Τρίτη 20 Νοεμβρίου 2018

WTM London confirms Greece’s “golden year” in tourism and highlights challenges

By Thanasis Gavos / Published on: 06-11-2018, 17:14 (IBNA)

Greece’s participation with 70 co-exhibitors in this year’s World Travel Market (WTM) in London is one of the main poles of attraction for international tourism professionals attending for yet another year.
As the Minister for Tourism Elena Kountoura confirmed, the number of arrivals will have exceeded 32 million by the end of the year, making 2018 another record-breaking year.
Even though observers have noted that this level of arrivals should have probably been translated into even more money pouring in, Mrs Kountoura said that revenue would reach 16.2m euros, in a significant double-digit year on year increase.
“We have exceeded every expectation. We are rightfully talking about a golden year for Greek tourism, a year that will be for ever remembered,” commented the Minister.
The 32m plus of arrivals include cruise visitors. Cruise and yachting are some of the sectors where the emphasis of the national tourism strategy will turn in the coming years, said Mrs Kountoura.
She added in the increase in capacity in 4 and 5-star hotels and resorts, the expansion of internal flight connectivity, the opening up of new markets such as the Chinese and the Indian ones, the modernisation of state tourism education and the “digital transformation and innovation” of Greek tourism.
Greek tourism professionals have at the same time, however, pointed to several challenges facing the country over the coming years. First is the recovery of traditionally competitive destinations such as Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia, with a product which is much cheaper than what Greece offers.
The minister dismissed such concerns: “What Greece has to offer is so unique that the more stability, peace, security and balance there is in the region, the more we will be growing.”
Smaller tour operators at the WTM were lamenting the restricted space they have been left with as the big international players have all but conquered the Greek market. “They won’t hold their punches. They demand and they get the best hotels at the highest of seasons,” one told IBNA.
The President of SETE (Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises) Yiannis Retsos noted that team work has kept Greece in the top-10 destinations worldwide.
But, he noted, overtaxation has been hitting tourism professionals hard. “Of course this applies to all sectors of the Greek economy,” he added. “What I and SETE are really concerned about right now is the infrastructure. The 32 million of visitors are now testing our public infrastructure every day: waste disposal management, power and water supplies, sewage systems, airports, ports. If we want the country to continue being a protagonist we need to invest and improve.”

Greek karidopita

By: Ioanna Stamoulou | | Desserts, Greek Classics, Mediterranean Cooking

This traditional mouthwatering walnut cake is so fluffy and extra syrupy, scented with cinnamon and clove aromas! Try it out and be amazed by the unique texture and rich flavor. Serve with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of melted chocolate and go over the top!

Serves: 1 medium baking pan Preparation: 25′ Cooks in: 50′ Ready in: 1:15′

12 eggs, whites and yolks separated
12 tbsp sugar
12 tbsp powdered Melba toast or bredcrumbs
12 tbsp chopped walnuts
12 tbsp semolina flour
4 tbsp brandy
2 oranges, zested
20gr baking powder
1 tsp powdered cinnamon
1/2 tsp grounded clove
a pinch grounded allspice

For the syrup:
4 cups sugar
4 cups water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 lemon juiced
1/4 cup cognac


Step 1
Preheat oven at 180C. Mix sugar and egg yolks using an electric mixer and at medium-high speed for at least 5 minutes, until really fluffy, smooth and creamy. Pour in the cognac whilst continue mixing. Set aside.

Step 2
Meanwhile, in a bowl blend semolina flour with powdered Melba toast, chopped walnut, baking powder, orange zest and all spices with a spoon.

Step 3
Combine the two mixtures and blend with a silicone spatula, until smooth.

Step 4
Whisk egg whites into the bowl of the electric mixer, along with a pinch of salt until mixture is very thick and glossy and a long trailing peak forms when the whisk is lifted (meringue). Add gradually meringue into the mixture using a clean spatula and blend with light circular movements from the bottom up.

Step 5
Butter the bottom and the sides of a baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for about 45-50 minutes, until fluffy, nicely colored on the outside and baked through.

Step 6
Meanwhile prepare the syrup. Add all ingredients for the syrup except lemon juice and cognac into a pot for about 8 minutes until sugar dissolves. Add lemon juice and boil for another minute. Remove pot from heat and stir in cognac. Let cool.

Step 7
Very slowly ladle the hot syrup all over the cold cake, allowing time for each ladle of syrup to be absorbed. Let cool completely and serve ideally with some vanilla ice-cream.

Photo Anastasia Adamaki Food styling Antonia Kati

Τρίτη 18 Σεπτεμβρίου 2018

New Review on Tripadvisor: Tutto perfetto!

'We have been new guests of Plakias Suites .. and the judgment remains the same: the maximum.

