Watch out, Greece: the big spenders are swooping in. US private-equity behemoth Blackstone (one of the world’s largest real-estate owners) is reported to be on the cusp of a €500m investment binge on Greek hotels, according to national paper Ekathimerini. Its first purchase – part of a hotel chain with a significant island presence – is rumoured to be worth about €200m and will be carried out by a Luxembourg-based holding company. The management will reportedly stay the same.
Greece’s hospitality industry has been an appealing investment option for a while now and is further boosted by a new right-wing pro-business government. But while the cash injection might sound like good news in the short term, the ultimate aim of private equity is to make maximum profit as quickly as possible. It’s hardly conducive to building a sturdy and sustainable tourism industry that outlasts the current visitor boom and thoughtfully challenges the disruption of apartment-sharing alternatives. Let’s hope Greece’s hoteliers think carefully before selling off the family silver.