Greek Property Promotion

Archive for May, 2014

Don’t Forget These Costs When Buying a Home
You’ve crunched the mortgage calculators, estimated your tax payments, and taken a realistic look at how much house you can afford. You’ve stuck within your range when scouring the® listings, being careful not to bust your budget.

But there are more expenses involved in home buying than just the property costs. And those additional payments, if you don’t factor them in, can be high enough to derail your conscientious planning.

Here’s what to keep in mind:

Buying Costs

You’ve got your mortgage pre-approved, but that’s not all you will need to fork over to get the keys to your new place. Services that need paying:

Your buyer’s agent fee
An appraisal to confirm a reasonable market price for the property
Inspections of structural, mechanical, pest or other potential issues
A real estate attorney to review all contracts (depending on the state)
Property taxes vary widely, up to 4.2% of a home’s value in some states, according to a CNN map published in 2013. Depending on when you buy, you may owe the previous owners for property taxes they have already paid. You may also need to pay fees to a local association, such as a condo homeowner’s association.

Moving Costs

Moving into a home can involve major expenses for packing, storing and transporting your possessions and yourself. If you are moving across the country, the costs could be significant. Even moving across town can cost more than you planned for truck rental, movers and equipment.


Setting up your telephone, electricity, gas and water—did you budget for these expenses? They could cost more at your new place, especially if you’re moving to a larger home or from a rental.

New Stuff

You may need to purchase appliances or furniture for your new home. Some items, like your old particle board bookshelves, may not be worth the cost of moving. Again, if you are sizing up, you face the potentially fun, but possibly financially draining, challenge of filling the new place.

Maintenance and Renovations

Trees fall on roofs. Gutters need cleaning. Driveways need repair…. A standard rule of thumb is to budget at least 1% of your home’s purchase price each year for home maintenance costs.

Maintenance can include things such as painting, replacing roof shingles, fixing or upgrading plumbing and wiring. The amount you will need to pay for maintenance can depend on the age of the home, the previous owners’ upkeep and the climate.

Homeowner’s Insurance

You won’t be able to obtain a mortgage without homeowner’s insurance covering both the property and its contents. However, the standard insurance may not cover natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes and earthquakes. Depending on where you live, you may want to consider taking out additional insurance to cover such risks.

Private Mortgage Insurance and Title Insurance

If the down payment on your home was less than 20% of the purchase price, you will have to pay for Private Mortgage Insurance. PMI protects your lender in case you default. It’s standard, and fees vary. The rules are complicated, but usually once you have paid down the mortgage so you owe less than 78% of the purchase price, you can drop the PMI payments.

Title insurance offers protection for you (and your lender) if you later discover that someone else could lay claim to the title, and therefore ownership, of the house.

Even if you are lucky enough to avoid paying for PMI, you find a low-cost attorney you can trust, and you have a modern, energy-efficient house, these expenses can still add up to thousands of dollars. That prospect should not scare you away from homeownership, but it always helps to be prepared.

Ben Apple contributed to this article.

