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New Greek tourism campaign launched

New Greek tourism campaign launched
22 Jul 2013

With the government expecting to attract 17 million tourists and 11 billion euros to Greece this year, a new video campaign is underway at the peak of the tourism season.

The campaign, entitled Greece: the richest place in the world, comprises posters and four animation videos.
The first 49-second video was released a few days ago, and it is solely in Greek with no English subtitles.

Entitled At the beach, it features a visitor about to start his holiday in Greece and urges domestic tourists to quit their bad seaside habits.

"In the most beautiful country in the world, under the beautiful Greek sun, a visitor is preparing to enjoy their holidays... on a magical beach with crystal-clear waters and super-clean sand... amid tranquillity, hospitality and serenity," a narrator says, before the peaceful setting is destroyed by rubbish, noise and other bad Greek seaside habits.

The new tourism campaign has been designed by the Thessaloniki-based Beetroot Design Group and has met mixed reactions thus far.

Courtesy of neoskosmos.com - just click below to go to their website↓


Message from the Proprietor


Bad and Good News!


The Greek National Tourist Office scandal has become a shameful reminder that in any government of any country corruption is always a possibility.  However, in Greece's case, where every Euro is precious, it seems doubly appalling that a fat cat should even contemplate ripping the Greek people off.  They deserve better!  Hopefully, the legal action taken against the thieves who have looted the meagre riches of a department that is probably the most important in Greek government, if you accept that Greek tourism is the big earner here, should reveal the full truth and make an example of the abject greed and opportunism that is at once monumentally grotesque during this time of extreme financial restrictions.  While many people in Greece cannot often afford medical treatment, it seems excessively disgraceful that anyone could steal such massive quantities of cash.  Of course, what Greek tourism needs right now is the money to publicise Greece and her alluring treasures, and yet greed has deprived her of even that resource; the ability to finance a full and appropriate marketing campaign.

Having said all this, there is some emerging good news; Greek tourism is making a comeback!  Bookings are up and and it seems the world is now coming back to Greece.  This is indeed joyous, most excellent news!  After so much work done to encourage visitors to once again visit Greece and spend some money, it seems Greece has proved too alluring and attractive to ignore as a truly wonderful holiday destination.  The rich panoply of attractions, history, myth, cuisine and the glorious  combination of people, climate and scenery, is indeed an intoxicating and heady mix that is the epitome of a relaxing and exhilarating vacation. Greece is dripping with interesting and beautiful wonders and hopefully this new trend of visiting Greece and her fabulous islands, will continue and do much to help the financial heart of this great nation.  A country so historic and so beautiful cannot be ignored;  it must be treasured, revered and enjoyed!


KMWarwick   16th July 2013

Proprietor of Warwick Greek Travel Guide




It is a fact that around 20% of all the cash spent by tourists in Greece is spent by gay males and females; not something some people in the world's societies, or the travel trade, would like to admit or even acknowledge, but then even here fact may be stranger than fiction and essentially overrides prejudice and homophobia. That the so-called 'pink Euro/dollar/pound', etc, is a powerful persuader for travel traders that gay people actually spend, on average, more  cash per head than, say, heterosexuals, who are often with their kids to subsidise; this is a truism accepted throughout the international tourist circuit by hard realists who have no qualms or illusions about the facts of life and all that. 

Gay people not only deserve respect but they need to be accepted and credited for their spending power - as well as their right to be different.  The great irony here is that the vast majority of gay men and women often pass for straight in any event, often via the presumptions of the masses including travel traders; how can you tell?  You just cannot, unless the gay man or woman broadcasts it. Just assuming someone is gay is not the thing to do in Greece, simply because it carries such a traditional condemnatory ethos, and besides most Greeks still hold homosexuality as a sin, and even as an evil thing to be abhorred.  That Greece is one of the most anti-gay countries is surprising, since the incidence of open homophobic attacks (verbal or physical) are rare.  That is, thankfully, down to Greek manners and their fairly tight social skills that dictates a big no-no to even to discuss such a controversial issue as the 'gay' factor, let alone make a public issue of it.  Sin is, after all, not a good thing to the religious or devout social etiquette complier, even if their ethos is wrong to many.

My message to all travel and hotel trading individuals and companies in Greece is this:  do not bite the hand that feeds you! Far better to accept the fact that the pink Euro is  a significant contributor to the Greek balance of payments and respect the fact that although gay, these human beings really do appreciate Greece and all her varied beauty.  Let them be themselves and make them welcome!

KMWarwick 2013


Greek Tourism Scandal Grows, $15.8 Million Missing

Andy Dabilis

ATHENS – Following the arrest of five former officials at the Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO) on charges of attempting to steal funds, inspectors are reportedly examining whether some 12 million euros ($15.8 million) is missing from the agency. Tourism Minister Olga Kefaloyianni ordered a probe into the GNTO’s finances after General Secretary Panos Livadas admitted there were some “gaps in the accounts,” following the arrests, including that of a former GNTO consultant, Costas Vasilakos, on embezzlement charges.






