Fosun Tourism Group, part of Chinese conglomerate Fosun International and a company focused on the leisure travel market, announced the opening of four new hotels in Greece under the brands of Home cooking and cooks club.
Initially launched by tour operator Thomas Cook, the two hotel brands were acquired by the Fosun Tourism Group in late 2019 and now operate under the subsidiary Fosun Tourism and Culture Group (FTC Group).
Speaking at a press conference in Athens on Thursday, Fosun Vice Chairman, Alessandro Dassisaid the group is now expanding its portfolio of hotels in Greece with new investments in four Greek destinations.
“The new hotels are in Samos, Mykonos, Rhodes and Corfu – four very different but equally attractive and interesting destinations and all coming for the summer of 2022,” Dassi said.
More specifically, from May 1, hotels under the Casa Cook brand will open on Samos (128 rooms) and Mykonos (26 rooms). The group will also open a Cook’s Club hotel on Rhodes (83 rooms) on May 1 and another Cook’s Club hotel on Corfu (195 rooms) on June 1.
With the addition of the new properties, FTC’s portfolio in Greece will reach eight hotelsincluding the four hotels previously operated by Thomas Cook (Casa Cook Rhodes, Cook’s Club Hersonissos, Cook’s Club Tigaki Kos and Cook’s Club Rhodes City Beach).
According to Dassi, FTC sees “great potential” in the Greek market when it comes to introducing new destinations.
New destination: Samos
“This year we are putting a lot of emphasis on Samos as a new destination. There is great interest from our customers and guests to experience new destinations,” he said, adding that Fosun is keen to work with local Greek professionals to introduce and promote new destinations through the Casa Cook and Cook’s Club brands.
“We are now looking at projects on new islands, just beyond the typical tourist hotspots. There are so many islands in Greece that people want to discover. I think the launch of a trendy new hotel can also provide an opportunity for the destination to really put itself on the global tourism map,” Dassi said.
Looking ahead, Dassi said the FTC intends to double its portfolio in Greece by the end of 2023. The group already has ongoing projects on Thassos, Zakynthos, Halkidiki, Kos, Crete and Athens.
Regarding Athens, FTC considers the Greek city as a target destination.
“There is definitely an opportunity to develop properties in Athens and outside the city, such as on the Athens Riviera,” he said.
Explaining the concepts of Casa Cook beachfront boutiques and Cook’s Club bohemian-chic style hotels, the creative director of both brands, Remo Masalasaid the group’s hotels are places where customers can connect and share experiences.
“All our hotels are deeply inspired by the Greek word ‘ready’ (company), which is the fundamental value of the brand… The principle of speech ‘ready’ guides us and before doing anything in our hotels, we first check if it’s ‘adorned-friendly’… We’ve connected all parts of the customer journey in this word,” Masala said.
Explaining why FTC is so focused on the Greek market, Dassi said that apart from Greece being the birthplace of the Casa Cook brand and its “little sister” Cook’s Club, last year the group’s hotels have performed very well despite the challenges. due to the Covid-19 pandemic, travel restrictions and the late opening of the tourist season.
“Across all of our hotels we had 80 per cent occupancy,” he said, adding that Casa Cook Rhodes in particular hit close to 100 per cent last October with rates above 2019 levels before. Covid.
“For us it was a good season despite all the challenges and that’s also down to how Greece handled the pandemic and really builds a reputation as a safe destination… The reputation gained by Greece over the past two years will benefit inbound tourism for many years to come,” Dassi added.
“Greece is at the forefront of hospitality”
Additionally, Fosun’s VP said that the hospitality market is changing and Greece is embracing innovative and fashionable concepts at a faster rate than other sun and beach destinations like Greece. Spain and Italy.
“Greece is at the forefront of hospitality… and that gives us an opportunity because we have different and disruptive brands. Our brands envision a new type of travel and not traditional packaged travel such as all-inclusive vacations,” he said.
The two main markets for the group’s hotels in Greece are Germany and the United Kingdom, followed by Israel and Switzerland.
According to Dassi, the FTC is also trying to build a Greek domestic market.
“Because one of the things we want to do with our hotels is to increase the season. There is a big opportunity to extend the season in Greece for up to nine months,” he said.
FTC’s portfolio currently includes a total of 15 Casa Cook and Cook’s Club hotels in major tourist destinations in Greece, Egypt, Turkey, Spain and Bulgaria.
“We have ambitious growth targets and want to become a leading player in the lifestyle hospitality industry…We have two great brands in which we will continue to invest and grow,” said Dassi, adding that the FTC is also looking to launch new concepts geared towards families and urban-style hotels.
The group aims to grow its portfolio and its goal is to operate 30 hotels worldwide by the end of 2023 with new destinations including Mauritius and Sichuan.
“But Greece will always be the core. We will always see that the majority of our hotels are in Greece,” he said.
The FTC group also includes the operation of the Club Med hotel chain. The historic Club Med Gregolimano in Edipsos on the Greek island of Evia is currently undergoing renovations.
It should be noted that Fosun Tourism Group in 2019 acquired the Thomas Cook brand as well as the online assets of the tour operator, following its collapse. In September 2020, Fosun relaunched the Thomas Cook brand as an online-only travel business.
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