World Travel Awards 2018: Greek tourim picks up multiple awards

Greece received a series of international awards (hotels, organisations, management companies etc) at this year’s World Travel Awards (WTA), during the Grand Final Gala Ceremony 2018 which was held in the historic Pátio da Galé in Lisbon.

Hundreds of top personalities from the global travel and tourism industry attended the WTA Awards Ceremony, which has been held every year since 1993, recognising and rewarding excellence in all sectors of tourism worldwide.

Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas was awarded the title of best eco-accommodation in the world, while HotelBrain was picked as the top hotel management company for 2018.
Athens was the top city break destination in Europe and the Acropolis picked up the award as Europe’s top attraction for 2018, the Peloponnese as the best beach destination, the Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO) as the best national tourism strategy provider, Aegean as the best regional airline and the Grand Resort Lagonissi won the first European award in the Luxury resort category and Luxury resort for wedding travel.

The following Greek companies, destinations, and hotels received European honours…

Europe’s Leading Beach Destination 2018 | Peloponnese
Europe’s Leading Beach Hotel 2018 | Porto Zante Villas & Spa
Europe’s Leading Boutique Hotel 2018 | Kivotos Mykonos
Europe’s Leading City Break Destination 2018 | Athena
Europe’s Leading Destination Management Company 2018 | Mideast Travel Worldwide
Europe’s Leading Hotel Management Company 2018 | HotelBrain
Europe’s Leading Luxury Island Resort 2018 | Grand Resort Lagonissi
Europe’s Leading Luxury Lifestyle Resort 2018 | Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Porto Heli
Europe’s Leading Luxury Villa Resort 2018 | Elounda Beach Hotel & Villas
Europe’s Leading Luxury Wedding Resort 2018 | Grand Resort Lagonissi
Europe’s Leading National Tourism Strategy & Campaign 2018 | GNTO
Europe’s Leading New Resort 2018 | Lesante Blu Exclusive Beach Resort
Europe’s Leading Regional Airline 2018 | Aegean Airlines
Europe’s Leading Seafront Resort 2018 | Elounda Bay Palace
Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction 2018 | Acropolis
Europe’s Leading Villa Resort 2018 | Porto Zante Villas & Spa

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NASA to collaborate officially with the Hellenic Space Agency

Representatives of the Hellenic Space Agency participated in the International Astronautical Congress held in Bremen.

The conference unanimously decided to cooperate with space agencies around the world to prepare and implement an international mission to the Moon.

NASA is the head of this international mission and Greece will take part in the mission demonstrating that it is an equal partner in space events and that it can promote Greek scientists and Greek academic institutions to major missions.

Source: tornosnews

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Wedding tourism: Santorini among the world’s top 2019 destinations

What are the latest destination wedding and honeymoon trends as we head into 2019? Here’s what’s going on according to Renée Strauss and Pamela Strauss-Goldman, the co-founders of Wedaways.com.

Here’s what to know:

Heritage Return: one of the top initiators of a destination wedding today is what is known as “heritage return”. The wedding will often be the first opportunity a couple has to return to their land of origin (or the land of ancestry for one of the partners). This is why Ireland and Italy are incredibly popular for destination weddings.

Most Popular Wedding Destinations: the most popular wedding destinations are Tuscany, Italy; Amalfi Coast, Italy; Provence, France; Paris, France; County Kildare, Ireland; County Waterford, Ireland; Marrakech, Morocco; and Napa Valley, California.

Honeymoon Destinations Gaining In Popularity: Wedaways is seeing more and more requests for honeymoons in Marrakech, Morocco; Santorini, Greece; Algarve, Portugal; Swiss Alps.

Advance Booking: Couples are starting the booking process for a destination wedding approximately 15 months out and only 5 months out for the honeymoon.

Guests Attend Based Upon The Destination: Guests often decide to attend based upon the destination versus if they actually want to see the couple wed!

Pre-Wedding Planning Trips Are On The Rise: Couples take the time and spend the money to visit the destination and venue prior to the wedding date. They want to see and feel the overall venue experience so they can plan around it accordingly.

Wedding Guests Are Booking Pre- And Post-Wedding Stays: Because guests are traveling great distances to attend a wedding, they take advantage of the opportunity to build their own travel into the trip. Wedaways is seeing many guests either departing for the destination earlier or staying on after the event. Guests are timing a cruise to coincide with the wedding, going from the wedding to a safari, or a scenic road trip in and around the wedding destination.

Fewer Couples Want Pre-Packaged Anything: Even though a couple might be going to a hotel or resort that specializes in destination weddings and offers a wedding package, most don’t want a “cookie-cutter” experience and tend to stay away from a hotel’s “wedding package.” They seek out preferred wedding planners in the destination to ensure a truly bespoke experience.

