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Hotel Brands on the Increase in Greece
 
Findings of the 2009 Greek Hotel Branding Report
 

 
Dr. Dimitris Koutoulas, June 4, 2009

Hotel brands have been expanding their presence in Greece over recent years, yet their share still remains low when compared to other European countries. According to the just published 2009 Greek Hotel Branding Report, 4% of the country’s hotels - controlling 19% of the total room capacity - have an affiliation with one of 113 brands.
 
The author of the study is Dr. Dimitris Koutoulas, an Athens-based tourism and hospitality consultant. “When I first published the Greek Hotel Branding Report in 2005, only 3% of the country’s hotels and 17% of all hotel room capacity had an affiliation with a brand,” Dr. Koutoulas said. “Over the last four years, there has been a significant growth in branded hotels, with their capacity growing by over 20,000 rooms to a total of 77,464 rooms in 431 hotels in 2009. However, the share of branded hotels in Greece is still lower than in other countries. This is in part attributable to the heavy reliance on the inclusive tour market, as many Greek hoteliers look to tour operators to fill their rooms.”
 
Mitsis, Grecotel, Best Western, Classical, Iberostar, Club alltoura as well as Cyprus-based Atlantica and Louis are the only brands active in Greece with ten or more hotels. Mitsis, the country’s largest hotel brand, operates 4,787 rooms in 16 hotels or 1.2% of the total room capacity available at Greek hotels.
 
Global brands, such as IHG’s InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn, Accor’s Club Med, Sofitel and Novotel, Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt have established a limited presence of one or two hotels in Greece. Starwood is the only major hotel group that rapidly grew its Greek portfolio in recent years. It now has six Luxury Collection properties and one Westin. The opening of two resort hotels on the Peloponnese in 2010 and the launch of the country’s first W Hotel in Athens in 2011 will double the present room count of Starwood over the next two years.
 
Interestingly, brands controlled by Europe’s large tour operators claim one fourth of all branded hotels in Greece, as they account for 77 hotels with 18,522 rooms (4.6% of total Greek hotel room capacity). A good part of these accommodations operates on an all-inclusive basis. The German travel conglomerate TUI is dominating this hotel segment by having six of its hotel brands operating in the country. TUI has evolved to become Greece’s largest hotel operator controlling a total of 36 hotels with 8,869 rooms (2.2% of all hotel rooms in Greece) under the Atlantica, Grecotel, Magic Life, Robinson Club, Sensatori and Sensimar brands. Other major European tour operators, such as Thomas Cook, Alltours and Rewe, have also introduced several of their hotel brands to Greece.
 
Regarding Greek brands, second to Mitsis is Grecotel - a 50:50 joint venture of TUI Hotels & Resorts and N. Daskalantonakis Group - with a capacity of 4,473 rooms in 19 hotels. Other major national brands include Aldemar, Classical, Helios and Divani as well as the rapidly growing newcomers Aquis and Mareblue. There are also several large local brands in the country’s main resort areas, such as Kipriotis on Kos, Esperia on Rhodes and G-Hotels in Chalkidiki.
 
“Home-grown brands have done their part in introducing new hotel concepts to the country,” Koutoulas said. “Whether they relied on detailed market research or just on their owners’ intuition - those hotel companies brought an air of innovation to the Greek hotel industry. Aldemar, for instance, launched the era of sophisticated hotel spas in Greece back in 1997, with Grecotel taking it to the next level after opening the wellness temple at its Olympia Riviera complex. Grecotel has also recently redeveloped and repositioned several of its resort hotels by aiming at a much more demanding clientele than previously. Its sister brand Classical Hotels is currently experimenting with a new breed of urban hip inns such as the 2 Fashion House and the Baby Grand in Athens, as is also the case with Yes! Hotels. Brands like bluegr Mamidakis and Domotel introduced art-inspired hotels and Grace Hotels started scooping awards two years ago when it launched its smartly designed boutique resorts. Sani stands out as one of the country’s most sophisticated family resorts offering unique services to both parents and kids, and also as the country’s best collection of gourmet restaurants. These are just a few examples of novelties brought by Greek hotel brands.”
 
