LONDON, September 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Christopher Egleton, Executive Chairman of Minoan Group Plc (minoangroup.com), a fast-growing AIM-listed Travel and Leisure company, responds to positive predictions for Greek Q3 growth.
After six years of recession, this week Gikas Hardouvelis, Greece's finance minister, predicted the country will enjoy positive growth for the first time in the third quarter since the financial crisis.
One key contributor to the economic revival has been the travel industry. Tourist numbers are up and demand is growing again, with 21 million tourists expected to visit this year, almost double the country's population.
However, while the number of holidaymakers coming to Greece boomed over the summer, their spending has not. In 2013 it was down 1.9% on the previous year and is expected to show only a modest increase from €650 euros in 2013 to 700 this year. In 2000 the average spend per capita was €813.
In a recent report, international management consultants PwC stressed that investment into Greek tourism and infrastructure would 'increase national income.' To achieve this, Greece needs more integrated and specialised resorts to attract higher-spending tourists.
Foreign capital is funding many of these luxury leisure and residential developments: about half the hotels and resorts planned are financed by foreign companies. Given that experts anticipate Greece will need to spend €3.3 billion annually to meet tourism targets, the time is right for foreign public/private investment.
At Minoan, we hope to set an example with our resort planned for the Cavo Sidero peninsula on Crete's north eastern coastline, which will include a number of five-and six-star hotels. The variety of facilities offered, including a heathland golf course, along with the quality of accommodation, ensures that the site attracts among its clientele, the highest-paying tourists and visitors to Greece.
Our Cavo Sidero development aims to generate income in the long-term. The project will create 1,200 sustainable jobs, and a further 500 during the construction period, making it a reliable employer and generator of revenues for the locality and for Greece.
Hardouvelis believes investors "see there is only upside potential in the country." If Greece's travel industry can extend the holiday season by focusing on its cultural attractions as much as its excellent coasts, islands and beaches and can upgrade its tourist assets, then it could play an even more important role in Greece's gathering recovery.
SOURCE Minoan Group