“Πλαφόν” οι 20 εκατ. τουρίστες για την Ελλάδα

Απογειώνουν τις τουριστικές αφίξεις στην Ελλάδα οι αυξημένες προγραμματισμένες αεροπορικές θέσεις από το εξωτερικό, ξεπερνώντας και τις πιο αισιόδοξες εκτιμήσεις για εφέτος.
Ο Σύνδεσμος Ελληνικών Τουριστικών Επιχειρήσεων σε επεξεργασία των στοιχείων του ετήσιου προγραμματισμού των πτήσεων της Εθνικής Αρχής Συντονισμού Πτήσεων (ΕΑΣΠ), κάνει λόγο για 19 εκατομμύρια αφίξεις και συνάμα επισημαίνει την ανάγκη για υλοποίηση επενδύσεων στις ξενοδοχειακές υποδομές. 
Σύμφωνα με τον πρόεδρο του ΣΕΤΕ, Ανδρέα Ανδρεάδη, η Ελλάδα χρειάζεται 150.000 νέες κλίνες, όπως επίσης και πλέον 100.000 αναβαθμισμένες προκειμένου να ανταποκριθεί στις αυξημένες ανάγκες της ζήτησης με γνώμονα την ποιότητα. Οι παράγοντες του κλάδου εκτιμούν ότι ο στόχος των για 24 εκατ. αφίξεις τουριστών έως το 2021 (Πρόβλεψη της McKinsey), θα επιτευχθεί πολύ πιο γρήγορα. Ο κ. Ανδρεάδης σημειώνει ότι τα 20 εκατομμύρια τουρίστες είναι η οροφή σε αυτή τη φάση για την Ελλάδα, καθώς γνώμονας παραμένει η προσφορά ποιοτικών τουριστικών υπηρεσιών.
Ο χάρτης των αεροπορικών συνδέσεων 
Με βάση στοιχεία του Διεθνούς Αερολιμένα Αθηνών την καλοκαιρινή περίοδο 2014 160+ νέες εβδομαδιαίες πτήσεις, επιχειρούν από το Ελευθέριος Βενιζέλος.
    · Η Aegean πετά σε 6 νέους προορισμούς Αμβούργο, Νυρεμβέργη, Ανόβερο, Μπέρμιγχαμ, Νάντ & Κατάνια και σε 8 υφιστάμενους: Άμπου Ντάμπι, Ζυρίχη, Βηρυτός, Κοπεγχάγη, Μασσαλία, Στοκχόλμη, Αμάν & Σμύρνη
    · Η Vueling πετά με δυο καθημερινές πτήσεις από/προς τη Ρώμη
    · Η πτήσεις από/προς Αϊντχόβεν, ενώ παράλληλα η αδελφή εταιρία Transavia France, ξεκινά πτήσεις σε Νάντ, Παρίσι και Λυών
    · H easyJet, πτήσεις προς το Αμβούργο
    · Η Meridiana πτήσεις από/προς τη Νάπολη
    · H Air Armenia πτήσεις από/προς το Ερεβάν
    · Η Arkia πτήσεις από/προς Τελ Αβίβ
    · Η Alitalia πτήσεις και στο Μιλάνο (Λινάτε)
    · Η SAS πτήσεις από/προς Γκέτεμποργκ
    · Η Brussels Airlines πτήσεις από/προς τις Βρυξέλλες
    · Η Mahan Air πτήσεις από/προς τη Τεχεράνη
    · Η Croatia Airlines πτήση από/προς το Σπλίτ
    · Η Singapore επαναφέρει τις εβδομαδιαίες πτήσεις της από/προς Σιγκαπούρη, μετά από ένα χρόνο αποχής από την αγορά της Αθήνας, ενώ ομοίως
    · Η Gulf Air επανέρχεται στην Ελληνική αγορά με πτήσεις από/προς το Μπαχρέιν
    · H Ryanair καθημερινές πτήσεις σε 6 προορισμούς: 3 εσωτερικού (Θεσ/νίκη 5 πτήσεις/ημέρα- Χανιά 2 πτήσεις/ημέρα, Ρόδο 1 πτήση/ημέρα), και 3 διεθνείς ημερήσιες (Μιλάνο/Μπέργκαμο, Πάφο και Λονδίνο/Στάνστεντ)
    · Πτήσεις εσωτερικού από/προς το Ηράκλειο και η Ελληνική Minoan Air. 
Εταιρείες Χαμηλού Κόστους στην Αθήνα το 2014
Τέλος καταγράφεται αύξηση 33% (από 12 σε 16) των εταιρειών χαμηλού κόστους που επιχειρούν στο ΔΑΑ το καλοκαίρι 2014. Αυτό συνεπάγεται με αύξηση των εξυπηρετούμενων προορισμών κατά 36% (από 25 σε 34 πόλεις και 38 αεροδρόμια). Όπως τονίζεται οι εταιρείες χαμηλού κόστους αποτελούν το 28% του συνόλου των αεροπορικών εταιριών που θα επιχειρούν προγραμματισμένες πτήσεις στην Αθήνα το καλοκαίρι εφέτος.



