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Greece To Make Visa Services Easier For Russians

The Greek Government has undertaken extensive initiatives to facilitate the arrival of Russian tourists to Greece and visitors from countries such as India and China, Deputy Culture and Tourism Minister George Nikitiadis said at the 18th Moscow International Travel and Tourism...

New Development Law Causes Criticism

The Greek Government’s support to new accommodation investments in Attica and Thessaloniki causes unfair competition at the expense of hotels that already exist, the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels recently said in a letter to Regional Development and Competitiveness Minister Mihalis...

Greece In Trouble Over E.U. Travel Agent VAT Rules

Greece is among the eight Member States that were referred to the European Union’s Court of Justice for failing to properly implement E.U. VAT rules for travel agents, the European Commission announced in late January.

GEPOET Objects To Opening Of Closed-Shop Professions

The Pan-Hellenic Federation of Tourism Enterprises (GEPOET) recently wondered where exactly Greek tourism was headed as, according to press reports, travel agencies are assumed to be included in plans to open so-called “closed-shop professions.”

E.U. Bans Olympic Air-Aegean Airlines Merger

The European Commission blocked a mega merger plan between Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines last month on the grounds that a monopoly would be created in Greek air travel.

New Year Brings Abolition Of Cabotage

“A new era begins for Greek tourism and cruise in our country with the arrival of 2011,” Deputy Culture and Tourism Minister George Nikitiadis said last month after welcoming the Panama-flag cruise ship Fantasia to Rodos. Fantasia was the first cruiseship to approach Rodos Port...

Hoteliers Object To New Development Law

The new development law -effective as of 1 January 2011- lacks sectoral policy and will not benefit the tourism sector, the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels said last month in an announcement to the relevant ministries.

Small Hotels Exempt From OAEE Insurance

Owners of small hotel units will be excused from the insurance obligation to the Self-Employed Workers' Insurance Organization (OAEE), Alternate Labor and Social Insurance Minister Yiorgos Koutroumanis recently assured the president of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, Yiorgos...

Greek Sea Cruise Passenger Boarding Fee Announced

“A new day is beginning for sea cruise and the country,” Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries Minister Yiannis Diamantidis said in reference to the lifting of cabotage restrictions for non-European Union-flag cruise ships.

“Selective” VAT Cut To 6.5% Causes Mixed Reactions

The Hellenic Association of Travel and Tourist Agencies (HATTA) last month welcomed the news of a reduction on the Value Added Tax for accommodation facilities but at the same time expressed its dissatisfaction on the VAT increase on other tourism services.

U.S. Authorities Demand ESTA For Travel

Passengers from a country included in the U.S. visa waiver program must first request and be granted ESTA authorization (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) before traveling to the United States, according to airline carrier Air France.

Cabotage Abolition Law Becomes A Reality

On 25 August the draft bill for the lifting of cabotage restrictions, drawn up by the Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping Ministry, was signed into law. Non-European Union-flag cruise ships would now be permitted to homeport in Greece, under certain conditions.

Cabotage Abolition Draft Law Tabled In Parliament

The draft law for the lifting of cabotage restri­ctions, drawn up by the Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping Ministry, was tabled in Parliament on 20 July and was pending since then due to the August sum­mer break.

Hotel Chamber Objects To New Development Law

The draft bill on the new development law steers away from present tourism policy and from the established positions of the tourism industry, the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels said last month.

Tourism Professionals Fear VAT Hike Rumors

“Any decision that affects the viability and prospects of Greek tourism with low benefits is economic suicide, not fiscal policy,” the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels said last month.

Cabotage Draft Law Causes Friction

The bill promoted by the government for the lifting of cabotage restrictions is a historical reform for the Greek cruise industry, Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister Louka Katseli said last month.

Ground Handling Services To Open In Greek Airports

A draft bill that sees the full and final opening of ground handling services at Greece’s 34 regional airports is under preparation, Infra­struc­ture, Transports and Networks Minister Dimitris Reppas announced at a recent press conference.

New Zoning Law For Tourism Discussed

The main objectives of the new zoning law for tourism is to curb the construction of new tourist facilities in congested areas of Greece, Maria Kaltsa, general secretary for planning and urban regeneration, said last month.

Tourism Sector Disappointed With Cabotage Draft Law

“The draft law (on the lifting of cabotage) has terms that are jointly acceptable by all agencies that deal with the cruise issue so that Greece will become a sea cruise center for the entire Mediterranean,” Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister Louka Katseli said after...

Agencies Wrap Up Consultations On Cabotage Abolition

“Predictions show that over the next two years cruises to the Mediterranean will be the world's first choice, outshining the half century dominance of cruises to the Caribbean.” This was just one of the conclusions of the report in regards to the lifting of cabotage restrictions...