Author Archives: Santorini Hotels

Hotel bed supply in Athens to grow by 5,000 in coming years

Tourism accommodation in Athens will expand by some 5,000 beds in the coming years, the senior director general of the Piraeus Group and chief executive at Piraeus Real Estate estimated, according to ekathimerini.com. Georgios Kormas noted that five-star hotels have increased by some 30 percent since 2011, with Greek tourism and the hotel sector in particular recording a significant improvement in terms of quality and supply. End-2018 data compiled by the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels indicated that there were 649 hotels in Attica with 32,250 rooms and 61,029 beds. RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations , Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Michael W. Pendergrass  pixabay.com Let's block ads! (Why?)

State Department advises US citizens to avoid Turkey due to terrorism

The US State Department issued a Level 3 travel advisory cautioning citizens to reconsider visiting Turkey due to terrorism and arbitrary detentions, protothema.gr reports. As the official advisory notes on the website: Reconsider travel to Turkey due to terrorism and arbitrary detentions. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory. Do not travel to: • Areas near the Syria and Iraq borders due to terrorism and kidnapping. Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Turkey. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas. Terrorists have also previously targeted Western tourists and expatriates. Security forces have detained tens of thousands of individuals, including U.S. citizens, for alleged affiliations with terrorist organizations based on scant or secret evidence and grounds that appear to be politically motivated. U.S. citizens have also been subject to travel bans that prevent them from departing Turkey. Participation in demonstrations not explicitly approved by the Government of Turkey, as well as criticism of the government, including on social media, can result in arrest. The U.S. government has very limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in Batman, Bingol, Bitlis, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hakkari, Hatay, Kilis, Mardin, Sanliurfa, Siirt, Sirnak, Tunceli, and Van, as the U.S. government restricts its employees from traveling to specific provinces in these regions without prior approval. If you decide to travel to Turkey: • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.• Avoid demonstrations and crowds.• Stay at hotels with identifiable security measures.• Monitor local media and adjust your plans based on new information.• Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.• Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.• Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.• Review the Crime and Safety Report for Turkey.• U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist. RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations , Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA  Let's block ads! (Why?)

Visit the Monastery of Agia Erini Xrisovalantou in Lykovrisi of Athens

The monastery of Agia Eirini Chrysovalantou is located in Lykovrisi, Attica. Set in peaceful surroundings, visitors can experience the monastic lifestyle there, according to greekcitytimes.com. Agia Eirini Chrysovalantou was the abbess of the monastery during the 9th century, where she engaged herself in vigils and prayer. She developed the gift of foresight and following her death at 102, she continued to be a miracle worker. Many prayers for Agia Eirini’s intercessions are continually answered and she is mostly known for her miracles for mothers who are unable to conceive, with couples from all around the country and the world coming here to pray to the miraculous icon of Agia Eirini Chrysovalantou, in order to fall pregnant. Agia Eirini in her early life was promised to the Emperor Michael in marriage. Instead of allowing her life to go in that direction, she decided to serve the Lord instead. She had many spiritual gifts and performed many good deeds for Christ. Originally born in Cappadocia, her family was affluent and aristocratic and this is how she came to be engaged to the emperor. Irene’s sister married Vardas, the brother of the Empress Theodora, who brought icons back into the Orthodox Christian Church. On a trip to Constantinople, Eirini asked to speak to a recluse named Ioannikos. He had a vision that foresaw how important Irene would be to the church. He said, “Welcome Eirini, Servant of God. Proceed to the Imperial City in joy because the convent of Chrysovalantou needs you in the community.” Eirini ultimately decided to heed this vision and she devoted her life to the monastery. People who wish to be given a blessing from Agia Eirini are offered a piece of apple, as it is said that one night Agia Eirini heard a voice telling her to welcome a sailor who would bring fruit to her that day. Nuns located the sailor outside the gate and brought him to the Abbess. He told her he was from the Island of Patmos (where according to legend John the Evangelist had lived in a cave and saw the vision of Revelation).  He and his shipmates were sailing past the far end of the island when they heard an old man shouting for them to stop.  But the coast was rocky, so the sailors made to continue on.  But the old man — who was John the Apostle and Evangelist — shouted again, and the ship stopped still in the water.  The old fellow walked across the waves to the ship and took three apples out of his garments.  He told the sailors the apples were from Paradise, and that they were to give them to the Patriarch Methodios.  Then he took out three more very large and fragrant apples from Paradise and asked the sailors to give them to Abbess Irene at the Chrysovalantou Monastery.  Then John disappeared and the ship moved forward in the water again. Agia Eirini ate a piece of one of the apples every day for forty days, and no other food or water.  And when she ate a piece, her mouth became so fragrant that all the nuns in the monastery could smell it.  She gave the second apple to the nuns for them to divide and eat, and they too became fragrant and very happy.  The third apple she kept intact until finally she consumed it shortly before her death. That accounts for the three apples seen in icons of Irene and that is why women are given a small piece of apple blessed at the monastery and told to fast for three days before they eat it. For those who are unable to visit the monastery in Athens, many Greek Orthodox monasteries in the Diaspora are also named in honour of Agia Eirini and also offer apples that have been given a blessing. Numerous couples actually choose to give their child the name or middle name Chrysovalantou for a girl and Chysovalantos for a boy, in honour of Agia Eirini, who they prayed to for conception. Visitors are able to stay here for as long as they wish, as the monastery has many guest rooms (a separate section for men and for women) and stays open all year round.  During your stay, you must know that nuns here are always fasting and only offer fruits and nuts, however, guests can bring food with them when staying overnight. The monastery opens for the faithful during winter between 8 am and 5pm and during summer from 7am and 7pm. Visitors must dress appropriately while shorts and short skirts are forbidden. A: 17 Lykovrisi, Athens, 14123 RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations , Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Pitichinaccio Let's block ads! (Why?)

