BUSINESS

State approves 11 new tourism accommodation investments

STATHIS KOUSOUNIS

TAGS: Tourism, Business

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.

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