A long-pending issue has finally been addressed after the intervention of Tourism Development Minister Fanni Palli-Petralia. The tourism minister said yesterday that Greek hotels will finally enter the star rating system used internationally as a reliable criterion of the quality of service to tourists, overcoming an obstacle to the further growth of the country’s tourism industry. The decision amends a presidential decree of 2002, redefining the technical and operational standards required for the rating. A new, more flexible system is to be adopted, adjusted to Greek conditions. It actually takes the rating’s emphasis off the technical to the operational characteristics of hotel units, thereby focusing on the quality of the services on offer. This is an application of the law about spa tourism, opening the way for all the various types of hotels to enter the system; until today it was only 60 percent of the country’s 9,000 units that could join the system. An international tender continues, expected to reach -10 million, for the accreditation of the bodies that will conduct the rating of hotels in accordance with the ministerial decision. The process is progressing rapidly and soon Greece will acquire a single, modern and objective and universally recognizable rating system for hotel services. Ski center tender In related news, the Tourism Development Company (ETA) will allocate the maintenance and operation of the Parnassos Ski Center, in central Greece, to a specialized company. It has already proclaimed a tender, with the deadline set for September 4 and the budget for the services offered forecast to reach -7.5 million.