Greece has sold 4,154 golden visas, the majority to wealthy Chinese

ATHENS – Since beginning the sale of coveted “Golden Visas”  that come with residency permits and European Union passports, Greece has peddled off 4,154 to wealthy foreigners while even members of the Diaspora often have to wait a year or longer for papers allowing them to live in the country. That covered up to the end of March this year in a program where Greece – which has among the lowest eligibility limit – granted the visas to people investing at least 250,000 euros ($282,021) in property or other means. Most of that has come in the purchase of apartments and homes for sale cheap during a nearly nine-year-long economic crisis, with many of them turned into short-term rentals like Airbnb, emptying whole neighborhoods in Athens of long-time residents and driving up rents to prohibitive limits. The Golden Visa property purchasers don’t have to live in the units they buy and the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OEC) said the schemes, that run in many European Union countries, are also being used by criminals to launder money and get passports allowing them to move freely around the bloc. Visas can also be bought outright, with criticism there’s no vetting of applicants, by investing in Greek securities, such as shares of ATHEX-listed companies, Greek state bonds or with money deposited in Greek banks. Read more at thenationalherald.com RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations , Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Let's block ads! (Why?)

Greek Central Council for Modern Monuments approves Piraeus port plan

Days after a shocking decision by a culture ministry-affiliated council to declare roughly half of the Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) as an area of "archaeological interest", another state council on Thursday returned a much more positive ruling on an application to turn a mostly abandoned passenger terminal into a luxury hotel, naftemporiki.gr reports. The Central Council of Modern Monuments, the official name of the Greek culture ministry-affiliated entity, approved of a request by  Cosco-managed PPA to transform the "Pagoda" terminal, at the Akti Miaouli quay, into a hotel. The ruling also approved the renovation of two silos at the port, both over 100 years old. The "Pagoda", so called because of its distinctive architectural design, was used as an exhibition hall and then as a passenger terminal. PPA wants to turn the terminal into a five-star hotel, with the Council's only condition being that the exterior of the building not be changed. The two silos will also be transformed into hotels, according to the port authority's master plan. The Central Archaeological Council (KAS) last week designated half the port and two-fifths of the municipality of Piraeus as entailing archaeological interest, which entails stricter building provisions and land uses. RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations , Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Nikolaos Diakidis Let's block ads! (Why?)

Greek state bond yields drop to new 14-year low on Thursday

Greek state bond yields continued to fall in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Thursday, after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reaffirmed its forecast of primary surpluses of 3.5 pct of GDP by 2022 in Greece, ANA reports. The 10-year bond yield eased as low 3.339 pct in trading during the day, from 3.44 pct on Wednesday, and hit a new 14-year low at the close of trade, with the 10-year bond closing at 3.34 pct, while the five-year bond yield eased to 2.19 pct from 2.24 pct on Wednesday. RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations , Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Europa credito urgente Let's block ads! (Why?)

