not only in relation to 2019 the pre-pandemic levels, but also compared to “rival” destinations in the Mediterranean.
Greece was the only country in the EU in July to mark an increase (7%) in commercial flights for a second consecutive month, compared to 2019, whereas in the rest of the EU the number dropped by 15%.
While hit by inflation, hotel prices in Europe this year have dropped below 2019 levels, Greece is an exception, where increases at 5-star hotels are up by 130% over pre-pandemic 2019. Mabrian analysts attribute the high increase in rates at 5-star hotels to the recent opening of luxury hotels, which has increased the average value of accommodation in the country!!
It is no coincidence that turnover for Greek Hotels and villas skyrockets in April-July, aiming to generate an estimated €20 billion by the end of 2022, outdoing pre-Covid revenues (€18.2 billion). Actually, in a report by Skyscanner, Greece is the 3rd most booked country on the planet, for the period July –August 2022!
Ref: .travelpulse.com / virtuoso
Reputation and positioning of Greek tourism
Success of Greek tourism numbers follows the recognition of the superior elements of the industry, and the excellent reputation it enjoys.
Greece is the most popular European country for beach lovers this year, according to the Best Beaches Index 2022, released by vacation rentals search engine Holidu - with 5.4k Google searches every month and 142k+ Instagram hashtags (Italy 2nd, followed by Portugal).
Greece is also at the top 5 of global wellness tourism, 6th in Slingo's global ranking, among the 10 countries that are the best in the world for wellness travel.
No wonder that, citing ReviewPro data, Greece won the 1st place for July in the Global Review Index (GRI), a reputation score used by hotels worldwide, with a score of 87% (followed by Croatia and Cyprus). In June, Greece was also in the lead.
More important, Greece is also among the top 5 countries in the world attracting luxury travellers from United States, ie who spend on average 20 times more than regular tourists, according to a report released by Virtuoso (Greece ranks 5th, only after US, Italy, France and Canada).
Top 10 Most Popular European countries for beachies
More international brands expand in Greece
Following the growth of the sector in the country and the positive investment environment, international brands are rushing to invest in Greek tourism, especially in the islands.
Cases include the luxurious Magma Resort on Santorini as a member of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt -the first Hyatt-affiliated hotel in the Greek islands. The Wyndham Grand Crete Mirabello Bay, a beachfront resort in Crete, also reopened its doors following an extensive renovation of €60 million.
The iconic Xenia on the Cyclades island of Kythnos has been awarded to Israeli Avraham Ravid –the new company took also the local thermal springs, for a fee of €3 million and the plan to develop a a rejuvenation center of more than €25 million.
Hotel Investment Partners (HIP), the biggest owner of hotel units in South Europe, is involved in two major investments in the Ionian. In Zante, the Domes Aulūs Zante opened after extensive refurbishment of €13,5 million, under the Autograph Collection Hotels of Marriott International.
In Corfu, recently opened the 5-star Dreams Corfu Resort & Spa, the first “Dreams” in Greece, managed under the AMR Collection’s Dreams Resorts & Spas brand, after an overall investment of €30 million..
W Hotels, part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio, made its Greek debut with the opening of W Costa Navarino in the Peloponnese, while the Spanish investment fund Azora, bought the 5-star Sheraton Rhodes Resort for €44million from Lampsa Hellenic Hotels.
Following the opening of its Dave Red brand in Athens, Israel-based Brown Hotels recently opened the doors of another one, in the seaside town of Loutraki, while the company also took approval for an €14,2 million investment for a new hotel in the Cape Sounio area, south Attica; the company’s investment plan for the next 3 years includes the opening of a total of 42 hotels in Greece.
A renovation of €20 million will begin shortly at the old Club Med Gregolimano, from its new owner Hova Hospitality, based in Paris. At the same time the Nicolaides Group of Atlantica Hotels, a TUI partnership based in Cyprus, with 40 hotels in Cyprus, Greece and Egypt, is planning its first hotel in Athens.
In May 2022, the Ikos/Sani Group will open its second hotel in Corfu, the Ikos Odisia, in the ex-Club Med facilities, after an on-going investment of about €125 million, while in Santorini just opened its doors the first unit of Nobu Hotels in Greece, a brand that was founded by Nobu Matsuhisa and Robert De Niro.