By newseditor 12 March 2013

Tourism Ties Between Greece And Japan To Grow Stronger

Japan’s Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Minoru Kiuchi and Greek Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni in Tokyo.

Japan’s Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Minoru Kiuchi and Greek Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni in Tokyo.

The possibility of launching a direct Athens-Tokyo air route to boost tourist traffic between Greece and Japan was discussed today, 12 March, in a meeting in Tokyo between Greek Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni and Japan’s Senior Vice-Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Yosuke Tsuruho.

During the meeting, both sides examined ways to form a tourism cooperation to promote Greece in the Japanese market and they agreed on combined efforts to increase tourism for both countries.

Given the economic crisis afflicting Greece, Mrs. Kefalogianni tried to change Greece’s image in Japan and highlighted the major structural changes taking place in the country.

The tourism minister invited Japanese journalists to Greece so they could see for themselves the true face of Greece and get to know the country’s culture and beauty.

Mrs. Kefalogianni also met with Japan’s Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Minoru Kiuchi who highlighted the close cooperation and mutual respect that characterizes both countries.

The two ministers discussed bilateral issues and ways to cooperate on issues of national and international interest.

When talking to the press, the Greek tourism minister expressed optimism and said she expects an increase in arrivals from Japan to Greece.

“Japanese tourists are of a high quality level and this could contribute to upgrade Greek tourism,” she said.


By newseditor 15 July 2013

Arrivals To Greece Are On The Up And So Are Hotel Prices

Arrivals to Greece are increasing and so are the country’s hotel prices, recent data has shown.

While officials in Greece are predicting a record-breaking 17 million tourists this year, the average hotel rates are increasing this month in comparison to June and last July, according to online booking company Trivago.

Santorini’s Imerovigli occupies the first place on Trivago’s list of most expensive destinations in Greece for July 2013 with an average hotel price for a double room at 335 euros. Imerovigli is followed be two other destinations on Santorini, Oia and Firostefani, with average prices at 319 euros and 288 euros respectively.

The list continues with Elounda on Crete (261 euros per night), Agios Stefanos on Mykonos (251 euros), Mykonos town (200 euros), Fira on Santorini (199 euros), Kardamena on Kos (150 euros), Agios Nikolaos on Crete (144 euros) and Vasiliki on Lefkada (158 euros).

Biggest price hikes

euros_hotelsDestinations with the largest increase in the average hotel price are Vasiliki on Lefkada that increased prices by 78 percent compared to last July, followed by Kardamena on Kos with a 72 percent increase compared to last year and Agios Stefanos on Mykonos with a 67 percent increase compared to July 2012.

The list of the five destinations with the largest price increase is complemented by Mykonos town and Ialysos on Rhodes with an increase rate of 59 percent.


By newseditor 15 July 2013

New Metro Stations Open 26 July In Athens

metro_athensFour new metro stations on Vouliagmenis Avenue - Ilioupoli, Alimos, Argyroupoli and Elliniko - on the southern extension of line two (red line) will open and begin serving passengers as of Friday 26 July, it was recently announced.

The Syntagma-Elliniko journey is expected to take 14 minutes and it is estimated that some 80,000 commuters will use the new stations daily.

The Haidari station on line 3 (blue line) should open in early September 2013.

In addition to the new metro stations, further metro extensions of line 3 are planned on the Haidari-Piraeus section, with new stations in Agia Varvara, Korydallos, Nikaia, Maniatika, Piraeus and the Municipal Theater. The stations should be complete by 2017.

By newseditor 10 July 2013

Survey: Greeks Will Stay Home Again This Summer

Not many Greeks will take a vacation this year, according to the General Consumer Federation of Greece (INKA).

Not many Greeks will take a vacation this year, according to the General Consumer Federation of Greece (INKA).

Although Greece may be getting ready to welcome 17 million foreign tourists this year, according to forecasts, the Greeks themselves will most likely stay home this summer.

The prolonged recession of the country’s economy and the unpopular austerity measures – that have included tax hikes, salary and pension cuts and high income tax payments – have many Greeks considering not to take a vacation this summer.

The annual nationwide survey conducted by the General Consumer Federation of Greece (INKA) showed that 73 percent of Greeks said they had not planned to take a vacation this summer – an increase from 69 percent last year.

Greeks are said to account for a quarter of tourists in the country annually.

The reasons Greeks are staying home this year are: financial (70 percent), job and income insecurity (20 percent), professional obligations and other reasons (10 percent).

