Περιοδική έκδοση

Newsletter Δεκέμβριος 2012

ANALYSIS

Tourism: An Economic Pillar

Greece is one of the world’s leading tourism destinations and draws investor interest in a wide variety of subsectors.

Tourism accounts for 15.7% of national GDP and 18.4% of employment in Greece. The sector has grown significantly over the years and remains a strong area for investment. Greece is 17th in tourist arrivals globally and tourism is 24th in total contribution to GDP globally.

Natural and historical legacies favor tourism in Greece, a country with a unique past, a wealth of archaeological treasures and world class monuments and museums. Geography provides spectacular landscapes with pristine beaches and iconic mountains, and a mild, Mediterranean climate that is ideal for year-round tourism; there is an average of 300 sunshine days per year and more than 6,000 islands and islets.

Just a few years ago, Greece hosted the highly lauded 2004 Olympic Games, which proved to be a catalyst for an improved tourism infrastructure.

It is anticipated that tourism arrivals will reach 20 million by 2015.

With a population of around 10 million people, this means that by 2015, there will be 2 tourists for each Greek citizen.

Tourism receipts reached 10.5 billion Euros in 2011, a 10% increase over 2010. Supporting Greece’s tourism industry is a well developed infrastructure:
- More than 9,500 hotels and 1,3 million beds
- 4,500 travel agencies
- A fleet of 160,000 cars for rent
- More than 7,500 tourist coaches
- 500 yacht agencies with 3,500 yachts to explore Greece’s seas
- 29 International airports and 45 airports in total, all ready to host domestic flights
- A comprehensive ferry system connecting the mainland with Greece’s islands
- A rail and intercity coach system that covers most of the country

Greece is ranked 29th in the world, among 139 countries, in terms of tourism competitiveness:
- 5th in tourism infrastructure
- 1st in environmental treaty ratification
- 15th in airport density and in operating airlines
- Significant hotel infrastructure

5 star hotels represent only 3.5% in the distribution of Units and 4 star Hotels represent 12.8%. In spite of progress, Greece has a fairly low average per capita tourism expenditure at 640 Euro.

Today, there is a concentration of hotel supply with 53.8 percent of hotel beds in Crete, Macedonia and the Dodecanese. The past has seen a short tourism period with 50% of visitors arriving between July and September. A key priority is to extend strong arrivals to 12 months.

According to the latest Greek Hotel Branding Report, branded hotels in Greece account only for 4% of the total number and 19% of total availability of rooms, while in other European countries this figure lies between 25 and 40%.

10 + 1 reasons to invest in Greek Tourism sector
1. Greece is an established tourism destination, among the 20 biggest tourism markets in the world
2. Greece has unique, competitive advantages emerging from landscape, location, climate, history and culture
3. Greece is moving toward an extension of seasonality, providing a  huge potential for an increase in tourist visits
4. The low percentage of 5 star and 4 star hotels provides room for expansion in these categories
5. There is a need for quality 3 star accommodation facilities in major cities
6.  There is a low penetration of international hotel chains
7.  The new legislative framework for integrated tourism resorts is highly attractive
8. A number of international public tenders for public tourist assets are in progress and in the pipeline
9. There are numerous combined business opportunities with agri and food companies to promote the globally known Greek diet and gastronomy
10. The Investments Incentives Law and Fast Track Law dramatically facilitate tourism investments
10+ 1: The Government has reached a firm strategic decision to support the sector

The National Bank of Greece has detailed specific subsectors that are especially attractive for investment:
i) residential real estate
ii) conference tourism
iii) integrated resorts, including golf courses
iv) sports tourism, notably sailing and yachting
v) health and medical tourism—Greece could become a center of excellence in the region
vi) history and religious tourism, taking advantage of the many historic sites, vast historic wealth, and international interest