Tax Implications on Your Vacation Rental
1. Vacation Rental Property is put to Commercial Use for Most of the Year
If the duration for which you have used your second home for personal use is either less than 14 days or less than 10 percent of the days you rent it out during the year, you will have to file an income tax return as you would do normally for an investment. The rental income that you earn will be subject to taxes and you can claim for the expenses you incur on your rental home as deductions from your income. The normal expenses allowed for deduction are advertising, maintenance, legal, depreciation, mortgage interest, repairs and transportation costs. If these expenses exceed your income, you will be allowed to carry forward the loss and claim for a set off against future profits.

2. Vacation Home is primarily being used for Personal Recreation
If your vacation rental property is rented out for commercial use for less than 14 days, then whatever you have earned as rental income from those 14 days is tax free. This stand true not only for your second home but also for your primary residence. So if you have rented out your primary residence for less than 14 days, then whatever rental income you would have earned need not be reported in your tax returns.

3. Vacation Rental Home is being used for both Personal and Commercial Purpose
If you use your vacation home for personal use for either more than 14 days or more than 10 per cent of the days you have rented it out for commercial use then you essentially cannot claim all the expenses incurred on your vacation home as deduction. If you have stayed in your rental home for 30 per cent of the total number of days you put it for either commercial or personal use, then you would be allowed to claim a deduction for only 70 percent of the expenses you incurred on your vacation home.

It is Best to seek Advice of an Expert
Tax laws are always complicate and if you are looking to plan your taxes on your vacation rental home, it is best to get guidance from an expert in the subject.

Mykonos – Greece

Buy2Greece – Mykonos


Greece is one of the top tourism destinations in the world. The number of tourism visits over the last decade has shown a steady increase. From 14.2 million international visitors in 2004, more than 17 million people visited Greece in 2008, and it is expected that in a few years this number will reach 20 million, almost twice the country’s population.



A Global Brand, A Timeless Destination
Greece is one of the top tourism destinations in the world. In fact Lonely Planet placed Greece among its top 10 destinations for 2010 and Greece ranks second in England’s 2008 Telegraph Travel Awards in their Best European Country ranking.

The number of tourism visits over the last decade has shown a steady increase. From 14.2 million international visitors in 2004, more than 17 million people visited Greece in 2008, and it is expected that in a few years this number will reach 20 million, almost twice the country’s population.

A New Tourism Investment Era
The increasing number of tourists and the evolving profile of today’s traveler demand a host of new tourism offerings and infrastructure projects.

In Greece, investors will find a wide spectrum of opportunities, a welcome environment for new investment, and some of the most beautiful locations in the world. 

A Unique Landscape
Greece has more than 15,000 kilometres of coastline, 190,000 beaches, and 6,000 islands and islets. In addition, visitors are discovering the diverse selection of sailing and cruising options, incentive travel, and weekend breaks, opening up new opportunities in niche and attractive markets. 

Pristine beaches, iconic mountains, a wealth of history, timeless traditions, spectacular landscapes, and renowned hospitality draw visitors from around the world to the land where democracy was born and dreams are fulfilled.

Greece’s Mediterranean climate is ideal for year-round tourism and one of the core priorities of Greece today is to create a dynamic, sustainable, four-season tourism infrastructure that responds to the diverse and challenging needs of the 21st Century.

According to the 2009 Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum, Greece holds the 24th overall position among 133 countries3rd place in the prioritization of travel & tourism subindex, 9th place in the number of World Heritage cultural sites, 5th place in tourism infrastructure and 1st place in the physician density subindex.

A Core Economic Sector
Tourism accounts for 18% of Greece’s GDP, directly or indirectly employs more than 900.000 people, and is the leading source of the country’s invisible receipts (36% in 2007). 

Currently, more than 9,000 hotels operate in Greece. Due to Greece’s many islands and islets, more than 6,000, the geographical range of tourism destinations is extensive. In addition, the wide variety of natural landscapes, extensive number of historic sites and villages, and wide-ranging number of activities mean that opportunities are virtually limitless. 

