Greece’s tourism industry has seen a boost following the successful hosting of the Olympic Games in 2004. And since the re-establishment of a Ministry of Tourism, a new vision of Greece as a year-round, diverse and unique destination is emerging.
According to a WTTC (World Travel & TourismCouncil) report, terrorist attacks and natural disasters present Greece with an opportunity to grow its tourism, since travellers feel safe and secure when on holiday there. Visitors to the destination are climbing and forecasts indicate an annual growth rate of four percent over the next ten years.
This presents new opportunities for growth in untapped sectors. According to John Sotirakos, Development Manager, Porto Zante Resort, more affluent travellers are heading to Greece, resulting in a greater need for luxury resorts.
Porto Zante De Luxe Villas, which won Europe’s Leading Villa at last year’s World Travel Awards, are located on the picturesque island of Zakynthos, which is near to Kefalonia, where Nicolas Cage filmed Captain Corelli’s Mandolin in 2001.
In the near future Porto Zante are planning to add private spas to each villa as part of its drive to target the high-end market. John Sotirakos tells BTN about its recent developments:
BTN: What differentiates the Porto Zante Villas from others?
Sotirakos: Porto Zante is an exclusive hideaway for clients seeking the privacy of a luxury, world-class villa built on a magnificent private beach on the island of Zakynthos. Each villa enjoys private pools and five star amenities such as spa and butler services.
BTN: What are the key selling points of the location?
Sotirakos: Porto Zante is located seven kilometres from the Zakynthos International Airport. Zakynthos Island is famous for the turquoise waters of the sea and also has some of the most well known beaches in Greece, such as the Shoot Break and the Blue Caves.
BTN: Tell us about the new Clubhouse Restaurant?
Sotirakos: We are opening a brand new restaurant, which will combine traditional local specialities with more international influences, including Mediterranean dishes. The restaurant boasts one of the top Greek chefs.
BTN: You are introducing private spas in each of the villas. Why is this an important element for you?
Sotirakos: Ever since we opened in 2002 we have always offered health and beauty services with some of the top therapists from South Africa. These have always proved to be very popular, so this year we are introducing in-villa spas and will be renaming some of our villas. Guests will also enjoy a world-class spa, as well as a private pool in their villa.
BTN: How did the 2004 Olympics affect tourism in Greece?
Sotirakos: Since the Olympic Games, Greece has seen dramatic growth in tourism numbers, with more luxury resorts than ever before. While Greece was not previously one of the top destinations for the affluent traveller, I think there has been a shift which we can see through our clientele. We welcome some of the most famous people from the UK, Russia, the U.S.; we welcome presidents and artists who choose Greece and Porto Zante as a private retreat to enjoy the sun and the sea at its very finest.
BTN: Can you comment on winning a World Travel Award this year?
Sotirakos: I was delighted - it is a big honour to be voted as Europe’s Leading Villa for 2007. This is recognition for the things we have achieved since we opened in 2002. The most important thing for me is when I see happy clients who have chosen us every year as their summer resort.