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Cat Cora's Kitchen by Gaea Kritsa Fresh | The Best Olive Oils

Cat Cora's Kitchen by Gaea Kritsa Fresh has been awarded as one of the best olive oils in the world by the New York International Olive Oil Competition.
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Cat Cora’s Kitchen by Gaea Kritsa FreshSilver Award WinnerGreeceKoroneikiMedium 

Cat Cora’s Kitchen by Gaea Kritsa Fresh is one of the world's best extra virgin olive oils for 2013.

NY International Olive Oil Competition 
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"Most Romantic Historic Hotel of Europe", the Winner is: Esperas Santorini

"Most Romantic Historic Hotel of Europe", the Winner is: Esperas Santorini | travelling 2 Greece |
Historic Hotels of Europe, Hotel Esperas Santorini, Oia, Santorini Island, Greece. Mansion hotels and luxury seaside accommodation in Santorini, Greek islands.
Demetrios Georgalas's insight:

Awarded with the Historic Hotels of Europe Most Romantic Hotel Award for 2015!
The Esperas Santorini is one of the most alluring hideaways on Santorini, an island famous for its stunning beauty, but if the awesome island landscape is not enough, this is one hotel that will make the entire island experience one that only dreams could replace. Perched high on the rocky cliffs of Oia, each traditional island house in the Collection is carved into the rock and preserved to accentuate the unique characteristics of island architecture and décor, complete with private terrace to bask in the magnificent views of the volcanic sea below. 

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Central Macedonia Named ‘European Entrepreneurial Region’ - GTP Headlines

Central Macedonia Named ‘European Entrepreneurial Region’ - GTP Headlines | travelling 2 Greece |
Ile-de-France and Northern and Western Region of Ireland also won the prestigious award for their strategies and commitment to boost businesses within their territories.

Referring to Central Macedonia, the Committee said that it still struggles from the aftermath of the economic crisis, which resulted in a GDP drop of almost 30 percent. “Under the slogan ‘Think Smart – Act Fast’, the strategy aims at confronting these challenges by lessening administrative burden for SMEs; addressing the lack of financing for SMEs by leveraging private funds through a strategic funding platform; nurturing innovation and support entrepreneurs to participate in EU actions and partnerships around the world,” the Committee added.

Macedonia Region Governor Apostolos Tzitzikostas
In its nomination file submitted to the CoR, the Region of Central Macedonia also proposed the cooperation of local businesses with CERN and presented measures for the support of start-ups and innovative businesses.

The award was presented to Central Macedonia Governor Apostolos Tzitzikostas in a ceremony held in July at the European Parliament in Brussels. “When referring to Greece, you usually think of memorandums, recession and austerity measures,” Tzitzikostas said in his speech. “The Region of Central Macedonia proved that there is also the other side of Greece: A country of creativity, entrepreneurship which fights and succeeds,” he added.

The European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) each year rewards three EU territories, which show an outstanding and innovative entrepreneurial policy strategy.  The implementation of the prize-winning regional strategies will be monitored throughout 2018 by the EER jury.

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Aegean Regatta 2017 Race Kicks Off in the Dodecanese - GTP Headlines

Aegean Regatta 2017 Race Kicks Off in the Dodecanese - GTP Headlines | travelling 2 Greece |
The official opening ceremony was held on Saturday, August 19, at the Cultural Center of Patmos, while on Sunday the boats set sail to Astypalea, Nissyros and Rhodes. This year the participant crews come from Turkey, Ireland, Russia, Croatia, Saint Lucia, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Austria and Greece.

The international sailing event is organized for the 17th year by the General Secretariat of the Aegean and Island Policy and the Open Sea Commission of the Hellenic Sailing Federation.
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Athens a Top Pick for Chinese Travelers - GTP Headlines

Athens a Top Pick for Chinese Travelers - GTP Headlines | travelling 2 Greece |
According to the findings, Athens comes third (4 percent), after Paris at number 1 with 18 percent and London second with 5 percent in the preferences of Chinese travelers planning their holidays for the next 12 months. A total of 3 percent opted for Vienna, Berlin, Milan and Rome, and 2 percent preferred Munich, Amsterdam, Zurich and Geneva.

The survey compiled a list of destinations across Europe and the Middle East.

Greece is expected to attract over 1.5 million Chinese tourists in the coming years interested in discovering everything from sea and sun to shopping and culture.

For 2017, estimates place the number of Chinese visitors at over 170,000, up by 10-15 percent against 2016. Beijing and Shanghai tour operators are reporting a growing interest compared to 2016 for Santorini, Mykonos, Athens and Chania.

