ECONOMY

Bill for hotel authorization

Tourism Development Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos announced yesterday the drafting of a new law for the operational arrangement of accommodation units in Greece. Solving an issue that has been pending for years in Greece, the bill will tackle the problem of the high number of hotels and other types of accommodation that operate without the insignia and authorization of the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO); they either never received it or did but it expired and has not been renewed. Once the law is published in the Government Gazette, accommodation owners will have a period of four months in which to submit the following documents in order to obtain the special signage: a fire-safety certificate for the whole of the existing unit, a certificate of its earthquake-resistance and the structural adequacy of the buildings, written confirmation by the local health authority about the adequacy of liquid refuse disposal etc. A joint ministerial decision will also be signed during the week regarding the coordination of policies in tourism to assist toward the optimum absorption of European Union funds in the sector. The law on health tourism is also being promoted following public consultation, with the ministerial decision on the terms, conditions, charges, procedures and documents required to acquire the insignia and authorization for health tourism units, spa centers etc. In the next few days, the ministry will proclaim four international tenders for companies to operate as many tourism ports for the total 840 mooring slots at Mallia of Crete, Mytilene, Argostoli on Cephalonia, and Zakynthos. Furthermore, the exact spot of a tourism port at Kefalomantouko, Corfu, to host 98 mega-yachts, and a yacht resort with 100 berths at Ouranoupolis in Halkidiki have been determined.