Hotel Brands on the Increase in Greece
Findings of the 2009 Greek Hotel Branding Report
Mitsis, Grecotel, Best Western, Classical, Iberostar, Club alltoura as well as Cyprus-based Atlantica and Louis are the only brands active in Greece with ten or more hotels. Mitsis, the country’s largest hotel brand, operates 4,787 rooms in 16 hotels or 1.2% of the total room capacity available at Greek hotels.
Global brands, such as IHG’s InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn, Accor’s Club Med, Sofitel and Novotel, Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt have established a limited presence of one or two hotels in Greece. Starwood is the only major hotel group that rapidly grew its Greek portfolio in recent years. It now has six Luxury Collection properties and one Westin. The opening of two resort hotels on the Peloponnese in 2010 and the launch of the country’s first W Hotel in Athens in 2011 will double the present room count of Starwood over the next two years.
Interestingly, brands controlled by Europe’s large tour operators claim one fourth of all branded hotels in Greece, as they account for 77 hotels with 18,522 rooms (4.6% of total Greek hotel room capacity). A good part of these accommodations operates on an all-inclusive basis. The German travel conglomerate TUI is dominating this hotel segment by having six of its hotel brands operating in the country. TUI has evolved to become Greece’s largest hotel operator controlling a total of 36 hotels with 8,869 rooms (2.2% of all hotel rooms in Greece) under the Atlantica, Grecotel, Magic Life, Robinson Club, Sensatori and Sensimar brands. Other major European tour operators, such as Thomas Cook, Alltours and Rewe, have also introduced several of their hotel brands to Greece.
Regarding Greek brands, second to Mitsis is Grecotel - a 50:50 joint venture of TUI Hotels & Resorts and N. Daskalantonakis Group - with a capacity of 4,473 rooms in 19 hotels. Other major national brands include Aldemar, Classical, Helios and Divani as well as the rapidly growing newcomers Aquis and Mareblue. There are also several large local brands in the country’s main resort areas, such as Kipriotis on Kos, Esperia on Rhodes and G-Hotels in Chalkidiki.
“Home-grown brands have done their part in introducing new hotel concepts to the country,” Koutoulas said. “Whether they relied on detailed market research or just on their owners’ intuition - those hotel companies brought an air of innovation to the Greek hotel industry. Aldemar, for instance, launched the era of sophisticated hotel spas in Greece back in 1997, with Grecotel taking it to the next level after opening the wellness temple at its Olympia Riviera complex. Grecotel has also recently redeveloped and repositioned several of its resort hotels by aiming at a much more demanding clientele than previously. Its sister brand Classical Hotels is currently experimenting with a new breed of urban hip inns such as the 2 Fashion House and the Baby Grand in Athens, as is also the case with Yes! Hotels. Brands like bluegr Mamidakis and Domotel introduced art-inspired hotels and Grace Hotels started scooping awards two years ago when it launched its smartly designed boutique resorts. Sani stands out as one of the country’s most sophisticated family resorts offering unique services to both parents and kids, and also as the country’s best collection of gourmet restaurants. These are just a few examples of novelties brought by Greek hotel brands.”
A growing number of Greek hotels are opting for consortium membership. With inclusive tour sales from Western Europe steadily declining during most of the present decade, Greek hotel owners are now looking for ways to diversify the sources of their business. Their interest in approaching high-spending FITs as well as in securing meetings and incentive travel groups, has recently led to an accelerating enrolment rate in international hotel consortia such as the Leading Hotels of the World, Great Hotels Organisation and Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Nearly one hundred Greek hotels have joined these networks in 2009.
The 54-page 2009 Greek Hotel Branding Report includes detailed lists with the 113 brands that operate in Greece as well as overall statistics on the Greek hotel industry. All listed brands are grouped into four categories, i.e. international brands, national brands, local brands and Cypriot brands. Several tables contain all 431 hotels with a brand affiliation and their room capacities as well as the 97 hotels that are members of international hotel consortia. The Report also comprises the websites of all 113 hotel brands. For additional information regarding the full report, contact the author directly at email@example.com.
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