Friday, 8 April 2022

Q&A with Georgios Filiopoulos of Enterprise Greece at Hospitality Insights


Q&A with Georgios Filiopoulos of Enterprise Greece at Hospitality Insights

Confidence, security and comfort are key to tourism’s revival – Q&A with Georgios Filiopoulos of Enterprise Greece

Georgios Filiopoulos, CEO of Enterprise Greece looks beyond recovery of the industry to predict where there will be growth ahead of the International Hospitality Investment Forum (IHIF) in Berlin where he will be hosting a breakfast roundtable on the Greek market and joining a panel on promoting tourism and hospitality investment.

Hospitality Insights: Beyond recovery, what do you view as the major changes in the hospitality sector in 2022?
Georgios Filiopoulos : The pandemic brought changes in consumer behaviour that are still evolving and will be part of the post-pandemic reality for the hospitality industry. Part of the recovery will be responding to these changes and staying agile.

According to the latest survey by, emerging trends are: greater consumer awareness of sustainability and ‘green’ practices; taking trips closer to home by using private transportation; longer stays to work remotely; and rural tourism.

All aspects of wellness, mental and physical, have become more prominent priorities for travellers. This includes being more aware of hygiene and health procedures in accommodation, transportation and other travel services; expecting greater transparency and clear communication; and seeking out services that promote wellness and self-care, like fresh and organic food, in-house exercise and sports facilities, medical support etc.

These changes impact how, why, when and where consumers decide to spend their money. The lifting of travel restrictions and the administration of the vaccine are not enough for people to travel again. Confidence, security and comfort will be key to reviving tourism, and hotels will need to contribute to generating peace of mind for travellers. Transparency with sanitary procedures, strict health and safety regulations and reconditioning of common areas are just some measures hotels will need to adjust to for the long term.

Hospitality Insights: Which segments do you see as having the biggest potential for growth?
Filiopoulos : Some trends that we have already seen in the hotel business have now become a source of competitive advantage. New hotel projects that do not consider digitalization, health & wellness features, sustainability and more diversified products will lag behind other more visionary leaders.

Hospitality has been heavily affected by the pandemic, but it also showed that it is an industry with very good reflexes that can adapt quickly to new conditions. In Greece, we have seen that the hospitality services have shifted towards more exclusive services, offered in resort-type developments all over the country. Investments currently in progress, as well as investments planned by top players in global tourism, are in line with this trend, meaning that all-inclusive resorts with high-end services are what we expect to see in coming years.

Apart from that, and since hospitality services in Greece are also provided by non-branded, smaller-scale operators, we have seen that renovation and modernization of these smaller units is also happening all over the country, resulting in significant upgrades.

Greek tourism outperformed even the most optimistic best-case scenarios and achieved a spectacular comeback last year. And all this while the banking sector made great strides toward normalization, reducing its exposure to nonperforming loans and putting itself in a position to support growth.

This year, Greece’s economy is expected to grow at a robust 4% to 5% rate, following a better-than-expected 8.5% rebound in 2021 – one of the fastest growth rates in Europe last year. The latest data also show that Greece saw record foreign direct investment in 2021 – reaching €5 billion and the largest FDI inflow since 2002 – confirming that the country is on the right track and in a dynamic growth phase.

As already identified, all-inclusive resorts, operated by international brands as well as catered holiday homes offering 5-star services, are the main focus of global investors. Greece has managed to position itself as a high-end destination, which not only offers the tranquillity and natural beauty of its landscape, but combines its natural advantages with hospitality services that can satisfy the most demanding clientele.

Hospitality Insights: What are you looking forward to with regards to your participation in IHIF?
Filiopoulos : We are always present at IHIF, to identify global trends, to present investment opportunities in Greece and to showcase the country's leading industry to the international hospitality community.

We will be hosting a breakfast roundtable during IHIF and participate in other networking, to share our plans and connect with the most influential and dynamic players in hospitality.

We are in a challenging period with rapid changes, but this also brings opportunities to reposition our industry for sustainable growth. Greece has taken a bold and forward-looking position on the green transition and aims to make Greek tourism a beacon for the future. IHIF is a uniquely prestigious forum, and we look forward to productive and interesting discussions during the conference.

Πηγή: hospitalityinsights