Fosun International Ltd., China’s largest private conglomerate, wants to use its stake in UK-listed tour operator Thomas Cook Group to offer vacation packages in Greece tailored to the needs and preferences of the Chinese market, Senior Vice President Jim Jiannong Qian has told Bloomberg.
“Greece is a very safe place for visitors,” Qian, who is also president of Fosun’s Tourism and Commercial Group, told the agency, adding that the company is currently in talks to acquire existing hotels and resorts, or to build new ones, in the country via its France-based holiday resort chain Club Med.
In the Bloomberg interview, Qian predicted that a spike in Chinese visitors – an estimated 150,000 last year – would lead to the launch of direct flights from Beijing and Shanghai to the Greek capital.
According to the report, the number of Chinese visitors to Greece could reach 1.5 million in the medium term.
Fosun is backing a venture to turn the abandoned airport complex south of Athens into one of Europe’s biggest coastal resorts.