Greece is garnering the attention of foreign investors because the country has successfully entered a new era. The economy is recovering, exports and tourism are booming, privatizations are gathering pace and Greece offers many advantages and opportunities: attractive asset prices, excellent human resources, a geo-strategic location, as well as a breathtaking landscape and Mediterranean climate.
The extensive reforms over the [past] decade and the successful return to the bond markets have inspired new confidence in international investors. Trends in the financial markets reflect that perception of Greece. Greek government bond yields are at record lows and the Athens stock exchange has been one of the best performers in Europe over the past 12 months. Foreign direct investment is at a record high and international ratings agencies have been steadily raising their credit ratings for the country.
But the Greek government is committed to making Greece an even more attractive investment destination by cutting taxes, slashing red tape and pushing ahead with major investment projects. For example, Greece’s parliament recently adopted a sweeping, omnibus investment law aimed at everything from streamlining regulations to promoting the use of online government services. The new law introduces hundreds of changes to reduce bureaucratic hurdles to investment. In addition, new legislation will cut both corporate and personal tax rates, as well as reduce taxes on dividends and corporate bonds to help spur investment. Which are the most promising areas for hospitality investment in Greece? One of Greece’s competitive advantages is the astonishing variety of destinations and attractions the country offers.
Traditionally, the Greek tourism product has been focused on sun-and-sea destinations given the country’s many islands and Mediterranean climate. But there also are spectacular mountain destinations, cultural heritage sites, a vibrant contemporary arts scene, thermal springs and major religious sites. Greece also offers a a unique cuisine and viniculture that are at the heart of the Mediterranean diet. These other facets of Greece lend themselves to adventure and sports tourism, gastronomy and wine tourism, corporate retreats, spa and wellness tourism, religious tourism and so on. A recent PwC study outlines three growth strategies for Greece’s hospitality sector in the years ahead. The three strategies include: the development of secondary destinations, further investment in primary destinations and upgrading the existing hotel stock into higher categories. Of these three strategies, PwC identifies the development of secondary destinations as the most promising in terms of value added.