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Minister Wants Out Of Schengen Visa Procedures

Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Yeroulanos recently highlighted the importance of free movement of tourists around the world and underlined the need to change the Schengen visa procedure in order for it “to stop being a burden on tourism.

Tourism Investments To Get On Track

Fast track procedures for tourism investments are underway at the Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Greek National Tourism Organization via the establishment of a special service that will promote and license tourism investments.

Cruise Industry Says Goodbye To Greek Cabotage

“Cabotage is finally lifted,” the Hellenic Association of Travel and Tourist Agencies (HATTA) said last month after the Cabinet approved the bill that included the full lifting of cabotage restrictions for non-European Union flag cruise ships.

SETE Awaits Progress Of Ministers On Tourism Issues

Recent data showed that incoming tourism to Greece increased last year (10 percent increase in arrivals and revenue) but nothing guarantees that the same will happen in 2012, the general director of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE), George Drakopoulos, said at...

Minister Presents Tourism Omnibus Bill For Growth

The time period for the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) to grant licenses for Greek tourist accommodation will be reduced from 240 days to 60 days, according to arrangements contained in an omnibus bill presented in late December 2011 by Culture and Tourism Minister...

Seasonal Hotel Workers Subsidy Program Announced

Greek Manpower Employment Organization (OAED) has announced a four-month subsidy program for workers of seasonal hotels, provided they retain their job positions during the period the hotel is closed.

Tour Bus Profession Opens, KTEL Bus Profession Stays Closed

Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Yeroulanos sparked an angry reaction from tourism professionals recently when he signed a ministerial decision in November, which liberalized the tour bus profession so licenses would be easier obtained while the profession of KTEL intercity...

Cabotage Said To Finally Be Lifted

The Development, Competitiveness and Shipping Ministry plans to table a law in Parliament soon and fully lift cabotage restrictions for non-European Union flag cruise ships, the Greek press said recently.

Hotel Chamber Blasts New Property Tax At First General Assembly

“We were considered a heavy industry until the State decided to proceed with the collection of property tax through electricity,” President of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels Yiorgos Tsakiris said during the chamber’s first ever general meeting hosted at the Metropolitan Expo...

SETE Releases “Must Do” List For Tourism-Related Ministers

President of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE), Andreas Andreadis, appeared quite outspoken last month and received a round of applause from the audience on the first day of HAPCO's 7th Pan-Hellenic Conference, held at Aegli Zappeion in Athens on 8 December 2011.

Visa Centers To Open In Turkey

Deputy Culture and Tourism Minister George Nikitiadis last month paved the way for the creation of visa centers in Antalya and Bodrum (Halicarnassus) so to facilitate the movement of tourists to Rodos and Kos and other islands of the Dodecanese.

Hoteliers Get Discount On New Property Tax

The 35 percent of communal areas of hotels and lodges will be exempt from the new property tax, Economy Minister Evangelos Venizelos said recently.

Restaurant VAT Hike Causes Stir

“The increase of the VAT on food catering services will not affect the taxation of all-inclusive tourism packages sold abroad,” Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said during a press conference in late August. The Greek Government received criticism from restaurant owners and...

Hotel Chamber Lists Proposals For Athens Revamp

The Hellenic Chamber of Hotels recently made a list of proposals aimed for the regeneration of the historic center of Athens after Government Vice President Theodoros Pagalos submitted the relevant topic on Greek Open Government Initiative opengov for public consultation.

Tour Bus Profession Set To Open

The provision of the draft law that regulates the liberalization of the tour bus profession so licenses could be easier obtained was voted in Parliament in early August. To the disappointment of tourism professionals, the opening of the profession was “one-sided” since transfer...

Minister Wants To Abolish Greece-Turkey Visa Restrictions

Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos recently spoke about the obstacles posed by the European Union in regards to the abolition of visa restrictions in travel to and from Turkey, during a recent interview to Turkish National TV broadcaster TRT.

Tourism Residential Accommodation Policy Tabled

Greek tourism will soon see new arrangements that include the establishment of the long awaited tourism residential accommodation, according to the Finance Ministry’s omnibus bill tabled in Parliament last month aimed to tackle Greece’s financial crisis.

VAT Hike Rumors On Restaurants Worry Professionals

The possible increase of the VAT on restaurant services to the highest rate, at a time when tourism is trying to lead the Greek economy towards recovery, would seriously reduce the competitiveness and attractiveness of the Greek tourism product, the Association of Greek Tourism...

Greek Cruise Contract Considered Complex

The required three-year contract international cruise companies are required to sign with the Greek Government in order to homeport at a Greek port is a “written declaration of cooperation” that may be terminated at any time without any penalty, Maritime Affairs Minister Yiannis...

Minister Requests E.U. Help On Visa Issue

The Schengen treaty constrains Greek tourism and particularly Greece’s “soon to be” biggest markets such as Russia, China, India and Turkey, Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos told the group of Socialist European Parliament deputies in Athens in late March.