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Measures To Boost Tourism Announced, Minister

New Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni.

New Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni.

Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni attended the Hellenic Federation of Hoteliers’ board meeting on Tuesday 11 September and announced a series of measures for Greek tourism development and ways to attract investments.

In regards to the chronic problem of obsolete and abandoned Greek hotels in areas that record a decline in tourism accommodation demand but an increased demand for holiday homes, the tourism minister said a special environment tax would be charged to the owners. A pilot measure will initially be implemented in one or two areas.

Mrs. Kefalogianni informed Greek hoteliers that in order to strengthen the tourism ministry’s role in the coordination of tourism investment issues, the General Secretariat of Tourism and Infrastructure Investment had merged with the Tourism Ministry. A special tourism investment service (to act as a one stop shop) is expected to operate soon.

In regards to winter tourism, Mrs. Kefalogianni agreed to consider joint actions with the hoteliers federation in light of the detailed proposal it had submitted last year to the Education Ministry (but with no result).

The federation had suggested the establishment of a 4-day vacation period for schools in February, possibly the day after Shrove Monday (Kathari Deftera), to help boost domestic tourism mainly in Greek areas where carnivals were held.

According to press reports, the tourism minister also referred to the ministry’s new 2013 tourism campaign for the foreign markets, samples of which will be seen at this year’s World Travel Market in London next month (5-8 November).

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