BUSINESS

Big German tour operator arrives in Greece

By Stathis Kousounis

Germany’s second biggest tour operator, Der Touristik, is making a dynamic entry into the Greek hotel market with the creation of a subsidiary which will see the extension of its activities to hotel unit lease in this country.

Kathimerini understands that the tourism giant, which has an 18 percent market share in the German travel market, is about to establish “Der Touristik Hotels & Investments Greece” for the development of its hotel activities.

The same sources say that the German group recently signed an agreement for the long-term lease of a luxury hotel in Greece and will undertake its management. The Asterias Hotel at Afandou on Rhodes will open next year after the completion of a 20-million-euro investment program. The Cypriot-owned unit will have a capacity of 450 beds and will come under the umbrella of the German group’s LTI Hotels chain.

The regional sales director of Der Touristik Hotels responsible for the Greek and Cypriot markets, Fotis Fakes, will be the head of the new subsidiary.

The aim of Der Touristik, which until this year had only signed franchise deals with seven hotels on Rhodes, Crete, Corfu and at Halkidiki, is to take its deals in Greece to nine next year and 15 in the not-too-distant future. It is already searching for more hotel units for leasing or franchising deals on Corfu and Crete.

The German tour operator expects to bring some 150,000 tourists to Greece this year, posting an increase of up to 9 percent compared with 2013. Next year the new deals will further strengthen the flow of visitors to Greece and the company expects growth of over 10 percent for 2015 compared with this year. Der Touristik arranges travel deals for some 6 million passengers to worldwide destinations annually.

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