Scope for growth in ho­tel tak­ings

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

A re­port by the Na­tional Bank of Greece is­sued yes­ter­day pro­poses a plan that could earn Greece an ex­tra 5 bil­lion eu­ros in tourism rev­enues every year by in­creas­ing in­vest­ment, ex­tend­ing the sea­son and pro­vid­ing the right pro­mo­tion for the coun­try as a des­ti­na­tion.

A pro­jected 40 per­cent in­crease in an­nual tak­ings from the cur­rent level will re­quire in­vest­ments of 6 bil­lion eu­ros in ho­tel units and 16 bil­lion in other tourism in­fra­struc­ture. The up­graded in­fra­struc­ture will al­low the coun­try to at­tract higher in­come tourists who could af­ford higher ho­tel prices and would spend more on a range of ser­vices and prod­ucts.

Th­ese in­fra­struc­ture projects could be com­pleted within five years, the re­port ar­gues, if an­nual tourism in­vest­ments re­verted to pre-cri­sis lev­els. Of the ad­di­tional 5 bil­lion eu­ros per year, more than half would head to hote­liers’ cof­fers.

De­spite the mo­men­tum recorded by Greek tourism in the last five years, the dis­tance from ri­val coun­tries re­mains no­table, with great po­ten­tial for fur­ther growth. The av­er­age Euro­pean tourist spends 15 per­cent less in Greece than at ri­val des­ti­na­tions, and 34 per­cent less than the av­er­age at all tourism des­ti­na­tions. Fur­ther­more, the share of high-in­come tourists dropped from 27 per­cent in 2008 to 23 per­cent in 2016.

The share of high-in­come tourists dropped from 27 per­cent in 2008 to 23 per­cent in 2016.

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