Approximately 85% of arrivals originate in Western Europe: 21.2% from the United Kingdom, 17.5% from Germany, 8.8% from Italy, 5.3% from France, 5.2% from Holland, and 7.5% from the Scandinavian countries. 

Increasingly, however, significant numbers of visitors from Eastern Europe and China are making Greece their preferred destination, creating a wider base of origin countries and new demands for services, facilities, and attractions.

Tourist Arrivals


Source: Greek National Tourism Organization and National Statistical Services of Greece

Although the country’s tourism infrastructure is well developed, Greece is committed to expanding its tourism offerings and establishing itself as a 12-month destination. Its Mediterranean climate is ideal for activities such as year round golf and trekking and it is estimated that one million Europeans would consider Greece as a second home destination.

At present, 70% of arrivals are in the May-October period and visits are disproportionately concentrated in Crete (21% of total bed capacity) the Dodecanese islands, which includes Rhodes (17%), the Ionian Islands, which includes Corfu (12%), Attica, which includes Athens (9%), the peninsula of Halkidiki (6.5%), and the Cyclades islands, which includes Santorini and Mykonos (6%). 

Among the targeted sectors for expansion include the development of integrated resorts and residential real estate, golf courses and sports tourism, wellness and health tourism, upgraded and new marinas, conference centers, agrotourism products, religious tourism, thermal spas and thalassotherapy centers, gastrotourism, and a wide range of thematic offerings related to Greece’s rich cultural and historical heritage.

Historically, hotels in Greece have been small in size, with the average number of beds per hotel standing at 76. Larger hotel units with more diverse offerings will be a welcome addition to the current accommodation infrastructure. 

A Legendary Opportunity
Most of the hotels in Greece are categorized as 1- and 2-starhotels, meaning there is plenty of room for investors to establish 4-and 5-star properties. And, according to the Greek Hotel Branding Report, branded hotels in Greece account for 4% of the total number of hotels and 19% of total availability of rooms, while in other European countries this figure lies between 25 and 40%

Hotel chains that operate as franchisors will discover attractive opportunities to establish a network of two-, three-, or four-star hotels in Greece.

Breakdown of hotels by star rating at key tourist destinations 


Source: National Statistical Service

Dual Opportunity: Both small and large operators exist side by side within Greece’s diverse tourism market.

Infrastructure—Supporting Success
Following its successful staging of the 2004 Olympic Games, Greece became the focal point of the tourism market and realized a huge jump in tourist arrivals. The Games have also proved to be a positive catalyst for widespread infrastructure development. 

The Athens International Airport is recognized as one of the best in the world. It was the only European airport in 2009 with an increased number of frequencies; its airline marketing programs having brought 12 new airlines to Athens in 2009.

Airports throughout Greece, now numbering 40, of which 15 are international, are being upgraded to handle increased arrivals and charter flights. In addition, former military airports are being transformed for civilian use, enhancing the travel experience for many visitors.

The national highway system connects north and south, east and west in a seamless and well-designed network. The newly completed Egnatia Highway, connecting Igoumenitsia with the Turkish border, is one of the most ambitious transport projects in the European Union of the last decade. The Ionian Highway, which connects Patras with Igoumenitsa, complements to the system’s upgrading.

Close to the capital, the Attika Highway Ring Road has changed road transport within the greater Athens area and is an important logistics route, connecting the airport with logistics centres, sea ports, and rail stations. In fact, highway entries to Greece increased substantially in 2008, demonstrating the dynamism of the emerging markets of Southeast Europe. 

The relatively new Athens Metro system, the first in the country, has been extremely successful and has had a major impact on improving urban transport. The Athens Metro is expanding its lines and operating hours to meet increased demand from passengers. A new metro system is being constructed in Thessaloniki that is scheduled to begin operation in 2012.

Greece’s advanced high-speed ferry system, transporting passengers and goods to hundreds of islands, is complemented by comprehensive air service. Also, a new seaplane service recently began in Greece is a valuable addition for the tourism industry.


Investment Incentives Law
The New Investment Law for supporting Private Investment for Economic Growth, Entrepreneurship, and Regional Cohesion, was voted on and passed by the Greek Parliament and is to be implemented following the relevant Presidential Decrees and Ministerial Decisions..