More than 122 million China nationals traveled abroad in 2016 up by 4.3 percent, with average spending per day up from 414 dollars in 2016 to 446 dollars this year, a rise of 8 percent.
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Advocates Reject Greece Claiming the Parthenon Marbles Through Brexit Talks - GTP Headlines

Advocates Reject Greece Claiming the Parthenon Marbles Through Brexit Talks - GTP Headlines | travelling 2 Greece |

According to German newspaper Die Welt, entitled “Brexit vs. Marble Frieze,” in the context of negotiations on Britain’s exit from the EU, the Greek Parliament could demand the return of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum to Athens. “Ratification of any agreement between London and Brussels for the next day of Brexit will require the ratification by the national parliaments of the other 27 EU Member States,” the report says.

The renowned Caryatids in the Acropolis Museum. The figures were originally six but one (below, left) was removed by Lord Elgin in the early 19th century and is now in the British Museum in London. The pedestal for the Caryatid removed to London (second from the left on the front) remains empty.
As the report underlines, the proposal, however, is inconsistent with the strategy that has so far been followed by Greek governments, which is based on cultural diplomacy and pressure on the British Museum by engaging public opinion and personalities of public life and politicians in Britain and elsewhere.

According to UK reports, advocates in Britain in favor of the reunification of the sculptures have noted that such a move by the Greek side would be perceived as “blackmail” and would undermine the moral advantage already gained on the issue.

Dame Janet Suzman, chairwoman of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles, recently told the Telegraph that any reunification of the marbles should not be mixed up with the Brexit issue.

“I think involving the marbles in the horribly complex Brexit negotiations would be a bit silly,” she said. Referring to the EU referendum, Dame Janet added: “Great art was as far from the question posed to the people as anything I can think of. This is entirely another question, a question of aesthetics, honesty and colonial morality. It would be like putting apples and pears together.”

Suzman’s statement was in reference to SYRIZA MEP Stelios Kouloglou’s request to the European Commission on the issue of Britain returning the Parthenon Marbles through Brexit negotiations.

On its part, the British Museum issued the following statement: “The Acropolis Museum gives the opportunity for the Parthenon Sculptures in Athens (about half of that surviving from antiquity) to be valued against the background of Athenian history. The Parthenon Sculptures in London are an important representation of ancient Athenian culture in the context of world history. ”

For over three decades, Greece has repeatedly called on the British Museum to return the 2,500-year-old marble sculptures that once adorned the Parthenon and have been the subject of dispute since they were illegally removed and sold by Lord Elgin to the British Museum in 1817.

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Ouzo Fest 2017: Lesvos' Famed Drink Wins Over the Crowds - GTP Headlines

Ouzo Fest 2017: Lesvos' Famed Drink Wins Over the Crowds - GTP Headlines | travelling 2 Greece |
Organized by the Lesvos Association of Distillers, the ouzo festival took place this year on July 14-15 in the area of Ladadika in Mytilini town and on July 22 at the marina in the town of Plomari.

During the festival, the restaurants, taverns and coffee shops of both towns treated visitors to ouzo and a variety of “mezedes” (Greek appetizers) while Greek traditional music played in the background, inviting all to let loose and dance in the streets.

The festival included ouzo tasting events and guests were given the opportunity to sample the spirit from the eight participating distilleries (Matarellis, Yiannatsis, EPOM, LEVA, Barbayiannis, EBA, Spentza, Plomariou Isidorou Arvanitou) and get to know the secrets of the beverage that has been identified with Greece, and especially with the island and the culture of Lesvos.

The 5th Ouzo Fest was accompanied by a series of traditional and modern music events. Among the highlights was the performance by Greek traditional music singer Solon Lekkas, a native of Lesvos.

According to the Lesvos Association of Distillers, more than 2,500 people took part in the ouzo tasting events, while many more attended the festival.

“We aim for the Ouzo Fest to be a quality festival in which visitors will come to know not only ouzo but also the island’s tradition that is associated with it,” the association said.
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Overnight Stays at Thessaloniki Hotels Rise in First Half of Year - GTP Headlines

Overnight Stays at Thessaloniki Hotels Rise in First Half of Year - GTP Headlines | travelling 2 Greece |
According to THA data, for the January-June period the northern port city’s hotels recorded 1,083,551 overnight stays compared to 1,047,161 in the first half of 2016. Of the total, 35,596 stays were booked in cooperation with UNHCR and NGOs and hosted refugees and immigrants from Iraq and Syria.

Greeks still hold the lead with 565,273 overnight stays down by 6.26 percent against the same period last year (603,010), followed by Cypriots with 62,962 stays up by 5.13 percent, tourists from neighboring Turkey with 39,286 stays – a rise of 4.74 percent – and German travelers at 35,935, marking an increase of 29.57 percent compared to last year.

