The public company plans to invest 130 million euros to open four hotels in the port city. Symbols of China's hold on Piraeus, these investments are also synonymous with the city's growing appeal.
The new "Silk Road", wanted by Xi Jinping, has become one of the priorities of Chinese diplomacy. Consisting of a set of maritime and rail links between China and Europe, the acquisition of the port of Piraeus in Greece in 2016 was a decisive step in the creation of these new lines.
The Chinese state-owned company Cosco Shipping, which owns 51% of the Piraeus Port Authority (APP), has announced that it wants to extend its influence beyond the quays. The conglomerate, operating mainly in maritime transport, has thus announced its intention to purchase four hotels in the Greek port city:
- La Pagoda: 60 million euros would be allocated to renovate this property into a five-star hotel with 300 rooms
- Hotels in Apochhke: two former warehouses would be converted into four- and five-star properties for an investment of 48 million euros with 150 and 200 rooms respectively
- Hotel in Porto Leone: creation of a five-star property for €20 million
Investments in hotels have become common currency for Chinese players, who spent nearly $9.25 billion in the industry in 2016 - five times more than in the previous year.
At a time when concerns are being raised about the various Chinese acquisitions - which now control nearly a tenth of European port capacity - the threads of the new "Silk Road" are being woven quickly and are intensifying connections between Asia and Europe.
The Middle Kingdom's investments also represent an opportunity for the targeted agglomerations to attract a growing tourism clientele. In 2016, Chinese tourists spent more than $261 billion abroad, twice as much as Americans ($124 billion) that same year.
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