Category Archives: ΤΑΞΙΔΙ

U.S. Commerce Secretary backs Greek-American bid for Ethniki Asfalistiki

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross recently backed a bid by the the EXIN Group to buy Ethniki Asfalistiki, the insurance arm of Greece’s National Bank, Reuters says.The deal could help U.S. investments in Greece since Calamos Investments is a U.S.-based company managing 20 billion dollars. Calamos CEO is Greek American John Koudounis.The EXIN Group is competing against three Chinese groups: Fosun, Gongbao and Wintime. The Ethniki Asfalistiki (National Insurance) privatization is part of the bailout program requirements set by Greece’s international creditors. The concession has to be completed by the end of the year and reportedly can be worth about 800 million euros.According to Reuters citing a senior banker, the U.S. Commerce Secretary wrote a letter to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that called for a transparent sale. “It is a strong letter,” the source said.“The Secretary is fully supportive of the EXIN bid, saying it would be a good start towards improving U.S. investment flows to Greece,” said the banker, who asked to remain anonymous.Ross’s letter was copied to the Greek bank association, National Bank’s (NBG) management and the central bank, Bank of Greece, the banker said.Ethniki Asfalistiki was founded in 1891 and became a cornerstone of the Greek economy, and society in general. It provides life and non-life insurance products. The company had a 16.6 percent share of the market last year and 2015 net profit of 98 million euros. NBG is selling focus on core banking. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are the NBG advisors for the concession.The Calamos Investments CEO said that EXIN had presented a hard-to-match offer, but did not give details. He said other Greek-American investors interested in Greece were watching closely.Exin Partners have already entered Greece’s insurance market by buying AIG-Greece from AIG in December.Read more here.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 reportLet's block ads! (Why?)

Greek Tourism Minister plans to create new legal framework for industry

Greek Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura noted that "the tourism sector, together with energy, new technologies, primary production and transport, is playing a leading role in the national drive for growth, encouraging entrepreneurship, promoting projects and large investments in the country in the coming years", addressing the 4th Annual Economic Forum of the Hellenic Entrepreneurs Association entitled “Investing in the Future: The Private Sector’s Bid for Economic Recovery”She also revealed the creation of a new legislative framework for the Greek tourism industry set to be codified in June and completed by autumn with the aim to reduce overregulation in the sector.Kountoura highlighted the Greek government’s efforts and strategy to open up to new markets, simplify business procedures and introduce direct flights to and from Greece to major global destinations and added"“We have opened up to new markets such as the Middle East, China and South Korea, and have strengthened markets such as Russia, the US and Canada, in efforts to attract high-income and higher-spending travelers all year round… and we are now expanding into the tourist markets of India and Brazil, where we participated for the first time in the biggest international tourism fairs this year.” According to her, Greece has won over the trust of holidaymakers as well as of investors as demonstrated by some 142 hotel projects filed in 2016 now in the process of gaining licensing, while 251 hotel investment proposals have already been submitted since March 2017.The Hellenic Entrepreneurs Association (ΕΕΝΕ), which is completing 30 years of active presence and action in Greece, organized the 4th Annual Economic Forum, on Monday 22 May at the King George hotel in Syntagma. The event was realized in collaboration with the London School of Economics and the Hellenic Observatory of the European Institute.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 reportLet's block ads! (Why?)

Energy giants to bid for hydrocarbon exploration in Greek maritime area

Multinational energy giants ExxonMobil and Total, in cooperation with Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE), will bid for 20,000 square kilometers of sea stretching from south of the Peloponnese to Greece’s southernmost island of Gavdos.The agreement has been made since September, with the boards of the two companies approving investments of 5 billion euros each for the surveying and utilization of hydrocarbons in the Greek waters.U.S. ExxonMobil, France’s Total and ELPE are preparing their bid for a fast-track concession of the area, making a request to the energy minister. The consortium wants to start surveys before the end of the year.The ministry has to publish an invitation of expressions of interest in the Official Journal of the European Union for the sea plot within a month, so that other companies can bid as well. If it fails to draw interest from other parties, the concession will be granted to the investor who triggered the tender.Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis said that the concession will be made with priority given to environmental protection and transparency of procedures.Read more here.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 reportLet's block ads! (Why?)