The number of Israeli holidaymakers increased by 63.06 percent with 30,107 overnight stays while US visitors dropped by 2.33 percent to 24,736 stays.

Meanwhile, according to monthly data released by tourism experts GBR Consulting, the average room rate increased by 4.4 percent and relevant revenue (RevPar) by 7.9 percent in the first half of 2017. Despite this however, RevPar continues to be low by European standards at 45.49 euros.
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Santo Maris Oia Nominated for Greece’s Best Resort Spa for 2017 - GTP Headlines

Santo Maris Oia Nominated for Greece’s Best Resort Spa for 2017 - GTP Headlines | travelling 2 Greece |
“Being shortlisted among the best Resort Spas in Greece is in itself an honorable distinction,” the management of the Santo Maris Oia said in an announcement, adding that the nomination is also a recognition and a reward for the high-quality services on offer and for the spa’s remarkable facilities.

The spa of Santo Maris Oia reflects the hotel’s philosophy of personalized services rooted on the ideals of genuine Cretan hospitality and of the promotion of Greek concepts and products, as most of the treatments, techniques & ingredients are inspired by the Aegean Islands and Crete.

“The nomination confirms that even though the newly built Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa has been in operation for only two years, its 300 sq.m. spa is already regarded as one of the best on Santorini, thanks to the wide range and the unique quality of treatments, therapies and wellness services on offer.”
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Egyptair Offers Charter Flights to Santorini, Adds New Athens-Cairo Routes - GTP Headlines

Egyptair Offers Charter Flights to Santorini, Adds New Athens-Cairo Routes - GTP Headlines | travelling 2 Greece |
According to an announcement, the airline will conduct 30 flights by the end of July, which are fully booked. Furthermore, 20 charter flights have been scheduled for August and September.

Egyptair has also increased its routes between Athens and Cairo for the summer season. More specifically, apart from the afternoon service the airline has added a daily evening flight, with the aim of meeting the needs of even more passengers. The evening flights are conducted with an Airbus A320 on Thursdays and Sundays and with an Embraer aircraft during the rest of the week.

The airline is offering passengers of the specific flights the option of carrying two suitcases for free (23 kg each).

Furthermore, for travelers who wish to continue from Cairo to another destination Egyptair is offering the option of an overnight stay at a five-star hotel in the city. For those who wish to spend six to ten hours in Cairo, the airline is offering a free daily use of a five-star hotel room, as well as free guided tours to Cairo, the Nile river and the Pyramids.

Egyptair has been flying to Greece for the past 60 years.
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EKPIZO: Rights and Obligations of Travelers and Hotels - GTP Headlines

EKPIZO: Rights and Obligations of Travelers and Hotels - GTP Headlines | travelling 2 Greece |
According to the organization hotels and rented rooms are obliged to:

Provide the customer with all the services promoted and previously agreed.
Inform the traveler in writing and within three days on whether his/her reservation is verified or not.
Have the hotel’s price list available in every room.
In case the agreed terms are not met, the hotelier/owner of the facility must ensure the guest stays in another hotel of equal or superior category, cover the expenses of his/her transportation and the price difference – if any.
When making a reservation the accommodation facility is entitled to a deposit of up to 25 percent of the total cost of the accommodation. This amount must not be less than the cost of a day’s stay.When canceling a reservation:
The traveler may get a full refund as long as the cancelation takes place 21 days prior to the start of his/her stay.
In case the reservation is not canceled 21 days  prior to the starting date of the stay, the traveler is obliged to pay up to 50 percent of the total cost of the reservation, according to the accommodation facility’s policy.
In case a traveler wishes to stay on fewer days than initially agreed, he/she must inform the hotel at least 21 days prior to the start of his/her stay in order to avoid extra charge. In a different case the hotelier is entitled to a compensation of up to 50 percent of the amount agreed.
For more information or to file a complaint EKPIZO is advising travelers to contact the Tourism Police, the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) and the General Secretariat of Commerce and Consumer Protection.
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Top 10 things to do in Mykonos - World Travel Bug

Top 10 things to do in Mykonos - World Travel Bug | travelling 2 Greece |

Greece has thousands of gorgeous islands but somehow, some of them manage to make their way through the top preference of people and Mykonos and Santorini are right there at the top. They are both drop dead gorgeous but in a completely different way!

