Issue 18

GNTO@ Greek-German forum on tourismreece

A Greek-German forum on tourism was successfully held at the German Bundestag on Monday, February 6, promising the reinforcement of cooperation between the two countries in the tourism industry. The forum was held under the auspices of the presidents of the Greek and German national parliaments, organized by the Bundestag tourism committee and the Greek embassy in Berlin.
The event attended Mr. George Nikitiades, Culture and Tourism Deputy Minister, Mr. George Koletsos, General Secretary of the Greek Tourism Organisation (GNTO), Mr. Yiannis Pyrgiotis, General Secretary of Culture and Tourism Policy, Aris Syngros, Chairman of Invest in Greece and representatives of various regional agencies, airlines, and hoteliers associations.
The meeting produced positive messages regarding German interest in investing in the Greek tourism sector. Participants decided on the establishment of two working groups comprising representatives of the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) and private entrepreneurs that will focus on,

  • the promotion of the tourism sector while seeking new tourism destinations,
  • the investment opportunities related to tourism ,
  • the current legislative framework and financial regulations in place to attract investments.

«50.000 Tourists» Initiative

The Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism of Greece, Mr. George Nikitiades and the Vice-President and Commissioner for Enterprise & Industry, European Commission  Mr. A. Tajani, signed the Memorandum of Understanding and it’s addendum in Brussels on 7 February 2012 on the pilot initiative "50.000 tourists".
The European Commission is working in collaboration with European governments, the tourism industry and airlines to develop tourist flow between South America and the European Union by making use of available spare airline and accommodation capacity during the low seasons.
The "50.000 tourists" pilot initiative follows up on the 2010 Communication on Tourism  which calls on the European Commission to combat seasonality, stimulate the creation of employment, strengthen the image of Europe and cooperate with third countries. The pilot phase of the project will encourage 25,000 South Americans to travel to Europe between October 2012 and March 2013, and 25,000 Europeans to travel to South America between May and October 2013.
In future, the initiative may be enlarged to other countries, both in Europe and worldwide on the basis of common roots, cultural, linguistic and educational links. Applications will be open to residents of all EU countries and Argentina, Brazil and Chile with a motivation to travel on the basis of family ties, educational and cultural links, or an interest in gastronomy or religious tourism. For more information

02/02/2012: "Greek Travel Forum" by Google: Internet as a key factor for tourism growth

Google presented its first forum regarding the tourism sector. On February 2, a very interesting discussion took place aiming to point how Internet and the exploitation of new technologies can turn to a keyfactor for tourism growth. The event was held under the the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, GNTO and SETE.
The Minister of Culture and tourism, Mr. Pavlos Yeroulanos described in a lively discussion with the General Manager of Google Greece, Mr. Stephanos Loukakos, the changes that have occurred over the past two years by modifying the way that tourism is approached in its entity. New strategy, new markets, new tools thus new media. The Minister referred more specifically on the Small Medium Businesses and the possibilities they can have by exploiting the internet capabilities, at the same time investing on the quality of their services. For more information on the facts that the Minister presented please visit


The Minister of Culture and Tourism visits the worksite of the National Museum of Contemporary Art

The Minister of Culture and tourism, Mr. Pavlos Yeroulanos, visited on January 30 the worksite of the former brewery FIX where the National Museum of Contemporary Art will soon have its base. The Museum’s Manager, Mrs. Anna Kafetsi, informed the Minister on the building program and the construction work taking place which is progressing rapidly.
The Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mr. Yeroulanos, stated that the renovation of EMST is the outcome of collective work. Unfortunately it has been disrupted numerous times in the past, but this time it will be completed in a very short period of time and will help make Athens a significant tourist destination.

Carnival in Greece

Apokries is the Carnival time for Athens, Greece. A celebration for people of all ages, it harmoniously blends traditions with contemporary ideas and events that appeal to all citizens, children and city visitors. The Carnival period in Greece lasts for three weeks, and it's non-stop party time before the restrictions of Lent. In 2012 Carnival runs from Sunday 5th February to Sunday 26th February. For more information, visit

IMIC 2012

The tourism industry is in the middle of an incredible shift in the way vacations are marketed and it's all because people are demanding authentic experiences and requesting more than “sun and beach”.
The 8th annual IMIC addresses to the subject of tourism experiences and attractions related to food by drawing together a group of experts in order to develop a better understanding of the role, development and future of gastronomy and culinary heritage in tourism.
At the same time presenters and participants will explore ways to better package travel products to showcase, front and centre, a destination’s wide array of food offerings and excellence in gastronomy.
For more information on the program and the invited speakers please visit

1st World Shipping Congress

On Sunday 19 and Monday 20, February 2012, representatives of the 60% of the international fleet assemble in Athens to participate in the World Shipping Congress, an event by the Financial Times Limited. The Congress is the first international Shipping Summit. It will take place at Divani Apollon Palace & Spa, co-organized with Boussias Communications.
Presidents of Shipowners’ Associations from 3 continents and 9 major Shipping Countries (Greece, Norway, Korea, Finland, Netherlands, Italy, U.S.A., U.K., Denmark), major Greek Shipowners, industry experts, researchers and consultants, 4 Greek Government representatives, the Chairman and the General Manager of Piraeus Port Authority S.A., the Secretary General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and 2 major Financial Times editors and correspondents will analyze, discuss and forecast the major strategic issues regarding the Shipping Industry at an era of high economic uncertainty and financial fragility. More information on

22nd Global Summit of Women

2012 Global Summit of Women will bring its global gathering from over 80 countries to Greece. More than 1000 women entrepreneurs and fifty (50) International institutions and Members representing women from all continents will take part in the summit which is planned to take place from May 31 to June 2 2012.
Given the current economic crisis, the 2012 Summit focuses on the growth areas in the global economy in which women will play a pivotal role.
Irene Natividad, the Summit President, will be visiting Athens to have discussions with the Greek media to inform them about the goals of this initiative. 
The Global Summit of Women was conceived as the nexus at which all sectors – public, private and nonprofit – would come together under the common vision of dramatically expanding women’s economic opportunities globally through exchanges of working solutions and creative strategies forged by women leaders in different parts of the world.  It is a business Summit, whose ‘business’ focus is women’s advancement in the global economy. For more information, visit


  • Conde Nast Traveller: The world's premier travel magazine, is hosting Mykonos in its March edition front cover.

  • Exhibition: The Byzantine & Christian Museum at Athens International Airport. Athens International Airport, in the framework of its cooperation with the Byzantine & Christian Museum, hosts at its premises a photo exhibition of the Museum's Permanent Exhibition from January 10th until April 30th, 2012.

  • Exhibition: Smyrna. The distraction of the cosmopolitan city 1900-1922. Having carried out four years of research, the director and curator, Maria Iliou, and the historical consultant, Alexander Kitroeff present their work on Smyrna via previously unseen visual materials from archives from the US and Europe at Benaki Museum in Athens, Greece, from January 24th to February 26th.