Nearly all of Cyprus bathing sites marked as excellent quality water by the EU

In Cyprus 99% of the coasts submitted to EU control - where blue flags have been assigned - have excellent  quality waters (the highest distinction), according to a communiqué issued by the European Commission today.This performance brings Cyprus to the second place in the EU, second only to Luxembourg (which has far less declared bathing water sites). Cyprus is followed by Malta (99%) and Greece (97%) in the relevant chart.Source: CNARead more here.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 reportLet's block ads! (Why?)

DHS Report: Greeks are 3rd in Overstaying Visas (VWP) in the US

WASHINGTON — U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released today the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Entry/Exit Overstay Report. The report provides data on departures and overstays, by country, for foreign visitors to the United States who entered as nonimmigrant visitors through an air or sea Port of Entry (POE) and were expected to depart in FY16.Overstay rate for nonimmigrant Greek visitors admitted to the United States for business or pleasure (WB/WT/B-1/B-2) via air and sea for 2016 is 2.19%, supassed only by Hungarians (2.75%) and Portuguese (2,42%).Moreover, figures reveal that about 6 more thousand Greeks (77,562) overstayed in the USA on 2016 compared to 71,430 on 2015.This year’s report also includes visitors who entered on a student or exchange visitor visa (F, M, or J visa). Of the 1,457,556 students and exchange visitors scheduled to complete their program in the United States in FY16, 79,818 stayed beyond their authorized window for departure, resulting in a 5.48 percent overstay rate. Of the 79,818, 40,949 are suspected in-country overstays (2.81 percent).3,977 0r 2.39% of the Total Overstay Rate were Greek students.The in-scope population for this report includes temporary workers and families (temporary workers and trainees, intracompany transferees, treaty traders and investors, representatives of foreign information media), students, exchange visitors, temporary visitors for pleasure, temporary visitors for business, and other nonimmigrant classes of admission. This population accounts for 96.02 percent of all nonimmigrant admissions at U.S. air and sea POEs in FY16.3.803 or 1.34% of other in-scope nonimmigrant classes of admissions admitted to the United States via air and sea POEs for all countries (excluding Canada and Mexico) were Greeks.Read more here.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 reportLet's block ads! (Why?)

Private sector interest focuses on Alexandroupolis and Elefsina ports in Greece

The extreme northeastern port of Alexandroupolis, near the land border with Turkey, and the small port of Elefsina, due west of Piraeus and located roughly the middle of Greece's most important industrial zone, are apparently attracting most of the attention from would-be investors.The two separate but state-run port authorities that manage the two ports are among 10 similar facilities around the country that are included in the Greek privatization fund's (HRADF) portfolio.The port of Alexandroupolis figures prominently on future "big-ticket" energy-related projects in the country, while Elefsina (near the site of ancient Eleusis) has reportedly attracted the attention of Chinese multinational Cosco. The latter purchased a majority stake in the Piraeus Port Authority, Greece's biggest and largest port, and assumed its management last August.The port of Elefsina, according to sources, could possibly cover some of the port of Piraeus' services in terms of bulk cargo traffic, if conditions are fulfilled.Other smaller ports around Greece may have a low commercial potential as far as traditional port services are concerned, but are deemed as possible ports of call for cruise ships and increased tourism-related activity.In a recent high-profile statement, new HRADF president Lila Tsitsogiannopoulou said Alexandroupolis would be the first of the 10 regional ports set for privatization.However, the leftist Greek government's stated position of avoiding the sale of  100 percent of the port authorities' shares to the private sector -- instead preferring a lease-type agreement -- in tandem with the more-or-less expected reactions from local societies, apparently overturned planning for the future of the 10 ports.Despite weak interest by investors, the 10 port authorities whose ownership is now held by HRADF have posted significantly improved results over recent years, including higher profitability in 2016, credited mostly to better management of the ports.  Read more here.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 reportLet's block ads! (Why?)