The survey, in which 545 consumers participated via telephone interviews during 1-8 July, showed that 40 percent of those taking vacations would stay away for only four days.

The survey also showed that 52 percent would reside at a privately owned summerhouse, 28 percent at a family or friend’s summerhouse and only 20 percent would stay at a hotel or rented room.

INKA also calculated that the minimum cost for a 15-day holiday for a four-member family added up to some 2,700 euros.

In regards to Greeks traveling to international destinations during the summer, a 50 percent drop is expected.

“Greeks appear more pessimistic than all Europeans compared to last year,” INKA noted.




Ryanair offers to grow Greece Tourism in return for lower costs


Ryanair yesterday presented a Greek tourism rescue plan to the Transport Minister Kostas Chatzidakis which could see Ryanair grow its Greek traffic to 10 million  passengers per annum by 2016, on the day Ryanair opened its 1st Greek base (and 57th in total) at Chania.

Ryanair has carried over 2 million passengers to/from Greece in less than 3 years since its first flight arrived to Kos from Frankfurt Hahn in May 2010. Ryanair's summer 2013 schedule will offer 85 Greek routes from 10 airports (including 2 new airports at Kalamata and Zakynthos), delivering over 1.4 million per annum.

The airline highlighted traffic at Greece's main gateway Athens Airport has fallen by 22% from its peak in 2008 at 16.4 million to 12.8 million passengers in 2012, Ryanair said it could deliver up to 4 million passengers p.a. if a realistic low-cost deal were made available at Athens Airport, with a further 2 million passengers at Thessaloniki and 4 million passengers across Ryanair's 10 other Greek airports.

Ryanair Deputy CEO Michael Cawley said "In 2013, Ryanair will carry over 1.4m passengers through Greek airports, sustaining 1,400 jobs and underlining Ryanair's commitment to Greece's tourism industry.Tourism is one of the few industries that can quickly provide the economic boost that Greece so badly needs with new jobs and high-spending international tourists.

Ryanair has carried over 2m passengers to/from Greece with these passengers saving over €140m by switching to Ryanair's low fares.However, while our 10 Greek airports continue to grow, traffic at Athens continues to decline as it misses out on Ryanair's traffic and tourism jobs growth, as well as Ryanair's low fares, while its management refuses to engage with Ryanair."

In addition Ryanair has made proposals to Governments in Ireland ,Italy, Spain over the last three years to grow passenger numbers incrementally over a four or five year period in return for lower airport costs, thus positively growing their perspective tourist industries generating jobs directly and in the wider economy.

The proposal made to the Irish Government was for 6 million additional passengers, and the Italian government for 13 million additional passengers and the Spanish government for 20 million additional passengers.

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 26th April 2013 All Rights Reserved.


Eleni Chrepa, Bloomberg

Apr 23, 2013 7:25 am

The number of international visits to Greece fell 5.5 percent last year, as political turmoil during elections in June and the economic crisis in Europe affected the country’s tourism industry.

A total of 15.5 million non-resident visitors arrived in Greece in 2012, according to a statement from the Athens-based Hellenic Statistical Authority. European visitors, 89.3 percent of the total, also dropped 5.5 percent to 13.9 million from 14.7 million last year.

Greece, now in its sixth year of a recession amplified by austerity measures linked to two bailouts from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, marked a record unemployment rate of 27.2 percent in January. The country’s labour market is not expected to improve “until the second quarter of this year, when tourism activity is expected to provide more support,” Nicholas Magginas, an economist at National Bank of Greece SA in Athens, said April 11.

Arrivals from Germany, which accounted for 13.6 percent of the total, dropped almost 6 percent, while visitors from the U.K., 12.4 percent of the total, rose 9.3 percent, data from the statistics service showed. The figures are based on a sample taken at border entry points by the Bank of Greece.

The government expects tourism to offset any “minor” impact on the economy from the crisis in Cyprus, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said at a conference in Athens on April 15.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said on state-run NET television the same day that he expects “record tourism receipts” this year.

Tourism, Greece’s biggest industry, accounted for almost 16 percent of gross domestic product and one in five jobs in 2011, according to the London-based World Travel and Tourism Council.

The country’s economy is expected to contract 4.2 percent this year, according to IMF forecasts. Unemployment is expected at 27 percent in 2013 and 26 percent in 2014, the Fund said.

Editors: Jerrold Colten, Thomas Mulier. To contact the reporter on this story: Eleni Chrepa in Athens at echrepa@bloomberg.net. To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net.

Courtesy of the excellent Guardian newspaper, London - just click above to visit their official website↑

Greece: the sequel (this time with even more tourists)

Holiday sector hits all-time high as nation savaged by austerity reinvents itself

The Greek island of Mykonos is expecting 1 million tourists during the summer as yacht owners and cruise ship passengers make up a much bigger proportion of visitors to Greece. Photograph: Getty Images

Long before the setting sun turns the sky above Mykonos into a blaze of crimson, they begin to arrive: super-yachts and pleasure boats and high-speed craft all vying for a spot in the Aegean isle's picturesque old port.