Greece’s newly implemented PPP (Public Private Partnership) scheme provides significant opportunities to investors to participate in new infrastructure projects, including marinas and thermal springs.

The National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) for the years 2007-2013 establishes the broad priorities for EU Structural Funds Programmes in Greece. 

Greece’s NSRF seeks to achieve a balanced development of the country, with 82 percent of its budget focusing on regional projects. With a total budget of almost 40 billion Euro, NSRF will advance projects directly and indirectly related to tourism development and will provide investors with ample opportunities to participate in a wide number of projects.

For tourism, NSRF provides significant financial support, with a budget of more than 500 million Euro until 2013. A core NSRF objective is to increase demand and upgrade the quality of the tourist product and tourist services at all levels. NSRF support focuses on:
– prolonging the tourist period throughout Greece, and reducing seasonality
– promoting the country’s international appeal as a safe and attractive tourist destination
– Increasing the number of foreign visitors 
– Reinforcing domestic tourism. 

Investment in the tourism sector will include the upgrade of marinas, the promotion of special forms of tourism, the creation of cultural pathways, the upgrade of winter tourism infrastructure, and the subsidizing of private investments, according to the new Incentives Law that will be launched during 2011. It is estimated that a total of 95,000 beds will also be upgraded in the tourism sector in order to provide services of a higher quality and extend the tourist season beyond the summer months by encouraging new forms of tourism.

Inherent in Greece’s tourism development policy is the issue of sustainability. Many hotels and resort complexes are installing photovoltaic systems in an effort to become more carbon neutral. The need for new and efficient building solutions, desalination plants, energy efficient power supplies, closed loop resource systems, and software monitoring systems are just some of the areas in which Greece’s tourism sector will take advantage of new technologies for years to come. 

Also, Greece is promoting its unique ecosystems and nature reserves, many listed under the Ramsar Treaty. These are exceptional destinations where visitors may enjoy some of the most diverse flora and fauna in Europe. From bird watching to mountain hiking, activities that can be combined with distinctive lodging and singular experiences are highly popular for today’s traveler that is seeking out-of-the-ordinary experiences.

Human Resources
Because Greece, a country of 11 million inhabitants, hosts more than 17 million visitors, education and training in tourism services is paramount. The workforce is multilingual, well versed in the tourism sector, and willing to respond to new challenges. From management to catering, human resources for tourism enterprises is a Greek strength.

Ministry of Culture and Tourism
Reflecting the importance of tourism to the Greek economy, a ministry dedicated to formulating and overseeing tourism policy is a core component of the Greek government. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism coordinates a wide number of diverse policies and developments with other ministries so that Greece’s tourism sector remains strong, vibrant, and responsive.

Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO)
The Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO), under the direction of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, is responsible for promoting tourism in Greece and oversees a number of organisations related to tourism education, development, and real estate. 

A Global Brand, Global Marketing Support
Greece as a tourism destination enjoys an extensive, multilingual, global marketing campaign in all media. In addition, Greece is fully represented at all key tourism trade shows and is promoted by major travel and tour operators worldwide.


Conference and Congress Centres
Greece’s unique combination of geographical accessibility, spectacular locations, and multiple attractions makes it an ideal conference and congress destination. Currently, According to the International Congress and Convention Association rankings, Athens was listed in15th position in 2008, ten places higher than in 2007.

The potential for golf to grow significantly in Greece is well documented. The current number of 18-hole courses is five, compared with 250 in Spain and more than 50 in Portugal.

Spas and Thalassotherapy Centres
Greece boasts more than 700 thermal springs, many of therapeutic value. The potential to develop wellness centres, spas, and integrated treatment facilities is significant.

With more than 6,000 islands and islets, and 15,000 kilometres of coastline, Greece is a natural destination for sailors. Greece’s need for new and upgraded marinas is an appealing opportunity for investment.

Integrated Resorts
Investors who respond to the growing demand for unique, integrated lifestyle resorts will find a welcoming environment and numerous opportunities. The potential for growth is significant and the locations are spectacular.