A growing number of Greek hotels are opting for consortium membership. With inclusive tour sales from Western Europe steadily declining during most of the present decade, Greek hotel owners are now looking for ways to diversify the sources of their business. Their interest in approaching high-spending FITs as well as in securing meetings and incentive travel groups, has recently led to an accelerating enrolment rate in international hotel consortia such as the Leading Hotels of the World, Great Hotels Organisation and Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Nearly one hundred Greek hotels have joined these networks in 2009.
 
The 54-page 2009 Greek Hotel Branding Report includes detailed lists with the 113 brands that operate in Greece as well as overall statistics on the Greek hotel industry. All listed brands are grouped into four categories, i.e. international brands, national brands, local brands and Cypriot brands. Several tables contain all 431 hotels with a brand affiliation and their room capacities as well as the 97 hotels that are members of international hotel consortia. The Report also comprises the websites of all 113 hotel brands. For additional information regarding the full report, contact the author directly at d.koutoulas@gmail.com.

Share of branded hotels among the hotel sector of Greece in 2009

 

Source: The 2009 Greek Hotel Branding Report by Dimitris Koutoulas

 

 
The 20 largest hotel brands of Greece (based on total hotel rooms) in 2009

 

 

Brand

No. of Hotels

No. of Rooms

Average No. of Rooms

Type of Brand

1

Mitsis Hotels

16

4,787

299

National

2

Grecotel (TUI, N. Daskalantonakis Group)

19

4,473

235

National

3

Iberostar

12

3,377

281

International

4

Club alltoura (Alltours)

10

3,206

321

International

5

Louis Hotels

10

2,831

283

Cypriot

6

Atlantica Hotels (TUI)

11

2,634

239

Cypriot

7

Aldemar Hotels & Spa

8

2,450

306

National

8

Aquis Hotels & Resorts

8

2,235

279

National

9

Kipriotis Hotels

5

1,706

341

Local

10

Classical Hotels (N. Daskalantonakis Group)

11

1,569

143

National

11

Helios Hotels & Resorts

7

1,566

224

National

12

Esperia Hotel Group

6

1,563

261

Local

13

G-Hotels

5

1,521

304

Local

14

Divani Collection

7

1,464

209

National

15

Best Western

22

1,367

62

International

16

Mareblue Hotels & Resorts

5

1,300

260

National

17

Chandris Hotels & Resorts

5

1,253

251

National

18

Aegean Star Hotels

5

1,237

247

National

19

Capsis Hotels & Resorts

2

1,156

578

National

20

Star Hotels

5

1,122

224

National

 

Total

169*

40,002*

237

 

 

* without double-counting the hotels featuring two brands (10 hotels with 2,815 rooms)
Source: The 2009 Greek Hotel Branding Report by Dimitris Koutoulas


Branded Hotels in Greece in 2009

 

 

No. of hotels

Share of the country's hotels

Total room capacity

Share of the country's total room capacity

Average no. of rooms per hotel

International Hotel Brands

104

1.1%

21,667

5.4%

208

National Hotel Brands

155

1.6%

31,639

7.9%

204

Local Hotel Brands

167

1.7%

23,267

5.8%

139

Cypriot Hotel Brands

26

0.3%

6,723

1.7%

259

All Branded Hotels of Greece

431*

4%*

77,464*

19%*

180

All Greek Hotels

9,705

100%

402,967

100%

42

 
* without double-counting the hotels featuring two brands (21 hotels with 5,832 rooms)
Source: The 2009 Greek Hotel Branding Report by Dimitris Koutoulas

Growth of branded hotel room capacity in Greece between 2005 and 2009 per type of brand

 

* without double-counting the hotels featuring two brands

Source: The 2009 Greek Hotel Branding Report by Dimitris Koutoulas
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Contact:

Dr. Dimitris Koutoulas
Tourism and Marketing Consultant
Athens, Greece
Tel.: (+30) 693 6208689
Fax (+30) 210 9967154
E-Mail: d.koutoulas@gmail.com

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Also See: Greek Resort Hotels Operating Under a State of Oligopsony; Study Explores the Market Influence of European Tour Operators on Greek Hotels / October 2006

Greek Hotels Among the Least Developed in Regard to Branding; Only 3.4% of the Country’s Hotels Have an Affiliation with a Greek or an International Brand / November 2005
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