The development of Cavo Sidero in eastern Crete, one of the biggest investment projects in Greek tourism, has entered the final stretch following 14 years of bureaucratic and other obstacles. Minoan Group’s chairman and CEO Christopher Egleton confirmed yesterday the progress achieved and announced that the architectural firms of Alexandros Tombazis and Baldrich & Tobal have begun planning for the first village in the project, to be called «Grandes Bay.» The group has spent 40 million euros on the drafting of the business plan, while the total investment will amount to some -1.2 billion. It involves the creation of 7,000 beds in six tourist villages that will cover less than 1 percent of the overall 25 square kilometers. The project will create an estimated 3,500 jobs. The company’s main stakeholders are Henderson Global Investors, the founder and CEO of Aberdeen Asset Management, Martin Gilbert, the president of American Express Global Network Services, Peter Godfrey, and board member of the Royal Bank of Scotland Colin Buchan, along with several British constructors. Separately, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc announced yesterday the signing of a long-term cooperation agreement with TEMES SA for the operation of two new luxury resort hotels in Messinia, southwestern Peloponnese: The «Romanos Navarino Dunes Resort – The Luxury Collection» and the «Westin Navarino Dunes Resort.» They are located some 30 minutes from Kalamata airport. Hoteliers concerned, want more measures The Panhellenic Federation of Hoteliers (POX) has expressed its concern about the impacts on Greek tourism this and next season from the prevailing global economic uncertainty. The federation referred in a statement to the considerable losses in world markets since the start of the year, along with oil price hikes and the euro’s appreciation against the dollar, which are negative factors for the country’s tourism. POX calls for immediate measures to improve the competitiveness of tourism that is expected to absorb most of the impact of the euro’s appreciation. It is also calling for more intensive promotion of Greece, particularly in the emerging markets of Eastern Europe, and a fair solution to the issue of the operating framework for accommodation facilities.