In his aviator sunglasses, Mykonos's harbourmaster, Lieutenant Jr Nicholaos Zigouris, supervises this elegant race for  space.

"It wasn't like this last year or the year before," he says. "There's been a huge leap in the number of private and professional boats sailing in, and the tourist season has barely begun."

Mykonos, the island made famous by Jackie Onassis, is braced to accept 1 million tourists this summer but it is not only the international jet-set descending on its shores.

The island's economy may be in freefall, its people hit by the harshest peacetime austerity programme ever imposed on an advanced western state, but Greece is back in business.

After three lean years marked by riots, strikes, social upheaval and political unrest, 17 million or so holidaymakers – 1.5 times the country's population and an all-time record — are about to visit, according to officials.

The arrivals have never mattered more. Tourism accounts for almost 20% of GDP – and jobs. With recession-hit Greeks also struggling with a record level of unemployment, which has reached nearly 28%, the highest in the eurozone, industry earnings this year may well be the only income for many.

Up in the mini-resort that his father, Mykonos's first hotelier, built back in the 1960s, Andreas Fiorentinos says Greeks have learned the hard way to appreciate the benefits of tourism.

"The crisis has taught us that we cannot fool our clients," says Fiorentinos, taking in a spectacular view framed by bobbing yachts below. "And it has made us more aware. People understand how important it is for our economy."

Like many, the third-generation hotelier believes the time has come for Greece to reinvent itself. For too long, he says, the industry has been overly dependent on its image as a destination of sun, sand and sea. "As a result of catering to price-sensitive tourists interested only in drinking and going to the beach, we have failed to tap into a whole market," he sighs. "It's an outdated model that has to change."

Fiorentinos is also deputy secretary general of EOT, the country's tourism board. "For the past year we've been visiting tourist expos around the world to convey the message that Greece is not only about souvlaki and Zorba the Greek. If it weren't for our lumbering state we would have moved away from those stereotypes long ago."

The efforts to appeal to a broader and more affluent audience – evident in the blossoming of five-star resorts, boutique hotels and gastronomic and cultural tourism – have not been easy.

Breaking old moulds has frequently been thwarted by corruption and vested interests, the twin ills blamed for bringing the country to its knees.

"Take Delos," says Fiorentinos referring to Mykonos's adjacent isle, an archaeological treasure trove and the country's most sacred site. "It was considered the most important place in the ancient world. But do we show it off? No. Every day it closes at 3pm because the [state-run] archaeological service refuses to do otherwise."

In the same vein it has taken nearly 20 years for Mykonos to get a new marina, seen as vital for attracting the fast-growing cruise tourism sector and niche commerce.

This year's sharp rise in numbers has been partly attributed to a 40% increase in travellers on cruise ships, mostly from the US.

But it is not just westerners who are fuelling this tourism boom. Seated in his air-conditioned Athens office, Andreas Andreadis, who heads the association of Greek tourism enterprises, SETE, says much of Greece's new traffic arises from the lifting of visa restrictions in long-haul emerging markets such as China, Turkey and Russia.

Russian arrivals at regional airports alone have shot up by 230% this year.

Andreadis says about 1.2 million Russians are expected to visit the country this year. "The volume is so high that SETE has employed 20 of its own people just to help stamp visas."

Airlines have got more than 1m extra seats and scores of new routes to the country, including to places such as Mykonos island.

"We are linked to 14 countries and 28 destinations. There are daily flights to London, Milan and Istanbul," says Athanasios Kollias, the air traffic controller at the island's newly expanded airport. "From now on, 120 charters are expected every week. In May the number of passengers flying in from abroad more than doubled."

Summer bookings to Greece from Germany and the UK have also soared. Some of the 15% increase from Germany was attributed to the chancellor, Angela Merkel – because of her insistence on austerity, exhorting her compatriots to visit the country. This month, Lufthansa chose Athens for the inaugural flight of its new flagship plane, the B747-8, the largest aircraft in the world.

For Andreadis the key to sustaining this boom is quality. And on Super Paradise beach, Mykonos's favoured spot for the cool and trendy, the emphasis on improved service is everywhere to be seen. There's a champagne bar at one end and a massage tent at the other as holidaymakers lounge on new sunbeds, under new, thatched, umbrellas, and take in the turquoise waters below.

For people like Nikos Xydakis, who has run a beach taverna for the past 40 years, the new look is not just about survival. "This year we had to do everything, even clean the beach because the state is in no position to help. But in life everything changes. The crisis has played a big role. Our tourists have changed and we have changed too."



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