The complex is located in the quieter part of the long and beautiful beach of Plakias, which can be accessed simply by crossing the road.

At the beach there are umbrellas and sunbeds reserved for guests of the structure, with plenty of space available.

The suites are always like new: from year to year they are whitewashed and partially renovated, the feeling is to access a newly inaugurated facility.

So do not change the judgment: spacious, clean and well-appointed - with some details that makes your stay perfect: blinds to sleep in the dark, a veranda perfect for relaxing and having more space, a fully equipped kitchen but also the presence, next to a good restaurant to eat or take away.

Housekeeping is done every day, the feeling is really about being in a hotel suite.

Plakias' location allows you to visit a dozen of the most beautiful beaches within walking distance, and Eleni and Giorgos (the owners) are super willing to give directions and advice on places to go: this also makes Plakias Suites a perfect base for visit the south of the island. 

We will be back again'

Stayed: August 2018, travelled with family

 See here: TripAdvisor
 Plakiassuites: Ranked #1 of 51 Speciality Lodging in Plakias, Retyhymno - Crete!
  114 Reviews Certificate of Excellence

Greece among top choices for Russian tourists

Russian tourists are fourth in terms of arrivals in Greece

Despite the fact that the diplomatic row between Athens and Moscow went up a notch after the retaliatory expulsion of Greek diplomats by Moscow, the Russian Embassy in Greece “celebrated” the fact that Russian tourists chose Greece as one of their top destinations.

Russian tourists are fourth in terms of arrivals to Greece for 2017 after the United Kingdom, Germany, and France, and third in overnight stays after Germany and the United Kingdom.

It is worth noting that arrivals rose by 13.3% compared to last year, surpassing 5.7 million overnight stays.
(source:proto thema)

Tripadvisor: Acropolis Museum in top 6 Travelers Choice Awards for 2018

The Acropolis Museum was ahead of the Louvre in Paris

Move over, Mona Lisa, The Acropolis Museum in Athens was ranked sixth in TripAdvisor’s annual Travelers Choice Awards for 2018 for museums, just ahead of the famed Louvre in Paris.

Designed by Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi and inaugurated in 2009 with the intention of getting the British Museum to return the stolen Parthenon Marbles – which didn’t happen – the building, says the review, “is as stunning as the treasures it houses,” despite some criticism for its already-aging and greying cement exterior.

The world’s best museum, according to the site, is another in Paris, the Musee d’Orsay, followed by New York’s National 9/11 Memorial and Museum, and last year’s number one, the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The British Museum in London was fourth and Madrid’s Prado was just ahead of the Acropolis Museum, a glass facade that faces the Acropolis and whose top floor holds space intended for the return of the Parthenon Marbles.

After the Louvre, coming eighth was the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, followed by the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City and in tenth was the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

read more at thenationalherald.com

Mediterranean Cooking: Watermelon spoon sweet

 By: Simoni Kafiri | | Desserts, Greek Classics, Mediterranean Cooking

Greeks make spoon sweets and offer them to guests as a symbol of hospitality along with a glass of cold water.
 What a sweet way to say “Welcome”!
Serves: for 2-3 medium jars Prep. time: 30′ + 20 hours waiting time Cooks in: 60′ Ready in: 1:30′

1 kg watermelon
1 kg sugar
500 g honey
2 cups water for the pot
2 geranium leaves
3 lemons, juiced + 2 tbsp juice for the pot

Step 1
Peel the rind and discard the outer green part. You only want the white part with a little flesh on it. Put flesh in a bowl and cover with water and lemon juice. Set aside for 2 hours.

Step 2
Drain in a colander and pat dry on a clean tea towel. Boil the water with sugar in a pot for 5-6 mins. Add watermelon and cook for 15 mins. Remove pan from heat and set aside for 18 hours.

Step 3
Next, add honey and simmer until syrup thickens, removing foam with a slotted spoon if necessary. 2 minutes before removing pan from heat add 2 tbsp lemon juice and geranium leaves.

Step 4
Remove pan from heat and allow spoon sweet to cool a little. Pour or ladle watermelon and syrup in warm, clean, sterilized jars. Fully-fill jars and seal straight away.

Photo George Drakopoulos Food styling Tina Webb

Greece no.1 in the 2018 “The Word’s Top 100”: CNT Awards

It also picked up the 1st spot in Best/Favourite Island category

Greece picked up a couple of first prizes in the prestigious Conde Nast Traveller 21st Annual Reader’s Awards, which was held in London.

More specifically, Greece was awarded the top spot in the category “Best/Favourite Island”, while it was also awarded the 1st prize in the best category of the night “The Word’s Top 100”, where it received the readers’ overwhelming majority of votes (95.63%).

Greece also received the 2nd spot in the category Best/Favourite Countries.

(source: proto thema)