Interview with Georges Panayotis, founder of Hospitality ON , for The Good Life Magazine by Guillaume Rebière.
What is your diagnosis of the tourism situation in Greece?
Georges Panayotis: In 2014, the government asked us to help boost occupancy. We primarily observed a problem with positioning: in particular, the hotel offer needed to be revised to attract a more upscale clientele. In short, offer something other than an all-inclusive week in a holiday club. This process had already begun, but the crisis accelerated it. Since then occupancy has reached record levels every year, with more qualitative demand.
What challenges lie ahead?
It is necessary to extend the tourist season, which runs from Easter to October, and in order to do that we must target domestic clientele. Greeks need a quality supply that is affordable. For example, the group Accor is trying to open a Mama Shelter and a Jo&Joe there, as these types of properties are well positioned. In terms of hotels, the supply needs to be created and demand will follow.
What is your feeling about the evolution of Greece overall?
The situation is better today. Before the crisis Greeks were rich, but the country wasn't… Today, they pay their taxes, even because there are public services in return. Greece still has a good education system with its roots in the 1950s. This knowledge, combined with the ability to migrate to Australia, means that people are able to make it.