Now lets see what makes Mykonos so special, why I loved it and what you can do there. In fact, there is so much to tell about Mykonos that I am planning to write 3 different posts to proper cover it from all angles. So, this first one is about what you can (or better yet what you SHOULD) do there:

1. Attend some parties

Mykonos is famous for many reasons, but probably this is the main one. Notice how I did not say nightlife? Cause Mykonos is on for 24 hours!!! Ok, yes, maybe a bit less in the morning, when all the night birds are still sleeping, but come early afternoon, the island starts vibrating again!

We chose the more chilled vibe of the early parties (afternoon and evenings) and decided to actually enjoy our days at the beach so I cannot really relate about the night experience first hand. However, let me tell you this: there are buses picking people up from various locations to drop them off to party places! Yup…. PARTY  BUSES!

2. Go beach hopping
Now, that was my favourite part about the island. And I am not talking just go to the beach. No. Mykonos is famous for its beaches. There are so many and each of them manages to bring another vibe to the island. We stayed there for 7 days and tried a new beach every day. Sometimes 2 per day! However, for the sake of this post not getting too long, I will create another one dedicated only to the beaches! Deal?

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All I will say here is that there is a competition as to which beach has got the bluest and clearest water!!! My god, the colour of the water in Mykonos is out of this world! Look at this!

3. Relax in a gay paradise (as a girl )
Seriously! Hear me out here, as I certainly know what I am talking about! Probably everybody knows that Mykonos is extremely popular with gay people, so much so that some people even call it the gay island. BUT….it doesn’t mean that you will only find gay people there, no way. Yes, you will certainly find A LOT more than on any other island (that I know of).

Now, the best part about it, is that, as a girl, you feel completely at ease in Mykonos! There is no confusion of somebody hitting (or not hitting) on you, so you can just have relaxed and pleasant conversations with people.

The famous Jackie’O
4. Splurge on top restaurants
In Mykonos you can dine as cheap or as expensive as you want to make it. For instance, don’t think a 300 Eur lunch is something rare here. But on the other hand, you can also have a delicious gyros or a salad for less than 10 Eur. It all really depends on you.  So… if you like going to nice (and most of the time really expensive) restaurants, Mykonos has got you covered. It is a known fact that Mykonos is the playground for  jet setters,  therefore you will find plenty of high end restaurants. I am only going to give you a few examples here as I plan to write a whole post just about this: Nammos, Scorpios, Buddha Bar, Jackie’O, Ling Ling by Hakkasan, Matsuhisa by Nobu…you get the gist right?

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5. Get lost in the old town
The white cobblestoned streets of Mykonos town, decorated with bright spots of colours from doors, shops, flowers to restaurants are inviting you to just keep walking and discover them. Each corner, each street reveals another charming sight and, if you are like me, you cannot stop taking pictures.

6. Shop till you drop
Being a jet setter destination, you can imagine that you will not only find your usual souvenirs shops here but a lot of fashion shops, art galleries, jewellery shops, home deco and so on. Do not leave Mykonos before checking some of these out. The fashion shops actually have some really special and sometimes unique pieces.

7. Rent an scooter/ATV/ car
If you are in Mykonos for a few days at least, it is a pity to just stay and hang around at your hotel beach. One of the main activities on this island is beach hopping (see #2 above). And some of the beaches are quite spread out and you can only reach them by car or ATV. Be careful and do not rent a big car there, as the streets are not really meant for big cars. Many of them are quite narrow and I have seen a few traffic jams created just because some of the cars were too big to be able to pass easily!

8. Watch the sunset from Little Venice
This is hands down the best and the most impressive place to watch the sunset in Mykonos. You might want to go there a bit earlier to make sure you can secure a spot at one of the terraces, cafes or restaurants aligned along Little Venice.

9. Take a boat
In addition to exploring the island by car/ATV, you can also reach some of the beaches by boat. And in fact, I preferred this to the car. So whenever it was possible, we always chose the boat. And I do not mean boat tours. They simply work like a water bus. They have an itinerary and they are picking people from beaches along the way and dropping them off to other beaches. We were staying in Ornos, which was the starting point for most of the boat trips so it was pretty easy.

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Greek Dream '18: Respond on Demand, Leaderexpo Announce New B2B and B2C Tourism Event - GTP Headlines

Greek Dream '18: Respond on Demand, Leaderexpo Announce New B2B and B2C Tourism Event - GTP Headlines | travelling 2 Greece |
The new two-day event will be entitled “Greek Dream” and is planned to run annually.

The debut event “Greek Dream ’18” will take place next year in Brussels, Belgium, during February 20-21 and include B2B meetings between Greek tourism enterprises and travel agencies in Belgium and the promotion of Greek travel destinations and businesses to the public through B2C meetings.

