Monday November 24, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
10o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Greece's market return mirrors return of tourists

By Eleni Chrepa

Greece's successful return to bond markets is the most recent in a series of "positive messages" for the economy that included the country posting a record year for tourism and forecasting an even stronger 2014, Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni said.

"We have left the big difficulties behind us," Kefalogianni said in an interview on Monday. "The trend is now turning and well see the Greek economy start recovering this year."

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has called the tourist industry, which accounts for about one sixth of gross domestic product, "the first locomotive that started and began to pull our economy out of a painful six-year recession."

Greece successfully tapped debt markets last week for the first time in four years, selling 3 billion euros ($4 billion) in five-year bonds.

Greece saw a record 18 million visitors last year, as travelers from Germany and the UK, who shrugged off recent images of a strife-torn country, were joined by visitors from growth markets like China and Brazil. Industry projections show this year to be ahead of last years pace, the minister said.

"The messages from all our markets are extremely positive, giving us the confidence that 2014 will be a new record year," Kefalogianni said. Her ministry's forecasts match estimates by the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises.

Recovering Markets

Traditional source markets for Greek tourism, which had declined sharply in recent years, have begun recovering, Kefalogianni said, with pre-booking figures from the countrys industry association indicating Greece can expect more tourists from the UK, Germany and France this year. Germans are the most frequent visitors to the country, followed by the UK, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France and Russia.

Asked if Russian tourist visits, which reached 1.4 million last year, would be affected by tensions between that country and the European Union over Ukraine, the minister said, "in the first three months of 2014, we saw an increase of 12 percent in the number of visas issued in Russia, so I would say this as a message is definitely a very positive one."

In addition to generating revenue, tourism is also a major source of investment for the cash-stricken Mediterranean country. Part of the government's infrastructure-improvement plan is designed to help raise the contribution of tourism to the country's GDP, Kefalogianni said.

In December, Greece's Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, charged with raising cash through asset sales, chose the Jermyn Street Real Estate Fund IV as preferred bidder for Astir Palace Vouliagmenis SA, a luxury-resort operator jointly owned with the National Bank of Greece, after Jermyn Street bid 400 million euros for 90 percent of the company.

Tourist Resort

In January the fund accepted NCH Capital's bid to build a tourist resort on the island of Corfu. New York-based NCH will spend 23 million euros for the leasehold and invest about 75 million euros to develop a hotel, marina and private vacation homes. The deal marked the first overseas investment in state land in 15 years.

Oaktree Capital Group LLC in March set up a joint venture with Greek hotel owner Sani SA to run as many as six luxury resorts. "Its very positive for Greece that a fund as big as Oaktree" chose to invest in the country now, Sani Chairman Stavros Andreadis said by phone. "It confirms investor confidence toward Greece."

[Bloomberg]

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday April 15, 2014 (13:20)  
Traders eye developments with creditors
ILO calls for urgent action in Greece to create jobs, tackle social problems
Draghi urgency for ECB action gets final reality check
Greece to scrap need for permits in some 900 professions
Biden briefs Anastasiades about talks in Istanbul
US Vice President Joe Biden has affirmed Washingtons commitment to the reunification of Cyprus as a bizonal, bicommunal federation, urging both sides on the divided island to resume UN-brok...
Prosecutor seeks trial for 64 in Siemens bribery scandal
A prosecutor recommended Monday that 64 people face bribery and money laundering charges in connection with the Siemens cash-for-contracts scandal following an eight-year probe that did not,...
Inside News
BASKETBALL
Olympiakos ends PAOKs unbeaten run in Basket League
Olympiakos put an end to PAOKs unbeaten run in the Basket League with an emphatic win at the Peace and Friendship Stadium, leaving Panathinaikos as the only team with a perfect record so fa...
INTERVIEW
Tokyo hopes to change the world
The 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo will serve as a springboard for the rebuilding of Japans image and economy following the triple blow of the earthquake, tsunami and nuc...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Extremism from a bygone era
There are times when we seem to be overcome by self-destructive madness. I hear various commentators and politicians speaking in extreme terms of a junta, of defections, gallows, collaborato...
EDITORIAL
No call for more games
Psychological warfare has been a part of the negotiations between the troika and Athens from the very start of the crisis. But the situation is much different now and troika decision-makers ...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Biden briefs Anastasiades about talks in Istanbul
2. Prosecutor seeks trial for 64 in Siemens bribery scandal
3. Thessaloniki man sentenced to 20 years for German school hostage crisis
4. Rifle used in Piraeus shooting not connected to previous attacks
5. Professor convicted over accepting bribes to pass students
6. SYRIZA denies reports of Tsipras dining with Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, Latsis
more news
Today
This Week
1. Scientists expand excavation of ancient Amphipolis
2. Greek officials to meek troika chiefs in Paris to break review stalemate
3. Police seek to name man who opened fire with AK47 at Piraeus bar
4. EU said to plan 21 billion-euro risk-sharing fund for investment
5. Biden informs Anastasiades about content of talks with Erdogan
6. Countdown to missed opportunity for EU economy
Today
This Week
1. Double quake on Atalanti fault line rattles Greek capital [Update]
2. Biden heads to Istanbul amid tension over Cyprus EEZ violation
3. Anti-junta uprising anniversary to be marked amid tight security
4. Every age has its collaborators
5. Give Greece a chance
6. Carlsberg takes control of Greek brewer Olympic Brewery [Update]
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.