Greece is moving to extend their tourism season to a year-round affair, while relieving tourist hotspots like Santorini of pressure. Miltos Kambourides, Founder and Managing Partner of Dolphin Capital Partners, an investment group specializing in Greece tourism, identifies development of the luxury market has a possible solution.
What are your views on the tourism sector in Greece during the last 10 years?
The incredible combination of scenery, landscape, safety, great food, culture and friendliness makes the tourism sector resilient and very competitive worldwide. There is still a lot of potential for growth and if the right investments are made, the next 10 years will be even better.
How challenging is it for you to create a tourist season that lasts the whole year?
With the exception of city tourism, it is indeed very challenging to operate profitably during the winter months. To achieve that, further investment in transportation infrastructure and leisure facilities is required. Both the public and private sector have to contribute towards that. The trend though is positive and we have seen the season extending, albeit in a slow pace, with some destinations as Santorini, for example, where some hotels remained open for the winter last year.
How has over-saturation in Greece’s tourism market affected your development strategy?
My view is that Greece’s luxury tourism segment is currently under-supplied and not even close to being saturated. International luxury brands hold an important place regarding the definition of our product, as well as positioning. We have seen this with our top-tier hotel, Amanzoe. We developed it in an area that was unknown to international markets and today we’re the most expensive hotel in the EU and regarded probably the best resort in the Med. Greece needs a few more resorts like Amanzoe.
Do you believe foreign investors are ready to return to Greece’s tourism market?
In the past few months, optimism seems to have returned to the prospects of investing in Greek hospitality. Investors are interested in making deals with less reluctance. If there is no radical negative change to the current state, we will have some good years ahead of us with foreign funding flowing into the country. Confidence is building and you can see, at least from our side that some very interesting developments are on their way. The best example is the very recent announcement of the Joint Venture between Dolphin Capital and Kerzner International for the development of One&Only Kea Island resort, which we aspire to be, along with Amanzoe, the best resorts in the Med.