According to the organizers, Greek participating companies are expected to hold some 25 B2B meetings each with foreign buyers on the first day. On the second day, they will have the opportunity to have direct meetings (B2C) with the Belgian audience and promote special offers for holidays in Greece.

The organizers will aim to hold future editions of the event in various countries.

From 2009 until today, Respond On Demand has been promoting Greek hotels, travel agencies and destinations to travel agencies abroad, having developed a remarkable communication network of tourism professionals in foreign countries. Leaderexpo is the organizer of the “Greek Tourism Expo” international exhibition that takes place annually in Athens.
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#South #Aegean, #Crete Among Top 30 #EU Destinations in 2015 #GR #Greece #ttot

#South #Aegean, #Crete Among Top 30 #EU Destinations in 2015 #GR #Greece #ttot | travelling 2 Greece |
The South Aegean ranked 26th and registered 23.4 million overnight stays by EU residents and non-residents in 2015, while Crete ranked 27th with 23.3 million overnight stays.

The Canary Islands in Spain topped the list with 94 million overnight stays and were followed by Île-de-France with 76.8 million  and Catalonia with 75.5 million.

Among the top 30 tourist regions in 2015, six were located in Spain, France and Italy, four in Germany, two in Greece two in Austria, one in Ireland, one in the Netherlands and one in the United Kingdom (inner London).

Nearly 90% of overnight stays within the EU were spent by EU residents, while only 10 percent of overnight stays concerned non-EU residents.

Source: Eurostat
The United States topped the list of EU travelers’ popular destinations outside the European Union with a share of 13.8 percent in 2015. Turkey was second with 10.4 percent and Morocco third with 4.6 percent.

Greeks mostly traveled to Albania (53.8 percent) and Turkey (9.4 percent) outside the EU.

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International Reality Show Producers Eyeing Greece - GTP Headlines

International Reality Show Producers Eyeing Greece - GTP Headlines | travelling 2 Greece |
A 50-member crew from Sweden’s Kanal 5 has received the go-ahead by the Chania municipality on Crete to proceed with the filming of “Superstar” on October 12-25. The popular reality show, which features Swedish athletes competing in swimming, archery and other sports, will be aired in 2018.

At the same time, producers from the UK’s E4 channel will be shooting the “Five Star Hotel” reality program to be set in a Greek boutique hotel. The show will feature British celebrities welcoming guests in the reception area among others and being judged on the quality services offered. The program will be aired in September and October.

Skopelos Island. Photo: © Corina de Kiviet / Shutterstock
Local authorities have repeatedly expressed interest in attracting foreign productions to Greece, underlining the multiple benefits for the tourism promotion of the said destinations.

A case in point is the Greek island of Skopelos, where Hollywood blockbuster Mamma Mia was filmed. The island lost the sequel recently which will be filmed in Croatia instead.

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Lights, Cameras, Action… on Syros Come October - GTP Headlines

Lights, Cameras, Action… on Syros Come October - GTP Headlines | travelling 2 Greece |
Speaking to the press, Leontaritis announced the filming of a Balkan co-production to take place on the island on October 16-24.

The said project comes on top of plans announced last week for the implementation of a 6.5-million-euro investment to establish a Hollywood studio and film school on the island.

Underlining the region’s efforts to boost island growth through investment, Leontaritis presented Constantin Deliyannis, director of Series Balkans Pilots Project, which will undertake the venture.

“The portrayal of the locals and the island’s culture will emerge in the scenes filmed here… the production will include professional and amateur actors selected from the island. The benefits for the island will be multiple,” said Deliyannis.

Series Balkans is part of a larger Balkan and European creative and educational project aiming at the creation of a studio-school providing students from the Balkans lessons and training courses on screenwriting, directing, producing and marketing TV and web series pilots.
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Tinos Featured on Romanian TV as Pilgrimage Destination - GTP Headlines

Tinos Featured on Romanian TV as Pilgrimage Destination - GTP Headlines | travelling 2 Greece |
The TVR crew will visit the island between August 14 and 18 to film the events for the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, as thousands of people from Greece and abroad visit the island’s Panagia Evangelistria Cathedral on August 15. The Cathedral is home to an icon of Virgin Mary, which was discovered underground in 1823 and is believed to be the source of numerous miracles.

Panagia Evangelistria Cathedral
The feature will be presented in a special episode of TVR2, which is among Romania’s most popular TV channels with significant viewing rates. The channel presents high-quality programs, which focus on culture, tourism and entertainment, the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) said in an announcement. Furthermore, several videos of Tinos will be featured on other TV shows.

As 90 percent of Romanians are Orthodox Christians, their interest on Tinos is great, while Romanian tour operators also look into other Greek pilgrimage destinations.

