Δευτέρα, 16 Μαρτίου 2015

Greek vacation anyone? Tourism set to boom - CNBC

Diplomatic relations between Athens and the rest of Europe may be at a low ebb, but there is one part of Greece that is clamoring for overseas visitors. And a plunging euro could make it the perfect place for a vacation this year.
Christina Kalogera, director of the Greek National Tourism Organization's U.K. and Ireland office, told CNBC that Greece was hopeful that 2015 would be a good year for the tourism industry, particularly with the euro weakening against the dollar and sterling.
"We are very optimistic that 2015 will be another successful year for Greek tourism as the hotel, restaurant, and bar scene is booming and we are seeing young entrepreneurs getting more actively involved with the tourism sector," Kalogera told CNBC Friday.
"There are new innovative products provided by hotels and multiple new restaurants and bars openings especially in Athens and Thessaloniki, so with the euro also at an 11-year low this is definitely the ideal time to visit Greece."

 Around 18 million international tourists arrived in Greece in 2013, according to the UN World Tourism Organization's 2014 report on "Tourism Highlights."

In addition to that data, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) 2014 report found that travel and tourism contributed 28.3 billion euros ($31.2 billion) to the Greek economy in 2013 (16.3 percent of gross domestic product). That was forecast to rise by 3.0 percent in 2014 and by 3.7 percent per year to 41.8 billion euros (19.1 percent of GDP) in 2024. The service sector as a whole accounts for about 40 percent of the country's GDP, according to the CIA's "World Factbook."
Further demonstrating how important the travel and tourism industry is to Greece, the WTTC said the total contribution of travel and tourism in terms of total employment in Greece was 18.2 percent, or 657,000 jobs. That's a significant amount in a country with a high unemployment rate of around 25 percent.
Hotel managers like Dorina Stathopoulou are also optimistic that 2015 could be a bumper year for the travel trade, with occupancy levels for summer already looking good.
"We're very busy, this is a booming period for us," Stathopoulou, hotel manager of three hotels in Athens, told CNBC. "This started last September, from on then we knew it would be a good year. For example, we have 92 percent occupancy for May, 80 percent already for June."

Plakias: Photo of the day

Plakias is 35 kilometres south of Rethymno, on the southern coast of Crete on the Libyan Sea and is a popular tourist resort well-known for its award-winning Blue Flag sandy beach stretching for 1400 metres.

It combines everything as it offers visitors many facilities: surgery, pharmacy, all kinds of shops, car hire, post office, ATM, many tavernas, exciting nightlife, organized beaches (Souda, Damnoni, Ammoudi, Schinaria), diving centre, free-riding centre, and an extensive marina where even large yachts can berth.

Greece among top 5 “dream destinations” for US travelers

Greece is among the Top 5 Dream Destinations for US travellers, according to TripAdvisor’s TripBarometer Study.

The TripBarometer study is the analysis of more than 44,000 global responses from travelers and the hotel sector. According to this extensive report, Greece is included in the Top 5 “dream destinations” for U.S. Travelers, along with Italy, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.

In the meantime, Greece ranked 8th in the hotelier confidence index in terms of optimism about profitability, room rates and investment priorities.

The online survey was conducted between January 16 and February 2, 2015.

Tirokafteri cheese spread... from Greece.

A delicious, creamy cheese spread from Greece. It is usually served as part of a mezze platter but it can also be enjoyed by itself, with slices of warm bread.

Serves: 1 jar Preparation time: 10m Cooking time: 5m Ready in: 15m
A delicious, creamy cheese spread from Greece. It is usually served as part of a mezze platter but it can also be enjoyed by itself, with slices of warm bread.
1 Florina pepper or any sweet pepper
1 -2 chili peppers (depending on how spicy you want the spread to be)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
250 gr. anthotyro, a traditional fresh cheese
250 gr. crumbled feta cheese
A pinch of sweet paprika
Preparation method
Step 1
Remove the seeds from the Florina pepper and the chili peppers and finely chop them.
Step 2
Heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute until tender.
Step 3
Place the anthotyro cheese and crumbled feta cheese in a blender. Add the sautéed peppers with the oil from the pan and the paprika and process the ingredients until you get a smooth and homogeneous mixture.
Step 4
Keep the cheese spread refrigerated in a glass jar, pouring a little oil on the surface from time to time.
Source: Olive magazine
Chef: Ioanna Stamoulou
Photo: George Drakopoulos
Food Styling: Tina Webb

Top 20 most Googled destinations in Greece (see tables)

The powerful company released interesting data with regard to the way travelers worldwide research their trips.

During an event that was organized by Google to announce the expansion of its innovative “Grow Greek Tourism Online” program, the powerful company released interesting data with regard to the way travelers worldwide research their trips.
According to the data presented by Google, most travelers that search Greek destinations online come from UK, Germany and USA.
Moreover, the 20 most googled regions in Greece include the country’s two biggest cities, namely Athens and Thessaloniki, as well as popular islands such as Mykonos, Santorini, Paros and Crete.
See the full list below:
1. Athens
2. Thessaloniki
3. Thessaly
4. Peloponnese
5. Corfu
6. Lefkada
7. Zakynthos
8. Skiathos
9. Lesbos
10. Chios
11. Andros
12. Mykonos
13. Paros
14. Naxos
15. Patmos
16. Kos
17. Santorini
18 Rodos
19. Karpathos
20. Crete
Google’s “Grow Greek Tourism Online” program is a project that aims to provide enterprises in Greek tourism with tools that can help boost their businesses over the summer season and beyond. The initiative has been taken to deal with the 70% increased demand for online vacation searches noted from June to September.
The campaign kicked off on the isle of Crete in September with some 650 local tourism businesses trained to use online tools to enhance their tourism growth potential.
The success of the initiative has now led to more destinations. It is expanding to include the Peloponnese, the Cycladic islands, the Ionian islands, Macedonia, the Dodecanese and the Attica region.

Oinokritika 2015: A special event for wine lovers

Oinokritika 2015 is held under the auspices of the Greek National Tourism Organization.
For the eighth consecutive year the Wineries of Crete invite oenophiles from every corner of the world to the annual wine exhibition “Oinokritika” which will be held at Chania on March 21 and 22, 2015.
During “Oinokritika 2015” (a name which derives from the word oinos, meaning wine and kritika which means Cretan), visitors will have the opportunity to taste some older vintages, discover new wines, talk with the winemakers and learn about the activities organized by the Wines of Crete.
Oinokritika 2015 is held under the auspices of the Greek National Tourism Organization.

GNTO Partners with TUI Group to Promote Greece to 12 Markets!

Greece_All_Time ClassicThe Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) this year will launch advertising campaigns and a series of actions in partnership with German travel giant TUI Group to promote Greece in 12 markets.
According to a decision approved by the Super-Ministry for Economy, Infrastructure, Shipping and Tourism, the GNTO and TUI will target the markets of UK & Ireland, Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Scandinavia, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, Russia and Ukraine.
The total amount of investment on the Greek side is 985.000 euros and actions will be addressed to both consumers (B2C) and travel agents/partners of TUI (B2B).
tui-logoThe joint campaigns include a set of activities such as online advertising through display campaigns, e-mail marketing and social media campaigns, offline actions via print, TV and/or radio, sales promotion through in-store activities, familiarization trips (FAM trips) for travel agents, etc.
The campaigns per market will vary depending on the available budget, the specific characteristics of potential travelers from each market and the means they use to get informed and book their holidays.