Strategic investment in hospitality will sustain Greek tourism into 2020, Questex’s MR&H and Enterprise Greece finds

NEW YORK, October 10, 2019 – Questex’s MR&H and Enterprise Greece co-hosted a press conference last week in advance of The Mediterranean Resort & Hotel Real Estate Forum (MR&H) which will take place later this month.

Representatives from Questex, hosts of MR&H, joined Enterprise Greece at the Hilton Athens to discuss investment opportunities, challenges facing the industry and future trends with representatives from across the local, regional and international hospitality, property and business media. 

Following a welcome from Questex and Enterprise Greece, the press conference opened with a presentation by Xenophon Petropoulos, Country Director, Horwath HTL Greece. Petropoulos stated that between January to July 2019, the Greek travel and tourism sector increased international air arrivals by 3.4% and enjoyed revenue increases of 9.7% from residents from within the EU. This revenue increase jumped to 29.6% from visitors originating outside the EU. 1 in 5 Euros spent in the country are from the travel and tourism sector which has a net worth of €37.5bn.

One of the most pressing issues was clearly the recent collapse of the Thomas Cook empire and its wide-reaching affects across the region. It’s suggested that the fallout from money due from the 2019 season plus the value of forward bookings for 2020 could be approaching €1bn in Greece alone. Speaking on behalf of Enterprise Greece, Mr Elias Eliades during the Q&A session, stated that the Greek State, provided immediate support to all Greek enterprises affected by the incident.


Despite the recent situation with Thomas Cook, tourism has proven to be the champion for Greece’s exports, representing 27.3% of GDP and 37.2% of employment (source: INSETE, The Institute of Greek Tourism Confederation). Predictions for 2019 are that the tourism sector will continue at the same high levels. According to latest data from the Bank of Greece, between January and July 2019, the incoming tourist rate increased by 0.6% (15,080 tourists), compared to 14,995 for the same period in 2018. Between January to July 2019, tourism revenues increased by 13.6 % compared to the same period of 2018, reaching €9bn.

Mr. Elias Eliades, Deputy Director of Investment Promotion & Facilitation, Enterprise Greece, made the following statement during the press conference: “The MR&H conference is a high-end conference, held in Athens, Greece for second consecutive year, giving Greece the opportunity to showcase investment opportunities in a very dynamic sector such as tourism. Tourism represents a very dynamic and promising sector of the Greek economy. The timing is excellent and demonstrates a series of niche products for Greece, such as resorts, conference tourism, medical tourism, port utilization and ultimately establishes Greece as the heart for International Tourism Conventions, conference tourism for international conglomerates, organizations and large corporations.”

Alexi Khajavi, Managing Director of EMEA Hospitality + Travel Group, Questex said, “Questex is proud to partner with Enterprise Greece and the Greek private hotel sector in organizing the Mediterranean Resort and Hotel Real Estate Investment Forum (MR&H). Last year, MR&H facilitated connections and business opportunities that directly translated into hundreds of millions of Euros in hotel real estate investment in Greece. This year we are expecting even more foreign capital to attend and greater representation of the local and regional market looking to make connections with the international

market of investors, lenders and operators that attend MR&H. This is the forum where senior leaders in the global and Greek hospitality sector will gather.”

The event returns to Greece for the second year in succession on the 29-31 October and will be held at the Hilton Athens. A fitting venue for Hilton’s celebration of 100 years in hospitality and the continuation of the premise that the group was founded on; “travel can make the world a better place”.

The event is dedicated to the investment, development and operation of resorts and hotels within the Mediterranean region. This niche, but highly specialised area, comprises various elements; hotel, residential, marinas, health clubs, children’s activities, retail, sports facilities, F&B, all of which need to be carefully woven together with seamless operation to create a successful resort.

Stakeholders from leading operators including Nikki Beach Hotels Resorts, Club Med, Grecotel, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and Nobu will attend the event alongside investors from KSL, Starwood Capital Group, Cedar Capital Partners and Dolphin Capital all recognising the value of coming together as a collective to debate, converse and discuss.

Further information and registration details are available on the conference website:

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