The familiarization (fam) trip on Tinos was organized upon the initiative of the Office of the Greek National Tourism Organization in Romania and approved by the GNTO Secretary General Konstantinos Tsegas.

Furthermore, the Organization announced that on August 20-22 it will host a journalist of the German newspaper “Der Tagesspiegel”, who is set to write a feature on Athens.

Moreover, as part of a cruise, six Austrian journalists between August 29 and September 3 will visit Athens, Hydra and Mykonos. They represent the “Krone Zeitung, “Kurier” and “Die Presse” newspapers;  the “Oe24” web and TV network which has 4,000,000 viewers and the “Hin und Weg” magazine, an announcement said.

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Authentic Big Blue Awards Feature Legendary Free Divers Mayol, Maiorca - GTP Headlines

Authentic Big Blue Awards Feature Legendary Free Divers Mayol, Maiorca - GTP Headlines | travelling 2 Greece |

The athletes who inspired French director/screenwriter Luc Besson to film The Big Blue on Amorgos in 1988 will be remembered through their depictions on the awards to be bestowed to the top athletes of the Authentic Big Blue 2017 – the first free-diving competition to take place at Agia Anna beach three decades after parts of The Big Blue were filmed there.

The international free-diving event will bring to Amorgos the best athletes in the sport from across the globe and the winners will be awarded the “Jacques Mayol” and “Enzo Maiorca” medals in memory of the two legends.

Frenchman Mayol was the first free diver to descend to 100m in 1976 and to 105m at the age of 56 trying to explore whether man could bring to the surface a hidden aquatic potential. Italian Maiorca was the first diver to reach 50m in 1961 breaking his personal record at age 57 reaching 101m.

Meanwhile actor Jean-Marc Barr returned to Amorgos to remember his leading role as Mayol and participate in the production of a documentary on the 1988 film and how it paved the way for the sport of free-diving.

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'World Tourism Day 2017' to Focus on Sustainable Tourism - GTP Headlines

'World Tourism Day 2017' to Focus on Sustainable Tourism - GTP Headlines | travelling 2 Greece |
World Tourism Day has been celebrated since 1980 on September 27, the day in which the Statutes of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) entered into force. Peace and Dialogue, Energy, Accessibility, World Heritage and Water and Tourism have been some of the topics tackled on the 37 previous editions of World Tourism Day.

“Last year alone, 1.235 million travelers crossed international borders in one single year. By 2030, this 1.2 billion will become 1.8 billion. The question, as we celebrate World Tourism Day 2017, is how we can enable this powerful global transformative force, these 1.8 billion opportunities, to contribute to make this world a better place and to advance sustainable development in all its three pillars,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.
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Greece Among Top 10 Countries Where Sun Lovers Should Move to - GTP Headlines

Greece Among Top 10 Countries Where Sun Lovers Should Move to - GTP Headlines | travelling 2 Greece |
Based on the insights of more than 14,000 expats from over 191 countries, the survey shows that the weather seems to be play a crucial role in expat’s choice of destination: almost seven out of ten (67 percent) say the climate in their new home was a factor to consider before moving abroad. This means that people are just as likely to think about the weather as they do about the costs of living and general living standards when contemplating their new home (67 percent and 70 percent, respectively).

Malta ranks first on the list of the top 10 most promising destinations for sun lovers and is followed by Costa Rica, Cyprus, Morocco, Spain and Portugal. Greece ranks seventh on the list of countries where sun lovers should move to and is followed by Uganda, Ecuador and Brazil.

Sunny destinations influence the quality of life but also work

A better climate is one of the things Finnish expats moving abroad were looking forward to the most, as nearly seven out of ten (66%) considered it a potential benefit before to relocating — 20 percentage points more than the global average (46%). Other nationalities feeling this way are the Irish (64%), the British (63%), and Russians (62%), whose countries of origin can all be found among the worst countries to move to for the weather.

However, a sunny climate is not everything, as Cyprus, Greece, Portugal, and Brazil are great for relaxing in the sun, but rank among the ten worst countries for working abroad.

“Greece: where finances remain an issue”

According to InterNations, Greece shows that nice weather is not the only thing that counts when moving abroad, as even though 81 percent of expats considered the climate a potential benefit, the country is not very popular among expats in general.

“The country in the Balkans does especially poor in terms of working abroad and personal finance: only a quarter of respondents are generally satisfied with their financial situation, in contrast to 64 percent globally,” InterNations said.

Moreover, 45 percent worry about their job security in Greece, which is more than twice the global average (22 percent).