Thematic Tourism
Greece’s abundant natural resources, historical wealth, and traditional heritage provide a basis for a wide spectrum of alternative tourism options, including wellness and medical tourism, theme parks, sports tourism, religious tourism, adventure travel, archaeological tourism, wine and gastronomy tourism–the list is extensive. Incentives are highly attractive and the potential for growth is considerable.

Greece is home to a wide variety of Europe’s flora and fauna, unique eco-systems, protected wildlife areas, spectacular mountains, nature reserves, one-of-a-kind forests and marine parks. In addition, historic villages, mountain retreats, rich agricultural variety, and gastronomic tradition are an ideal combination for a wide variety of EcoTourism offerings.

The corporate tax rate in Greece is 25%, and licensing procedures for tourism investments have been revised and simplified. Highly attractive real estate parcels many belonging to the State and slated for development, are available and tourism clusters are evolving as new areas of attraction develop. 

A New Investment Panorama
Investment professionals at Enterprise Greece are ready, willing, and able to assist you in your investment plans for tourism development, one of the most promising areas of long-term growth in the entire Mediterranean region.

Holiday Homes
New, comprehensive legislation is under consultation governing the construction of holiday homes, a market with significant potential. Experts estimate that more than 1 million Europeans would consider a second/holiday home in Greece. A wide variety of large, attractive, suitable plots of land are available for development throughout most of the country.

State Assets
The Greek State is actively promoting government real estate assets, including Xenia Hotels, holdings managed by the Hellenic Public Real Estate Corporation (HPREC), as well as marinas that need to be upgraded. This real estate will be offered to investors through open international tenders.

Greek Tourism

“I think that [Costa Navarino] is the most important golf development in continental Europe since Sotogrande 46 years ago. People are going to be absolutely shocked when they see what has been built there, because it is so good that it will reinvigorate the golf map in the Mediterranean area.”

David Spencer
The Stripe Group

“We are delighted to bring our Starwood brands to Greece, a premiere location and a vital European destination.”

Roeland Vos
President of Europe, Africa and Middle East Division
Starwood Hotels & Resorts

“Why did I invest in Greece, because I love Greece, it will be the most important market for golf tourism in the Mediterranean area in the next 10 years. Our project includes two 18 hole golf courses, a 5 star luxury hotel, bungalows, a conference centre, health spa and marina.”

Johann P. Bachmann

“For tourism, quite frankly, Greece has everything. The Greek people are the most hospitable in Europe, the food is great, and Crete has the longest European summer. And because Greece is the foundation of Western Civilization, we are innately tied to its culture” 


“Crete, is blessed with stunning landscapes, unique environment and natural beauty, hospitable people and rich history, mythology and culture. These are excellent ingredients for developing quality tourism with upscale resorts of unique character that could help Crete to stand out and be placed on the top of the list of quality tourist destinations in the world attracting high income level clientele from around the globe. With the above in mind, Emerald has secured, on the south coast of Crete, a charismatic piece of land – 160 hectares – on one of the best beaches of Greece, where is planning and integrated quality resort of exemplary high standards. With an investment of over 310 million EURO, the resort will consist of two 5 star luxury hotels, two spa facilities, a conference centre, an athletic centre, a village hub, etc and substantial luxury real estate.”

Ja. Photiades

Hotel Developments

Aquis Resorts and Hotels has acquired an iconic hotel on Corfu island, Corfu Palace, its 6th hotel on Corfu.

Following Aquis’ acquisition of four hotels in 2009, its marketing manager Rania Deimezi said: “We’re very excited about the new additions to our portfolio. In comparison with the western Mediterranean, which already has developed hotel chains, hotel groups and franchise brands opportunities in the last decade, the eastern Mediterranean has been left behind in comparison, this is why we launched Aquis Hotels and Resorts.”

Hilton Worldwide announced the operation of a Doubletree by Hilton Resort on the island of Kos in Greece.

Patrick Fitzgibbon, Hilton Worldwide’s senior vice president, development – Europe & Africa, said:“The country has a strong tourism infrastructure. With the hotel market in Greece dominated by independently run hotels and domestic chains, we believe there are wonderful growth opportunities for all our brands throughout the country.”

