21 sessions – 100 Top Level Speakers – An International Summit About Greece in New York Business & Investment Opportunities in Greece
Speakers from US & Greek Governments – Private Sector CEOs – International Banks & Investors
The following highly interesting Panel Discussion, entitled “GREEK TOURISM & HOSPITALITY SECTOR – Growth & Investment Opportunities,” was part of the agenda of the 25th Annual Capital Link Invest in Greece Forum, entitled, “Accelerating Investments for Sustainable Growth,” that was held with great success and participation, on Monday, December 11, 2023, in New York, in cooperation with the New York Stock Exchange, the Athens Exchange Group (ATHEX Group), and major Global Investment Banks & Organizations, and under the Auspices of the Consulate General of Greece in New York. The event was sponsored by top companies, and Goldman Sachs and TEN Ltd (Tsakos Energy Navigation) were the Lead Sponsors.
PANEL DISCUSSION: GREEK TOURISM & HOSPITALITY SECTOR – Growth & Investment Opportunities
Moderator: Mr. Nikolaos Kostikas, Partner – Watson Farley & Williams
• Mr. Apostolos Foteinakis, Chief Financial Officer – Blueground
• Mr. Nabil Aquedim, Managing Director Asset Management Division – Goldman Sachs
• Mr. Panos Kouanis, Founding Partner & CEO – GravityBreath Pictures
• Mr. Luis Picas Asmarats, Senior Director of Investments – Hotel Investment Partners (HIP)
Mr. Nikolaos Kostikas, Partner – Watson Farley & Williams, stated: “Despite the adverse economic climate, the consequent crises and the geopolitical challenges, the Greek economy has shown remarkable resilience in the recent years and remains one of the fastest growing economies of Europe. In this context, Greece continues to attract considerable foreign direct investments where tourism and real estate sector has absorbed ca 40 % of total net FDI, attesting to investor confidence in the long term prospects for the Greek tourism brand.
So far 2023 is set to be another great year for Greek hospitality with numerous acquisitions, upgrade projects and new entries underway, whereas this year will be a record year from visitors arrivals and revenues perspectives, even though this year’s figures have been impacted by extreme weather conditions locally and globally.
Having achieved to create an internationally recognised brand of tourism destination, Greece is now entering into actively implementing sustainable developments in tourism sector in order to evolve under the global transition towards green practices and sustainable development policies in the hospitality and travel industry.
Greek government has announced a strategic turn to energy efficiency, environmental-friendly and sustainable projects focusing on the improvement of the qualitative composition of the investments in hospitality and the trend for authentic experience through actively engaging the formation of the touristic product with the local societies. The gradual upscale transformation of the hotel offering facilitated by international brands and operators landing to the market repositioning the business model, the availability of funds for sustainable developments in the sector by the Greek banks and the Recovery and Resilience Fund, and the expansion of further modernising the country’s infrastructure, shall continue to consolidate a unique opportunity for growth in the Greek hospitality sector in 2024 and the years to come.”
Mr. Apostolos Foteinakis, Chief Financial Officer – Blueground, stated: “It is a privilege to participate in the 25th Annual Capital Link Invest in Greece Forum, where we have the honor of presenting Blueground – the world’s leading global PropTech firms, and one of the biggest Greece-originated tech success stories.
In today’s ever-evolving landscape, a multitude of trends is reshaping the way people approach living solutions. In the post-COVID era, corporate housing demand, initially challenged due to the tech recession, is showing signs of recovery. Digital nomads have become mainstream, fueled by the remote work adoption of big tech companies. Folks are enjoying a greater appetite for flexibility, a trend that sees people combining business and leisure–’bleisure travel’–so that housing operators can offer more flexible work arrangements and travel perks to attract and retain top talent.
Against this backdrop of changing preferences and behaviors, Blueground emerges as a strategic thought leader at the intersection of real estate and hospitality. Born in Greece in 2013, Blueground set out to address age-old challenges like expensive long-term hotel stays, inflexible residential rentals, and a shortage of high-quality furnished accommodations.
The company’s journey over the past decade has evolved into a global phenomenon, curating a network of over 15,000 expertly designed and furnished homes across 30+ cities worldwide. We take pride in catering to diverse audiences, from hosting guests seeking quality, fully-equipped living spaces to addressing the corporate housing needs of over 4,000 companies across diverse sectors, to partnering with landlords seeking increased occupancy and predictable cash flow.
Blueground has consistently delivered on a solid product and customer experience by championing:
● proprietary in-house technology and a seamless booking flow
● on-the-ground operational excellence in all local markets
● a host of customer support and service options through a dedicated Guest App
● a high-quality furnished living product defined by contemporary design & expert decor
While Blueground is thriving globally, Greece, as its inaugural market, continues to maintain a strong position across the global portfolio thanks to the commitment of a strong 400+ Athens-based team. With revenue growth of nearly 300% in the past five years, Athens consistently maintains healthy YoY growth, a high utilization rate of 97%, and onboarding approximately +30% of new properties each year, resulting in an impressive portfolio of nearly 1,500 units. An average stay of 9 months in Athens, with over 70% of repeat guests, reflects the city’s remarkable achievements.
As we look to tomorrow, the industry will continue to navigate the usual economic cycles and macro volatility. However, Blueground remains resilient and poised for profitable growth in line with the latest consumer and market movements. As an organization, we will continue to nurture existing cities and venture into new markets as we grow our franchise network worldwide. Recent M&A activity–including Tabas, Nestpick & Travelers Haven–have significantly broadened our portfolio, establishing a leadership position in LatAm, creating a ‘partner network’ with over 18,000 properties in the pipeline, and entering the workforce housing on-demand market across 20,000 locations in the US. Blueground will continue to evolve as a thought leader in the space, thanks to the continued support from our guests, corporate partners, landlords, and wider community that are the driving force in the achievement of our mission to make people feel at home wherever they choose to live. In the meantime, if you are in search of a better home, new city or a more flexible lifestyle,
we invite you to check out Blueground for your next personal or professional adventure.”
Mr. Panos Kouanis, Founding Partner & CEO – GravityBreath Pictures, stated: “Film Tourism stands as a transformative force in shaping a country’s image, with the capacity to further contribute to economic development and market growth. A booming domestic audiovisual sector significantly enhances a nation’s brand, and Greece has been experiencing this positive impact from an unprecedented rise in foreign film and TV productions in recent years. Our company, GravityBreath Pictures, is committed to further upholding this growth, by showcasing the breathtaking beauty of Greece and its locations through its international collaborations. It is both my personal and professional belief that film tourism serves as a strategic tool for elevating Greece’s brand name abroad. Through our hard work and commitment, we can make our country home to high-profile international projects that will further contribute to the global perception of our nation. We are firm believers in the impact of regional market growth for our national economy, and this is why we advocate for the strategic placement of film offices across the country, to provide the best services and highlight the particular and unique filming locations of each region across Greece. Our dedication to a growing domestic creative sector and film industry, underscores the importance of critical infrastructure, including the creation of cutting-edge studios and VFX houses. GravityBreath Pictures actively supports training and re-skilling projects for professionals, especially for female and young professionals who wish to grow further in the industry. We further specialize in maximizing the benefits from the use of significant national incentives for production. These combined efforts establish the groundwork for a growing and competitive film industry in Greece, contributing to the preservation of our cultural heritage while at the same time fostering economic growth.”
SOURCE; CAPITAL LINK FORUM