Miltos Kambourides, Founder and Managing Partner, Dolphin Capital Partners joined the expert panel covering Getting Deals Done in the Mediterranean: Hear Directly from the Dealmakers at MR&H 2018. Read his Q&A below to see where the deals are being made.
1. How would you characterize the overall state of hotel investment and development in the Mediterranean region?
Mediterranean has always been a top world destination and as such it attracted hotel development since the early years of tourism. A lot of hotels though have become outdated or tired and in my view there is room for new or updated product. There was a pause in investment and development activity post the 2008 crisis but in the past two years we have seen action in the sector and the momentum seems to be growing.
2. In what markets are you seeing the most amount of investment activity and why?
The investment activity is dominated by distressed assets sales in Spain and Portugal. We are seeing new developments though everywhere these days, including Greece and Cyprus, although Turkey is not that active as it used to be due to economic and political conditions.
3. What is the biggest obstacle for a foreign investor searching for a project to invest in?
In Greece’s case, which we are very familiar with, high taxation is the biggest issue when it comes to investing in operating assets. When it comes to development, the absence of clear planning laws and land registry, combined with bureaucracy, make the job of investors very difficult.
4. What are the types of hotels and resorts being built and what has the best ROI? Branded? Select- or Full-Service? Multi-use Developments?
Every type offers opportunities for high returns. The difficult ones are small and un-branded hotels. Dolphin’s business strategy is to invest in ultra-luxury resorts and branded residences as we do believe that Greece and the rest of the Mediterranean do not have enough of this product.
5. How do you compare hotel development in the Mediterranean versus other classes of real estate? Is it a safer or riskier bet?
I would say that due to the fact that the hotel clients are all over the world, hotels are better hedged against downturns compared to other classes where demand is driven by local consumers.
6. What are you most looking forward to at MR&H this year?
Hearing what other have to say and meeting friends from the industry who I have not seen for some time.