Issue 15

The Greek Travel Business News Wishes Its Readers A Happy New Year!

New Bill on Tourism

Minister of Culture and Tourism Pavlos Yeroulanos presented a new bill on tourism on December 20, 2011.  The bill espouses a set of three pillars: rural tourism; the creation and operation of tourist ports; the simplification of procedures for the functional licensing of tourist accommodations and other businesses.

Rural tourism, creates jobs, balances regional development and supports local produce. This sector includes various other categories such as fishing tourism - as part of the wider framework of marine eco-tourism – and wine tourism, whose purpose includes the tasting, consumption or purchase of wine, often at or near the source. Regarding the creation and operation of tourist ports, the minister said that the existing legal framework governing the establishment and operation of tourist ports no longer fully meets the needs of state and market requirements, and should be revamped to create conditions for attracting investment in marine tourism in general. As for the simplification of procedures for the licensing of tourism operations, the bill deals with the complexity of bureaucracy involved, in an attempt to simplify procedures to obtain a license for accommodations, ports, and all businesses for which licenses are required.

More information at  Press Conference and Draft Bill (in Greek, 20.12.2011)

Promoting Religious Tourism

The Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism George Nikitiades spoke about the prospects for promoting religious tourism in Greece during a press conference at the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels on December 15. The conclusions of a report on the development and promotion of religious and pilgrimage tourism were presented.

The report is a result of discussions and recommendations by an informal advisory committee, which was established on the initiative of the Deputy Minster for the development of religious tourism. The report includes tours of monasteries, the promotion of cultural and religious items, religious celebrations and events, and organizing special events listed in the religious tourism (conferences, seminars, etc.).

See also: Press Release (14.12.2011, in Greek) and Monasteries; Ministry of Culture: Religious Monuments in Greece;

Upward Trend for in Social Media

Since early 2010, Visit Greece ( - the official website of the Greek National Tourism Organization - has enjoyed using social media, including Facebook, YouTube and Flickr. In autumn 2010, it added Twitter to the list. Since autumn 2011, it has expanded its social networking activity through Foursquare - which allows the user to explore Greece, by checking in at amazing locations and destinations - and Google +, through which it can share photos, videos, advice and useful information highlighting the unique beauty of Greece.

Within a relatively short time and following a remarkable upward trend, the site has built a two-way, interactive relationship with the public, developing personal contact with each guest individually, and creating a usable communications platform accessible to potential visitors. For this reason, Visit Greece aims at further expanding the circle of people who wish to embrace this endeavour of the official site of the Greek Tourism Organization, including professional travel writers, travel bloggers as well as Greek citizens, who in turn will be multipliers in promoting our country as a unique experiential site for all seasons.

We invite you to go to, and “follow Greece everywhere.”

See also: Infographic Statistics in Flipboard Application

Greece’s official tourism site of the Greek National Tourism Organisation is included in the travel section of the application Flipboard since December 17, 2011. Flipboard is one of the most popular social magazines worldwide with more than five million users. One of the best known applications for Apple ipad, iphone and ipod touch, Flipboard has been described as one of the best applications, as it is currently estimated that one in ten ipads have the application installed. The success of the Greek website’s inclusion in the application is twofold. First, Greece is being promoted on a global scale as a tourist destination through republishing in Flipboard. Second, it is the first official, national tourist organization site contained in the application’s travel section, among names like National Geographic, the Telegraph Travel and Lonely Planet. The result is that since December 17, there are 4,000 visits to the web site, by Apple devices alone, representing an increase of 85%.

Greece Voted Best Value Holiday for 2012

Greece has been voted the best value holiday for 2012. Research conducted by the UK’s leading online travel agent “On the Beach” shows that Greece tops the list as the best value destination for summer 2012. The popular island of Santorini shows the best value with summer 2012 holiday prices down 27% from the previous year. Kefalonia, another popular Greek island also offers great value next year with summer prices down on average 17%. Marketing Director at “On the Beach,” Alistair Daly, said: “Our research shows that many hoteliers are offering great discounts on summer holidays in order to entice the British holidaymaker. We expect many to follow suit, which is great news for people looking for great value holidays.”


  • A special tribute to Greece by American show Extra has aired three times, including on Thanksgiving Day, and on Christmas Day. It is estimated that roughly 6 million viewers have watched this special. The topics featured are the Athens Acropolis, the city of Thessaloniki and Santorini island. One may view the entire show on rapidshare.
  • Lonely Planet has published a new top 10 list, enumerating the world’s 10 most unusual beaches: Perissa beach on Santorini island ranks 7th. “Perissa is probably the most beautiful of Santorini's black-sand beaches, overlooked by the huge rock Mesa Vouno, which is lit up at night.”
  • Canadian Toronto Sun has published an article titled “World's top once-in-a-lifetime trips” (15.12.11), in its Travel International section, listing ten destinations across the globe, including Santorini. According to the editor of the article, “these 10 destinations mix the best of the world's ancient sites, stunning landscapes and luxury hideaways. Enjoy - you may only be able to visit once in your lifetime.” About Santorini, the author says:  “…the blue-topped, white buildings of this Greek isle are instantly recognizable and are the perfect place for your cruise stopover. Whether you want to indulge in a little shopping and wine or visit ruins, volcanoes and other historical sites, this legendary isle is a once-in-a-lifetime destination.”