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Investors keen on prime Greek hotels

Investors are eyeing prime cuts in the Greek hotel market, as the country's tourism reaches record numbers, and celebrities flock to be instagramed in Greece.

The Wall Street Journal, in an article yesterday by Alkman Granitsas, focuses on the growing interest of foreign investors in Greece's high-end hotel sector.

The article notes the upsurge in interest in Greece as a tourist destination, which has managed to grab the spotlight, partly due to the glitterati that have flocked to its resorts and cosmopolitan destinations like Mykonos.

Besides, Naomi Campbell and Russell Crowe mentioned by the article, the likes of Tom Hanks, Lady Gaga, LeBron James, the Emir of Qatar, Rssian billionaires, and Saudi princes have all shown up in Greece spicing up interest in Greek holidays.

As is obvious, there is an upsurge in Greek tourism with this year tally reaching over 20 million, almost twice the country's population. Even Athens, shunned for years due to negative publicity has recorded un upsurge of 30% this year, while up till now hotels were shutting down.

The WSJ articles mentions the high visibility investments made recently, like the posh Nikki Beach Resort and Spa that opened this summer in a refurbished hotel derelict for two decades, the Astir Palace hotel, a luxury beachfront property in Vouliagmeni, and the Amanzoe, which overlooks the Aegean Sea.

Mr Granitsas was told by industry observers that over €4 billion of new investments are being planned, all of them in the four- and five-star categories, citing that more than two dozen hotel projects stretching from Corfu to Crete are on the drawing boards. About half those projects are being financed by foreign private-equity companies.

However, bureaucratic hurdles, as well as outdated bankruptcy laws and mountainloads of debt plaguing hotels, are some of the impediments cited in the article, hindering even more investments from coming to timely fruition.