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. will launch its first Sheraton hotel in Greece with the inauguration of a Sheraton Rhodes Resort in the spring. It will be Starwood’s eighth hotel in Greece. The Sheraton Rhodes Resort will be located only a few kilometres from the city’s historic old quarter district and features 401 rooms.

Rhodes is a magical destination and we are thrilled to bring Sheraton, our most emblematic chain, to this significant travel destination,” Roeland Vos, the president of Starwood Hotels & Resorts in Europe, Africa and Middle East.

Chinese buying in GREECE with Buy2Greece brokers

Buying properties in Greece became more popular earlier this year in China after it was highly recommended by immigration agents, because the financially troubled Greek government has introduced a policy to give permanent residency to any foreign buyer purchasing a Greek property worth more than €250,000 (US$340,000), Guangzhou Daily, the official newspaper of the Guangzhou municipal party committee, reports.

As Greece is one of the 27 European Union member states, and also one of the Schengen countries, permanent residency there applies to both the EU and the Schengen region. The good weather and beautiful landscape there, as well as the comparatively cheap properties prices, has spurred many wealthy Chinese nationals from places like Shanxi and Jiangsu to emigrate to Greece.

Chinese nationals began to emigrate to Greece on a considerably large scale from just after the turn of the century, mostly second generation overseas Chinese from other European countries.

In 1998, hundreds of Chinese moved to Greece, and were welcomed because they brought with them cheap but quality textile products, thus leading to a second influx of Chinese immigrants, but by the end of the year 2000, only about 5,000 Chinese had remained in Greece.

In 2001, an immigration amnesty which effectively gave legal status to illegal residents, boosted the numbers of legal Chinese residents there to around 10,000. Greece conducted another immigration amnesty in 2005, and as Chinese immigrants to other European countries at that time were approaching a saturation point, the total number of Chinese residents in Greece gradually swelled to more than 20,000.

Investment immigration, however, restricts Chinese property buyers from the right to employment and social welfare in Greece.

Most Chinese in Greece set up small clothes or shoe shops, said Wang Peng, who is now editor-in-chief and executive director of the only Chinese newspaper in Greece.

After the 2008 global financial crisis, Greece became the first to fall victim to the European debt crisis, forcing the Greek government to introduce immigration policies aimed at attracting rich investors from China, Russia and the Middle East, in a bid to help its finances.

On April 9, the Greek congress passed a new investment immigration revision, lowering the minimum purchase price for properties that can qualify foreign nationals for permanent residency from €300,000 (US$401,000) to €250,000.

Although investment immigration restricts property buyers from working in Greece, buying property to operate as a factory is not restricted, lawyers said.

According to Greek law, non-EU citizens who buy Greek properties of more than €250,000 in value will be given Greek residency for five years, and after the five year period expires, their residency can be extended on the condition that they do not sell the property, .

The benchmark of €250,000 refers to the property’s net value, while related tax and expenses for attorneys and property agents has to be added on top of this price, buying a property to get residency will cost at least €300,000, the report said.

A property agent, surnamed Han in Greece, said she has helped five Chinese families from Shanxi and Beijing successfully immigrate to the nation, because of the new Greek immigration policy. While some old Chinese residents in Greece have considered moving to Italy because of the stagnant business environment in Greece, the report said.


Wang Peng 汪鵬

Italian firm Enel requests permission to search for oil

The Italian energy company Enel Group has submitted requests to search for hydrocarbons – namely oil and natural gas – in three areas in Epirus and Western Greece, illustrating the growing international interest for energy in Greece.

The first two areas are northwest of Peloponnesus and in the Aetoloakarnania region, both of which had been included in older surveys in 1996 that were handled by Enterprise Oil, Union Texas, MOL and ELPE. The third area is in the Preveza-Arta region, between Aetoloakarnania and Ioannina.

Enel has expressed its interest in accordance with the relevant legislation, which will allow the firm to carry out its surveys in the specific areas. The Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change has the final say in granting permits.