IATA honors its 2019 best performing global training partners

New Delhi – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced its 2019 Premier Circle winners as well as its regional top performing training partners as part of its prestigious recognition program. More than 450 IATA global training partners are evaluated on select criteria, such as the quality of training delivered determined by the examination pass rate, the number of students trained, and many other factors. Also measured is the growth in enrollments vis-à-vis the previous year. The excellence of these training partners contributes significantly to the development of the next generation of aviation professionals.  The 2019 Premier Circle winners comprises (in alphabetical order): Akbar Academy of Airline Studies, India Alhind Academy, India ATNS Aviation Training Academy, South Africa Butterfly Training France, France DGM, The Netherlands Fraport AG, Germany IFMA - Institut de Formation aux Métiers de l'Aérien, France IITC-India International Trade Centre, India Japan Aircargo Forwarders Association (JAFA), Japan Saudi Academy of Civil Aviation, Saudi Arabia Speedwings Academy for Aviation Services, India Turkish Aviation Academy, Turkey Vision Academy, India The regional winners adhere to similar selection criteria of Premier Circle at their respective region’s level and include training partners from Africa and Middle East, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, China and North Asia, Europe, and South Asia. The 2019 Premier Circle and Regional top performers received their plaques and certificates during award ceremonies at the Global Training Partner Conference (GTPC) in New Delhi, India on 11 April 2019.  ‘’IATA congratulates all winners for their success and thanks them for contributing to the professional development of more than 100,000 participants, thereby enhancing the skill levels of the global aviation talent pool,” said Stephanie Siouffi, IATA’s Director of Training. “By working together with our partners to train aviation professionals, the industry will be better prepared for the expected doubling of demand for air travel over the next two decades. “ RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations , Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Photo Source: IATA Let's block ads! (Why?)

Culture Ministry: Greek museums and sites extend opening hours from Friday

Opening hours at museums and archaeological sites around Greece will be extended as of Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Culture Ministry made the announcement on Thursday, having completed hiring procedures for seasonal staff before the summer period. The ministry announced that it signed eight-month contracts with seasonal workers, which means the extension of opening hours could last until mid-December.  Archaeological sites, monuments and museums in Athens can begin operating extended summer opening times from Friday, while those in other parts of Greece can extend their hours from the end of next week. "The hiring procedures for summer seasonal staff for archaeological sites, monuments and museums in Athens have been concluded, following coordinated actions of the culture and sports ministry services. As a result, the extended opening hours for archaeological sites, monuments and museums can begin from Friday, April 12," the ministry said, pointing out that this was now the responsibility of antiquities ephorates and museums, ANA reports. The announcement said that the hiring of seasonal staff for most other areas of Greece is expected to be concluded by the end of next week, a fortnight earlier than the original deadline, covering 85 pct of the needs for additional site and museum guards, while this is to rise to 90 pct by Easter. It also pointed out that the contracts for seasonal staff will last eight months, rather than seven as in previous years, and that after consultation with the tourism ministry, the extended opening hours for sites and museums can continue until mid-December, in line with the longer tourism season attained in recent years. RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations , Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Tomisti Let's block ads! (Why?)

Athens Airport wins +20 million passengers Routes prize

The Athens Airport "El. Venizelos" won the first prize in the category 'Over 20m pax' (+20 million passengers per annum) at the Routes Europe 2019 awards held in Hanover on Tuesday, ANA reports. Greece's largest international airport won against substantial airport competition from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Norway and Russia, after a vote exclusively by airlines, which reward excellence in aviation worldwide.  In the same category, Brussels airport ranked second, while top contenders also included the airports of Copenhagen, Munich, Oslo (Gardermoen) and Moscow (Vnukovo). At the same time, the Athens hub introduced 62 new routes this past year and welcomed 4 new airlines. Volotea and Ellinair also set up base in Athens, while Ryanair launched 21 connections and Aegean Airlines 15 new routes, while another 13 companies increased their activity on 34 routes. RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations , Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Υπουργείο Εξωτερικών Let's block ads! (Why?)

No US import duty on Greek feta cheese

Feta, the characteristic cheese product of Greece, will continue to enjoy no import duties in the United States, the Agricultural Development & Foods Ministry said on Wednesday, following the recovation of a decision that would have added a 9.6% levy on the product, ANA reports. According to the ministry, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) notified the Greek embassy in Washington, after a query, that the intention of reclassifying customs duties on imported sheep-originating cheese to the United States would be revoked. RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations , Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Photo Source: pixabay.com Let's block ads! (Why?)