It’s Not Just A Wedding, It’s A Multi-Day Celebration: a destination wedding is much more than just the actual wedding day. Couples are now including itineraries in the guest’s welcome bags which include details on all of the events the guests can participate in as well as suggestions and options of activities guests can do to best experience that particular destination over a few days for the wedding celebration.

Authentic Destination Guest Gifts: Couples are after authentic guest gifts which represent the destination of the wedding versus something generic. For example, for a recent wedding in Japan, one couple gave away gorgeous Japanese silk fans for their guests as a keepsake.

Read more HERE

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Greece to launch e-registry for leisure boats

Greece will launch an e-registry for leisure boats via an amendment to the legal provisions, thus the modernising the current legal framework. The amendment is expected to be attached to a bill on central depositories submitted on Thursday.
Legislation establishing an e-registry was initially passed in 2014 but was never put into force. Finance ministry officials said the e-registry will be part of the Independent Authority of Public Revenue (AADE) and will be updated with the cooperation of citizens, the Merchant Shipping ministry and AADE.
The officials note the e-registry will simplify procedures for boat owners and will offer statistical data to support the development of sea tourism in the country.

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3.154 “golden visas” issued in Greece during 2018

A total of 3.154 “golden visas” have been issued by the Greek state to third-country investors or buyers of real estate this year and up until August 31, 2018, according to the migration policy ministry.

Holders of the “golden visa” acquired a residency permit in Greece and have access to other European Union countries.

The initiative commenced in 2013, with 2.493 such visas issued last year.

Chinese nationals have received the most visas, at 1.521; followed by Russian nationals with 438 and Turkish nationals with 337.

Source: tornosnews

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Swingers’ delight in the open seas of the Aegean!

Sex tourism for swingers is a fast-growing industry in the Greek islands, with the Swedish travel agency “Metsail” offering adventurous couples the chance to live out their fantasies on board a yacht for 8 days in Rhodes. The titillating sea voyage takes the couples, usually between 30 and 40 years old on a route from Rhodes to Tilos-Agia Marina-Agios Nikolaos-Symi-Panormitis-Halki and Rhodes, and promises a very sensual, and unforgettable experience with luxury services. As the site states on its site:
“Imagine stepping off the gangway and immediately feeling somehow sexier and more alluring. Feel the approving glances of others as if you were a celebrity. Indeed! When you are with one of these cruises, that’s exactly how it begins. The atmosphere is sleek and sexy. You are joining other like-minded passengers ready to embark in a delicious week of fantasy fulfilment. Of course, everyone likes different flavours but with a group this large, it’s easy to guarantee that you will find many other couples just like you.”

The swinger voyages, which take place on yachts for a maximum of 6 couples sail every Sunday from Nea Marina. According to the site, the dates available are for 2019 between June 16 and 23 at a rate of 1,350 Euros per person, July 14-21 for 1,670 per person, August 11-18 for 1,820 and September 16-23 for 1,440. ed takes the
As part of the rules stipulated on the site no single men are allowed to take part while swapping partners on deck is forbidden, unless the boat is out in the open seas with no other ships around, in which case anything goes. As the site says: “Swinger activities are not allowed on the deck of the swinger cruise ship, but limited to cabins and specially prepared venues onboard. While we are on land or in a marina, certain lifestyle activities are also limited to the privacy of cabins. Our swinger cruises are not barbaric or perverse quests in Greece. While on a swinger cruise vacation there will be plenty of opportunities both for having sex and being a normal tourist. Because we do want to visit all those lovely tourist attractions, don’t we?”

While you are sailing on the open seas you are a swinger, and you can do whatever you like: flirt, touch and have the wildest sexual adventures when nobody is around watching. However, once on the land, you transform into a regular tourist. You can walk around and enjoy your vacation without anybody knowing about the other part of your travels. Enjoy amazing sightseeing, eat in wonderful restaurants, dance in top clubs, do everything that the average tourist does.

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Greece’s Civil Aviation Service under radical transformation

The Greek Civil Aviation Service is about to be split into two completely separate bodies, after the issue of the Presidential Decrees, following a Parliamentary Act passed two years ago.

The first new body will be APA, the Independent Agency to which all 44 airports of Greece, both private and state-run will be appertained to.

The second body will be the Civil Aviation Service which will be the responsible Authority for management of the state-owned airports in Greece.

Among the new responsibilities of the Independent Agency APA will be the air traffic management that is growing fast due to the boost of the Greek Tourism, the aeronautical information services as well as meteorological, administrative and security services.

According to information, the two new bodies will employ 3,000 people.

Source: Nick Kampouris/greekreporter

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Greek islands in the south account for half of tourism’s spending

Despite a growing reputation as a trendy and hip place for young people, tourists are still choosing the Greek island over Athens. As the Greek Tourism Confederation (INSETE) reports, these tourists spend nearly half of what the entire tourist sector brings in on the Cyclades, Dodecanese, and Crete.