Vermögen des Ex-Verteidigungsministers Papantoniou wird beschlagnahmt

Die Staatsanwältin zur Bekämpfung der Korruption hat am Montag die Beschlagnahmung des in Griechenland befindlichen Immobilienbesitzes sowie die Blockade der entsprechenden Bankkonten des ehemaligen Verteidigungsministers von der sozialistischen PASOK, Jannos Papantoniou, angeordnet.Dieser Schritt steht in Zusammenhang mit einer Untersuchung, die klären soll, ob der Ex-Politiker Schmiergeld angenommen bzw. Schwarzgeld gewaschen hat. Im Mittelpunkt stehen dabei Rüstungsbeschaffungen, die während der Amtszeit Papantonious als Verteidigungsminister (2001 bis 2004) getätigt wurden. Anlass für das jetzige Vorgehen war, dass die schweizerische Justiz unabhängig von der laufenden Untersuchung in Griechenland in der Eidgenossenschaft auf zwei Konten des Ex-Ministers gestoßen war. Papantoniou selbst weist alle Vorwürfe zurück.(Griechenland Zeitung / rs)Let's block ads! (Why?)

TUI: New Family Life Hotel in Samos

Three new Family Life hotel hotels are opened this summer by TUI. One of them is Family Life Doryssa Seaside in Samos, on the beach of Pythagorion, with lush gardens and whitewashed buildings. It has 308 rooms, a mixture of traditional and modern architecture, as well as facilities for children's recreation. The other two Family Life hotels are located in Sardinia and Spain.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 reportLet's block ads! (Why?)

Amadeus: + 25.8% bookings for Greece during the first 4 months of 2017

The cumulative bookings for Greece from all the foreign markets recorded by Amadeus systems for the period January-April 2017 show an increase of 25.8%. The total bookings for the country from the beginning of the year until the end of April reached 416.9 thousand compared to 331.4 thousand in the same period last year. 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 reportLet's block ads! (Why?)

Virtuoso names 10 top places for summer travel – Greece among top romantic spots

Luxury travel network Virtuoso, using its data warehouse of more than $39.7 billion in transactions, named the top choices for U.S. travelers during the upcoming 2017 summer season. According to global travel market research company Phocuswright, seven in 10 travelers have a strong wanderlust to see the world. So as is typical for summer travel, Europe dominates the list of Virtuoso travelers with eight of the 10 countries.Top Summer Destinations: The 10 most popular destinations for summer vacations based on future bookings are: 1) Italy, 2) United Kingdom, 3) France, 4) Spain, 5) South Africa, 6) Germany, 7) Ireland, 8) Canada, 9) Netherlands, and 10) Denmark.Italy continues its reign atop the list, followed by the U.K., France and Spain. These four countries fit with a trend identified by Phocuswright: the desire to visit natural and cultural attractions is the top influencer for Americans when selecting destinations. The relative strength of the U.S. dollar against both the euro and British pound also makes Europe a particularly appealing destination for 2017.South Africa bookings for summer travel continue to rise strongly, as more adventurous travelers head there for safaris, scenery and authentic experiences. Countries with strong ocean and river cruising appeal are benefiting from robust interest in those segments, as travelers extend their vacations with pre- and post-cruise stays in Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark.Ireland continues to lure travelers enchanted by its historic charm and lively culture, while Canada’s strong showing is due to its proximity to the U.S., the purchasing power Americans currently enjoy there, and heightened interest around its 150th anniversary. Data is sourced from Virtuoso’s U.S.-based travel agency members and reflects future travel between the Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays in 2017.Separately, Virtuoso earlier this month unveiled the results of a survey it did with Brides magazine on the top honeymoon destinations, resorts, cruise lines and all-inclusive brands. Brides developed the survey for the Virtuoso network of travel agencies and the results determined the winners of the annual Honeymoon Awards, which are unveiled in the June-July 2017 issue and on Brides.com.The awards recognize 200 winners in 19 different categories that together create a compendium of the world’s foremost honeymoon destinations, resorts, cruise lines, and all-inclusive brands. A group of Virtuoso travel advisors worldwide shared their opinions via a survey in January 2017.Romantic Destinations: According to the survey, the world’s 10 most romantic destinations in order are 1) French Polynesia, 2) Italy, 3) Hawaii, 4) Maldives, 5) Greece, 6) Bali, 7) Mexico, 8) Thailand, 9) Fiji and 10) South Africa.Read more here.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 reportSource: insidertravelreport.comLet's block ads! (Why?)