An impressive year-round climate means that even in the latter part of the European autumn and into early winter, Greece’s weather is so mild that people can swim in its warm waters, even though there is snow up in the mountains.
Given the extra returns and business openings generated by this enviable natural environment, there has been a huge hike in major foreign direct investment (FDI) in tourism, particularly in the development of new transport and accommodation. The tourism sector enjoyed an outstanding 2022 as more than 31 million visitors arrived by air alone, according to airport data. More than 5,000 cruise liners called at ports, with berthing numbers up by an average of 200 per cent year-on-year.
Kikilias attributes some of this fantastic success to the Greeks’ willingness to embrace the arrival of foreigners, known as ‘Xenia’.
“They give them beverages, water, food and welcome them into their homes and show them a great time,” he says. “This is what we’ve been doing since ancient times and it’s part of the key to our success — we are very happy to have travellers, tourists and foreigners in Greece and we show them a great time, and they feel like they’re at home.
“This is why we bounced back really quickly after the pandemic. We aim to grow this trend and rebrand the country as a viable, sustainable destination, with low-carbon emissions, an environmentally friendly, green and blue economy, in order to become pioneers in what will be the key factor for the years to come for the world; trying to support the planet and pass on our prosperity to future generations.”
Mitsis sets hotel benchmark
Blending first-class service with great locations, impeccable facilities, sophisticated dining and a broad spectrum of options given its 19 upscale hotels and resorts in Athens, Crete, Kamena Vourla, Kos and Rhodes, Mitsis Hotels is a popular choice with international visitors and local families and business clients.
The award-winning group’s rich hospitality portfolio consists of premium collection, all-inclusive, family, city, meetings, social events, spa resorts and wedding hotels. With a passion for rich culinary experiences inspired by Greek and international cuisine, its all-inclusive and à la carte restaurants also serve a range of exquisite refreshments and beverages. “With over 5,000 years of history, Athens is the cradle of the Western world, Greece’s cultural, political and economic hub and has the most important monument of all history; the Parthenon and the Acropolis,” says Mitsis Hotels MD, Stavros Mitsis.
The senior executive notes how in recent years, Athens has become quite famous for tourism investment opportunities. “We have at least 100 new hotels in the city centre that create a buzz in the market and attract new clientele while offering a high-quality product that was not there before.
“Athens has a lot to offer to the modern traveller and it’s a nation that is easy to reach, particularly due to the big airport in Athens which is quite modern. There is a good transportation network from the airport. These are a few of the reasons why Athens has been successful in recent years."
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