The Minister of Environment Maniatis remarked that Enel’s decision reflects the growing interest of the oil community for Greece. After a series of seismic surveys in the Ionian Sea, Western Greece and south of Crete are completed, further searches for hydrocarbons are expected to take place.

For U.K. Consumers Nearly One Third of All Online Consumption is on Mobile Devices

A new study from Expedia Media Solutions provides an in-depth analysis of the mobile consumption patterns of U.K. consumers and reveals that the U.K. mobile market is outpacing that of the U.S. with regard to mobile access prevalence and smartphone penetration.

ExpediaA new study from Expedia Media Solutions provides an in-depth analysis of the mobile consumption patterns of U.K. consumers and reveals that the U.K. mobile market is outpacing that of the U.S. with regard to mobile access prevalence and smartphone penetration.

Commissioned by Expedia Media Solutions and conducted by comScore, the proprietary research shows that U.K. consumers, and especially travelers, are an active, mobile-savvy group interested in making purchases and conducting research on mobile platforms. According to the study, in the U.K., mobile now represents 30 percent of all internet usage including 18 percent from smartphones and 12 percent from tablets, demonstrating the vast and valuable mobile market. Through key U.K. to U.S. market comparisons, mobile usage trends, platform preferences and purchase triggers, the study provides valuable insights on reaching and influencing U.K. mobile users in meaningful ways.

The U.K. mobile market is rich with potential for those trying to reach and influence consumers, particularly travelers. The U.K. is currently outpacing the U.S. mobile market across usage, access rates and travel category penetration. The study outlines:

  • Mobile represents 30 percent of all internet usage in the U.K., compared to 22 percent in the U.S.
  • Mobile access is growing rapidly in the U.K. as 57 percent of the population owns a smartphone, while smartphone ownership stands at 51 percent in the U.S.
  • In the U.K., online travel content reaches 69 percent of mobile devices, which is 11 percent higher than in the U.S.

When it comes to purchases, U.K. travelers are avid mobile shoppers, making them a prime demographic for marketers looking to tap into the vast potential of the U.K. mobile market. According to the study,

  • One in four U.K. travelers reported booking at least one component of their most recent trip on mobile
  • The incremental opportunity to reach mobile bookers is high, with twenty-three percent of all smartphone owners and 45 percent of all tablet owners likely to book travel using a mobile device within the next year
  • Those booking on mobile have the potential to become repeat customers, with seventy percent of smartphone bookers and 90 percent of tablet bookers willing to do so again in the next year

The study further highlights consumption and booking patterns across platforms, purchasing profiles, content types and device usage peaks to reveal additional ways marketers can optimize their reach and influence with the tech-savvy U.K. mobile travel audience.

  • Both phone and tablet usage for travel site visitation peaks at night between 8 p.m. and Midnight, while PC travel visitation peaks in the late afternoon between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
  • U.K. consumers booking hotels are more likely to conduct research on a mobile device, and are more likely to start this research without having decided on a destination
  • While travel app usage is roughly one-quarter that of mobile browser usage, it grew by 127 percent year-over-year, whereas mobile sites grew by just seven percent

“The study shows not only how open U.K. consumers are to engaging on mobile platforms, but it also provides marketers with the insight and tangible takeaways they need to design and implement an effective mobile strategy,” said Noah Tratt, global vice president of Expedia Media Solutions. “At Expedia, we’re constantly looking to evolve the ways we engage with consumers so that we can provide our media partners with the cutting-edge solutions and research–based insights, like those from the mobile study, needed to drive business results.” recently launched a redesigned homepage featuring a fully responsive design and a simpler, more streamlined layout intended to meet the evolving needs of today’s increasingly mobile travelers. Specifically optimized for desktops and mobile devices to load pages nearly twice as fast as before, the home page provides the best user experience across all devices. Media partners are able to leverage this innovation so that they can optimize engagement with their mobile audiences.

Expedia Media Solutions currently offers mobile solutions for®,® and Hotwire®. Additional mobile display ad opportunities will be available in the near future. For more information on Expedia Media Solutions, please visit

To view the full study and methodology please visit here:


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