The survey also noted that Greece also is not a great choice for families, as only 15 percent of expat parents in Greece find the education options numerous and easy to get, and not one respondent agrees completely with this statement.

Countries to Avoid If You Are Looking for the Sun
Besides Kazakhstan and Russia, the bottom ten destinations for sunseekers are all located in Europe: it comes to no surprise that the United Kingdom and Ireland are leading the list of countries to avoid on the search for the sun by a large margin (13 percentage points), with six out of ten expats now living there having considered the weather as a potential disadvantage before moving.

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SEV: Greece Tourism Infrastructure Needs Upgrade Now - GTP Headlines

SEV: Greece Tourism Infrastructure Needs Upgrade Now - GTP Headlines | travelling 2 Greece |
In its weekly bulletin, SEV underlines the need to invest in high quality infrastructure and products which in turn will ensure profitability in the long term.

The SEV report cites the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017 released by the World Economic Forum earlier this year according to which Greece ranked 24th among 136 countries in terms of competitiveness but 44th for the quality of tourism infrastructure, which includes hotels, resorts, recreational centers etc. Spain, France and Germany were in top three spots.

SEV backs the findings of other bodies reiterating the need for the state as well as tourism stakeholders to look to the future despite the sector’s improved performance in the last few years, underlining the lagging revenue and the current geopolitical circumstances in the region as points that require further examination.

To achieve this Greece must guarantee a stable political and economic environment in order to attract investment which will tap into the increasing number of tourist flows to the country attracting higher income travelers and diversifying its product.

It also suggests improving overall competitiveness of the tourist product, which is now suffering from high taxation passed on to the customer, as well as simplifying the investment process and licensing procedures for new infrastructure which will bring in private investors and pave the way for diverse pricing policies depending on offered product.

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Hellenic Chamber of Hotels Holds 1st International Hospitality Forum - GTP Headlines

Hellenic Chamber of Hotels Holds 1st International Hospitality Forum - GTP Headlines | travelling 2 Greece |
The Forum is organized by the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels and it will take place at the Metropolitan Expo in Athens.

“Rapid developments in technology and the changing desires of travelers are dramatically transforming the global tourism environment, influencing the hotel services and the way they are promoted,” said George Tsakiris, President of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels. “We wish the 1st International Hospitality Forum to become a pioneering platform of  knowledge for our members and the entire tourism industry,” he added.

Distinguished Greek and foreign speakers from the tourism industry, the academic community and consulting companies will speak on issues related to the technology and the digitalization era; the behavior of consumers; new, specialized hotel products; hotel sales and ways of achieving revenue growth.

Organized by Forum SA, the Xenia exhibition will take place between November 25 and 27, 2017. During the three-day event, hospitality sector professionals will have the chance to meet with representatives from leading companies providing hotel equipment, technology solutions and online services, companies active in construction, renovation and energy saving, as well as food industry suppliers.
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Sector Experts Say Big Break for Greek Tourism Now  - GTP Headlines

Sector Experts Say Big Break for Greek Tourism Now  - GTP Headlines | travelling 2 Greece |

Investments in facilities, infrastructure, ports and airports as well as offering competitive products, attracting high-income travelers and tapping into culture and gastronomy are crucial to achieving high returns from tourism, according to data gathered by SETE’s intelligence unit (InSETE). 

The report underlines the need for a comprehensive operational framework that will outline strategic goals, identify and utilize funding opportunities, ensure sustainability and tap into innovation and new technologies.

According to the study, domestic tourism suffered a massive blow during the economic crisis declining by a massive 67 percent. The sector has since shown signs of recovery, with stakeholders expecting over 26 million international arrivals against 24.8 million in 2016, despite the reduced by 20 percent cruise travel figures.

The sector is now faced with finding ways to increase tourist spending – which dropped last year due to reduced overnight rates and shorter stays. According to InSETE, if spending picks up, it expects total revenue to range between 14.2 and 14.5 billon euros, in which case the sector will contribute one unit to the country’s GDP, will lead to more than 35 million visitors by 2021 and 20 billion euros in travel receipts.

To achieve this, however, InSETE underlines the need for new investments to the tune of 5-7 billion euros over the next four years, citing in the meantime a PwC survey which found that by 2021, there will be a demand for some 105,000 five-star beds.

According to InSETE, for ever single euro spent, an additional 1.2-1.65 euros of additional economic activity are generated making the sector a leading driver of the economy. Indicatively, tourism accounts for 73 percent of the GDP of Crete, the South Aegean and Ionian Islands regions.

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Meteora: THE Place to See a Unique Hidden Monk Jail!

