Donkey awaits tourism rebound

Donkey awaits tourism rebound

The family of entrepreneur Christos Joannou, known in the market from the Avax construction company, has a business plan for its hotels that provides for an increase of annual turnover to 50 million euros and operating profits to €15 million within four years along with the entry of a strategic investor.

The new hotel group has been named Donkey Hotels and will shortly absorb domestic and international investment capital that will contribute to the further development of the company in the sector, say group sources.

Donkey Hotels announced its foundation on Monday through the absorption of YES! Hotels by Athinaion SA, which controls the landmark Athenaeum InterContinental. In the coming year a new, five-star hotel unit on Santorini will be added to the group, offering 121 rooms, with about half of them boasting a private swimming pool.

The new group will manage a total of 836 five-star rooms and its permanent staff will exceed 650 employees, the same sources add.

“With this move we aspire to highlight our successful presence in the hotel sector and create economies of scale and synergies that will give a great momentum to Donkey Hotels, while focusing on the strong prospects for tourism in our country after the end of the pandemic,” Joannou stated.

The impact of the pandemic has indeed been huge in tourism, as Bank of Greece data released on Monday showed a 76.5% annual decline in both tourism arrivals and revenues last year compared to 2019, as travel receipts amounted to €4.28 billion against €18.17 billion in the record year of 2019. In December alone travel takings declined 88.6% year-on-year and visitors slumped 86% from December 2019.

Regarding the markets Greece draws its visitors from, based on the data for the first 11 months of 2020, Germany (Greece’s biggest market) showed a 61.4% decline in revenues to €1.132 billion and France recorded a 66.3% fall to €366 million.

Receipts from the United Kingdom – the second largest market for Greece – shrank 70.7% to €745 million in January-November 2020, while the drop from US visitors was at 93%.

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