George A. Vernicos - President, Vernicos Yachts

What do you see in store for the mobility of investments in the next 24 months in our country?

The upcoming investments of the next two years will be highly dependent on EU funding and they will be mainly for projects that accelerate innovation in green and digital, which is in line with Europe’s growth strategy and its Recovery Plan.

Do you expect to see a decline in investment levels in your field in 2021?

Global Tourism suffered the greatest crisis on record in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic. International tourist arrivals dropped by 74% in 2020, while an estimated USD 1.3 trillion have been lost in export revenues, according to the UNWTO. As we work to battle the COVID-19 and tackle the economic and social consequences, 2021 will be all about survival and recovery and therefore I expect to see a decline in investments during this year.

In your sector, what are your structural challenges (legislative frameworks, infrastructure projects, etc.) that you think you should be made within the next five years so as to increase tourism – related investments in Greece?

With regards to the yachting tourism, a clear and flexible legal framework is needed. In addition to that, we have to ensure high quality services and facilities offered to our guests that will promote the competitiveness of the yachting sector. Furthermore, the upgrading of the tourism education and training is an important factor that will contribute to the tourism development.

How do you see demand per segment taking shape within the next two years?

There has been a debate and different scenarios as to what the shape of economic recovery might look like. I am of the opinion that tourism industry will be a U shaped and the key factors affecting the market after the pandemic include the sustainability practices, technology innovation and consumer and employees confidence.

Which areas of the country do you think will draw the most interest from investors and why?

The shifting to a green economy and digital transformation, which is in line with the main pillars and EU priorities of the Recovery and Resilience Fund. We already see several companies to take action towards this direction.


Which aspect of the country makes it an attractive investment destination in the field in which you operate?

Despite the need for further development and improvement – mainly in the quality of the services provided – the country is endowed with a particularly rich and diverse natural environment and on top of that has the longest coastline in the Mediterranean and more than 6,000 islands. This is a significant advantage that could make Greece the ultimate destination for yachting.

What do you think the investment landscape in our country will look like five years from now?

Greece has one of the strongest brands worldwide and despite the Covid- 19 crisis, is considered an attractive destination for investments.Considering that the tourism industry will eventually recover and the impact of the EU Recovery and Resilience Fund, the country has a great opportunity to create and investment – friendly business environment. Over the next few years, there will be an upward trend in the holiday home market and Greece is expected to be one of the top investment destinations in Europe.


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