Meteora: THE Place to See a Unique Hidden Monk Jail! | travelling 2 Greece |
The Holy Spirit hike in Meteora, Greece, is packed with adventure, breath-taking views, long traditions and a first for me....a monk jail!
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Shipwrecks Identify Fournoi as Significant Hub of Ancient World - GTP Headlines

Shipwrecks Identify Fournoi as Significant Hub of Ancient World - GTP Headlines | travelling 2 Greece |
The underwater expedition was conducted by the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities and  the Florida-based RPM Nautical Foundation between June 9 and 29.

The remains date from the Classical times to the first half of the 20th century and include a 4th century B.C. ship carrying a cargo of amphorae from Chios; a Roman shipwreck loaded with Dressel 38-type amphorae for salted fish of Spanish origin, two late Roman-era shipwrecks with amphorae dating to the 6th and 7th century A.D. and a wooden craft of the interwar period, which sank after 1929.

The number and the variety of the cargoes discovered — with many of them being of foreign origin — indicate that Fournoi was a significant hub in antiquity and connected a broad network of sea routes, according to an announcement by the Greek Culture Ministry.

According to RPM Nautical Foundation, 22 shipwrecks were identified during the first season of the underwater research in September 2015 in the Fournoi archipelago, while 23 additional shipwrecks were discovered in June 2016.

Fournoi is a collection of 13 islands and islets located between the Aegean islands of Samos and Ikaria. The expedition will continue through 2018.

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Santorini Tops T+L's 'Best Islands in Europe' List for 2017 - GTP Headlines

Santorini Tops T+L's 'Best Islands in Europe' List for 2017 - GTP Headlines | travelling 2 Greece |
Santorini, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece, topped the list. As the magazine points out, Santorini has claimed the number one spot in the Best Islands in Europe category an “astounding” 14 times.

The island also landed at the fifth spot in Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best Island” list for 2017 (after Palawan, Philippines; Hilton Head Island, South Carolina; Boracay Island, Philippines; and Galapagos Islands, Ecuador)

Travel + Leisure’s Best Islands in Europe list continues with Ischia in Italy in second place (score: 88.53) and is followed by Hvar and the Dalmatian islands in Croatia (score: 87.75). Crete, Paros and Rhodes & Dodecanese follow in fourth, fifth and sixth places respectively. Azores in Portugal came in seventh, followed by Sicily in Italy, Skye and the Hebrides in Scotland and Menorca in Spain.

Moreover, the readers of Travel + Leisure also formed the list of the “Best Resort Hotels in Greece”. Once again Santorini dominates the list as four of the top five properties are located on the island: Katikies Hotel (1st place), Canaves Oia (2nd place), Vedema, a Luxury Collection Resort (4th place) and Mystique, a Luxury Collection Hotel (5th place). The Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa on Crete is in the 3rd place on the list.

Mystique Hotel, Santorini.
Moreover, only one Greek property made it on T+L’s list of “100 Top Hotels in the World”: Katikies Hotel on Santorini is in the 92nd place. The Nihi Sumba Island (formerly Nihiwatu) in Indonesia was voted as the best hotel in the world. Regarding the magazine’s list of the “15 Best Holiday Hotels in Europe”, Katikies Hotel comes up in the seventh place and Canaves Oia is in the eighth place. The property that topped the list is Castello di Casole – A Timbers Resort, Casole d’Elsa in Italy.

Every year for its World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated islands according to their activities and sights, natural attractions and beaches, food, friendliness, and overall value.

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Tax Cuts Will Boost #Greek #Tourism's #Competitiveness, SETE Says #ttot

Tax Cuts Will Boost #Greek #Tourism's #Competitiveness, SETE Says #ttot | travelling 2 Greece |

....In a meeting on Thursday with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the Maximos Mansion, a delegation from SETE, headed by its president, Yiannis Retsos, called for the VAT rates on transport, accommodation and the food sector to be adjusted to lower levels, equivalent to those of competitor countries.

In statements to the media, Retsos said that the confederation informed the Greek PM on the main issues concerning tourism. “Taxation, especially the value-added tax (VAT) and the stayover tax on accommodation, reduce the competitiveness of our product,” he said. The VAT rate imposed on the Greek tourism sector is currently seven percent more than that in competitor countries.

Regarding the stayover tax, which is planned to be charged on Greek hotels as of January 2018, SETE underlined that its imposition for all months of the year will undermine efforts to extend the season and also negatively affect the country’s winter destinations.

SETE has proposed for the stayover tax to be imposed only during the two-month period from July to August, as it is estimated that demand will be less affected.

Moreover, the SETE delegation brought the issue of land-use planning to the attention of the Greek more

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