Citing 2017 data supplied by the Bank of Greece, INSETE said the regions brought in 6.91 billion euros.

That made up 48.6 percent of the total tourism spending in a record year that was on course to be broken in 2018, although there are fears the deadly July 23 wildfire and reports of government negligence in seaside towns negatively affect potential guests.

Athens accounted for only 2 billion euros, far less than even Crete, despite the city rapidly gaining positive reviews and upgrades to the port of Piraeus by the operators, the Chinese company Cosco, aimed at bringing more luxury cruise ships.
Western Macedonia was the area with the least interest, bringing in only 45 million euros ($52.53 million,) from visitors, although neighboring Central Macedonia had the highest numbers due to its bordering on Bulgaria, Serbia, Turkey and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), which reached a deal with Greece to be renamed North Macedonia.

The area also was popular because of its proximity to the second-largest city and major port of Thessaloniki and the Halkidiki region, renowned for some of the best beaches in the country and world.

The next most popular area was the Southern Aegean, which accounted for 19 percent of all visits last year.

Each tourist visiting Greece in 2017 stayed for an average of 6.8 nights and spent 458 euros ($534.60,) or 68 euros ($79.37) per overnight stay. The average duration of stay grew by 0.8 percent from 2016, and average expenditure was up 1.9 percent, given that average spending per night increased 1.1 percent despite a new overnight tax imposed by the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA-led coalition which promised to cut taxes but raised them.

The biggest rises in overnight stays and expenditure by foreign tourists were to be found in the Peloponnese, the Southern Aegean and Attica in 2017, with luxury resort Costa Navarino gaining big draws for the Peloponnese.

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The “Greek Freak” invites the world to vacation in Greece (VIDEO)

No matter who you are of where you come from, if you ask Giannis Antetokounmpo where you must visit he’ll tell you his home country, Greece.

Antetokounmpo was born in Greece to Nigerian migrants and is famous worldwide for his athletic skills in basketball which he regularly shows off playing on the Milwaukee Bucks team of the NBA in the United States. Due to his talent, he has been dubbed the “Greek Freak”.

On Friday, Giannis, the tourism ambassador to Greece, posted a new tourism video from the latest campaign promoting his beloved country on his Instagram page – and within hours it had over 65,000 views!

“I tell my team mates: Guys, if you haven’t been to Greece you’re missing out,” Antetokounmpo told reporters on Friday, Reuters reported.. “I’m calling on people to come and get to know our country and see its beauty.”

The Milwaukee Bucks forward said that “the most important part of our Greek culture is solidarity and philanthropy,” and to this end he and his brothers are organizing a run to benefit the charity Kivotos tou Kosmou on July 7, from the Sepolia neighborhood to the Panathenaic Stadium (Kallimarmaro).

Watch Giannis’ latest video promoting Greece:

Source: Kerry Kolasa-Sikiaridi/greekreporter

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National Tourism Organization invites 587 bloggers to promote the beauty of Greece!

Patmos

For the third year, the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) is organizing a program of familiarization trips which intend to make a global touristic promotion of the country. The project intends to bring 587 foreign bloggers, journalists, and representatives of international travel agencies from 27 different countries in 167 familiarization trips scheduled until July to get to know and promote the 13 different regions of Greece, promoting Greek tourism abroad.

Mykonos

The guidelines of the program are included within the framework of the National and Regional Tourism Policy of the country presenting Greece as a year-round destination. A project that is being implemented with enormous success and that sees the participation of the different regions and municipalities as well as actors from the touristic private sector.

acropolis

The first part of the Familiarization Travel Program, approved by the Greek National Tourism Organization aims to promote less known Greek destinations to the global travel community, but it also includes a targeted promotion of different thematic touristic proposals which intend to attract visitors throughout the year.

naxos

Some of the important news outlets participating in the project include journalists from Great Britain (Travel Chanel, BBC, The Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times, Walk Magazine and Evening Standard), France (France 2, France 5), the German publishing group Tagesspiegel, the Austrian newspapers Krone Zeitung & Die Presse, the Belgian magazine Exclusief, the Romanian National Geographic Traveler, Romania’s state TV channel TVR. Private channels such as Antenna 1, Antenna 2, Canal D, Prima TV have also been invited to attend the trips. Bloggers from England, Germany, and Denmark, as well as leading travel agencies from Frace, Japan, China, Poland, The Netherland, Israel, and Romania, will also be part of the planned visits.

Patmos

Different Chinese travel agents, a Chinese travel magazine Travel Agent Magazine as well as a blogger with over 4 million followers on the social media will be taking part in the first Thematic Aegean cruise. Finally, CNN Travel will be hosted on the islands of Chios and Patmos so as to work on the promotion of both destinations as gastronomic and cultural places to visit in Greece.

Source: Gabi Ancarola/greekreporter

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