Global funds drawn to investments in north east Crete

Strong investor interest in tourism related real estate in Crete is mostly focusing on the island's north east, said consultants Danos.

In a first half report on Crete, Danos said global players, including private equity funds and tour operators, are looking at medium to large sized existing hotel units and large seaside plots of land on Greece's largest island.

"At the same time, boutique hotels in the Venetian Harbor of Chania continued to attract the investors’ interest this period as well," it said.

Visitor numbers on the island this year are sharply up, in line with strong growth in Greece's tourism industry. Interest in hotels is expected to further rise after Germany's Fraport took over recently the management of the Chania airport in a move tipped to boost air links to the island and extend the tourist season, said the report.

Among the deals cited by Danos as recently moving ahead in Crete are:

*The Accor Hotels Group launched the first ibis styles hotel unit in Greece, in the center of Heraklion. The investment of approximately 15 million euros concerns the use of an 8,000 square meter building which apart from the hotel unit includes shops and an underground parking space.

*In Sitia, the "Itanos Gaia" investment concerning the development of approximately 22,120 hectares owned by the Ecclesiastical Institution “Panagia Akrotiriani” was approved. This is one of the biggest investments in Crete of more than 100 million euros to be developed by the British company "Loyalward Ltd".The investment relates to the design of tourism facilities including approximately 1,900 beds and infrastructure aiming to attract quality tourism.

*In Elounda area, the Spyros Rani Group plans an investment of approximately 50 million euros concerning the construction of a new luxury hotel complex with 1,200 beds in a privately owned land of 170 hectares.