Greece seeks investors to become major health tourism player

The Greek tourism ministry is encouraging inward investment in health and medical tourism projects.  They claim that 110 thermal spas have been licensed or are in the process of being licensed.

Enterprise Greece, the Greek tourism ministry, and both regional and local governments are seeking to promote growth in local communities, with health and medical tourism projects included as vehicles for investments. Some of these opportunities are privatisations of state owned facilities.

Investments in the development of specialised medical centres, elderly care facilities or long-term rehabilitation and wellbeing retreats in Greece are potentially attractive due to the significant overcapacity in medical facilities (which could also be available to buy at reasonable prices), and the adapted regulatory framework, allowing foreign investors to more easily enter this market. German investors are specifically being targeted.

Enterprise Greece claims that the past two years has seen 350 tourism investments in Greece, while 110 thermal spas across the country have already been licensed or are in the process of being licensed.

Key areas where Greece seeks international investment include thematic sun and beach tourism, where specific themes such as wellness or luxury are used to add value and to extend the typical sun and beach holidays, and health tourism.

Greece is investing in the upgrade of its traditional sun and beach product by:

  • Improving the quality and certification of its hotel infrastructure and developing several luxury properties to attract a higher value audience
  • Adjusting legislation to allow the building of beachside villas and homes to enhance its long term stay capabilities for elderly or retirees
  • Improving its transport infrastructure with the upgrading of its regional airports, ports, marinas and road network
  • Developing new thematic products around local cultural or natural attractions to improve average spend per day and extend its tourist period beyond the summer months

As part of this new strategy, private investments in traditional tourist areas such as the Aegean Islands, the Ionian Sea and Crete, and in newly developed destinations such as the Peloponnese are welcome and actively supported.

Find out more about the IMTJ Medical Tourism Summit 2018, held this year in Athens between 21-24 May. Delegates will have the opportunity to visit a variety of hospitals and clinics, organised by Elitour, the Greek Medical Tourism Council.