State ap­proves 11 new tourism ac­com­mo­da­tion in­vest­ments

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY STATHIS KOUSOUNIS

Plans for 11 tourism ac­com­mo­da­tion com­plexes are ad­vanc­ing along the state ap­proval pipe­line while four in­vest­ment pro­pos­als in the sec­tor are wait­ing to join them, ac­cord­ing to de­tails pre­sented by se­nior Tourism Min­istry of­fi­cials on Tues­day.

Gior­gos Tzial­las, the min­istry’s gen­eral sec­re­tary for tourism pol­icy and de­vel­op­ment, said that 15 in­vest­ment projects con­cern­ing the cre­ation of tourism com­plexes are ei­ther await­ing ex­am­i­na­tion (in the com­ing months) or have al­ready been given the ini­tial nod by the Spe­cial Agency for Pro­mot­ing and Li­cens­ing Tourism In­vest­ments (EYPATE).

EYPATE has set 11 ap­pli­ca­tions for ac­com­mo­da­tion com­plexes on track, of which two have al­ready had their con­struc­tion per­mit is­sued (at La­co­nia in the south­ern Pelo­pon­nese, and on the is­land of Kea), a min­is­te­rial de­ci­sion has been is­sued for four (two on Corfu, one on Mi­los and one on Ios), an­other is await­ing a min­is­te­rial de­ci­sion (at Messinia) and the rest are ex­pect­ing de­vel­op­ments in the next few weeks and months.

Ad­di­tional in­ter­est has come in the last six months with the sub­mis­sion of ap­pli­ca­tions by in­vestors for four more com­plexes, two on Crete, one at Ilia in the western Pelo­pon­nese and one on Lim­nos.

EYPATE has also over­seen the li­cens­ing for projects con­cern­ing the es­tab­lish­ment, mod­ern­iza­tion, ex­pan­sion and up­grad­ing of some 100 ho­tel units of more than 300 beds each in the last cou­ple of years. Mean­while, 90 spas ei­ther have been au­tho­rized or are about to be by the min­istry’s agen­cies.

Al­ter­nate Min­is­ter for Tourism Elena Koun­toura stated that the min­istry will cre­ate a frame­work for a “sim­pli­fied li­cens­ing process for tourism in­vest­ments” through a spe­cial agency as a part of its plans for at­tract­ing fresh in­vest­ment.

In the com­ing months the min­istry will also cre­ate a new state sub­si­dies pro­gram for new tourism en­ter­prises across the in­dus­try. Em­pha­sis will be placed on co­op­er­a­tive ven­tures and the pro­mo­tion of al­ter­na­tive forms of tourism, as well as sup­port­ing com­pa­nies that have not man­aged to com­plete their in­vest­ment due to the ad­verse eco­nomic cli­mate in re­cent years.

Re­gard­ing the course of ar­rivals this year, Koun­toura es­ti­mated that, based on pro­vi­sional data from book­ings, there will be an in­crease on last year’s record fig­ures. “The over­all book­ings trend is for growth from the ma­jor­ity of our mar­kets, with rates rang­ing be­tween 4 and 30 per­cent, with the ex­cep­tion be­ing the Dutch mar­ket; but even that has now started to re­cover,” Koun­toura stated, be­fore re­fer­ring to the prime min­is­ter’s de­ci­sion to in­crease the funds for the coun­try’s in­ter­na­tional pro­mo­tion as a tourism des­ti­na­tion by 20 mil­lion euros.

Al­ter­nate Min­is­ter for Tourism Elena Koun­toura and the min­istry’s gen­eral sec­re­tary for tourism pol­icy and de­vel­op­ment, Gior­gos Tzial­las, at Tues­day’s press con­fer­ence.

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