Archive for August, 2014
Dear Sir, – I am considering buying a house in Greece. I know some of the islands and have lived in Athens. The big difficulty is choosing which one! I would like a villa, with some land (at least with a few trees), sea view (maybe on a hill/cliff), reasonable distance to a taverna, interesting design. Not really into nightlife at all, but don’t want to be isolated. I live in Munich Germany so reasonable flights are important. I love the Cyclades, Crete and Corfu. I also have been to Evvia a number of times, specifically Chiliadou. Do you have any suggestions? I would like a house in blue and white….
Boat Show will take place between 15-19 October 2014 at the Olympic Fencing Center. The boat show for sea enthusiasts will again bring to the fore an important sector of Greek economy and will present a wide selection of nautical products.
According to Esteraich newspaper, Greece was the leading destination for Austrians this year.
“This year, Greece was the leading destination for Austrians, the ultimate number one for those who are attracted by the sea,” highlighted the Austrian publication.
The newspaper noted that Austrians have been the European “champions” in terms of tourism, as they are on vacation more than any other citizen in Europe.
Among those Austrians who chose Greece for this year’s holiday was the Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurt, as well as the Culture Minister Joseph Ostermagier, who is one of Greece’s fanatic supporters, and chose Rhodes this year by booking at the last minute.
According to a research of the Austrian Erste Bank, on average this year, an Austrian spent 1100 euros on holidays, which is 200 euros more than last year.
Meet A.L.O. (pronounced: “el-oh”), Aloft Hotel’s new robot butler! Just under 3 feet and dressed in a vinyl-collared uniform, this robot butler (also known as Botlr) is ready to serve guests with aplomb!
The industry’s first automated bellhop can carry out all the usual room service tasks, reveal officials at Alof Hotels, a brand of Starwood Hotels. Guests at the hotel just need to call the front desk and specify their requirements. The staff will load up the Botlr with requested items, punch in the guest’s room number and send it off to make the delivery. Also, guests won’t have to pay tip for all that service. With the delivery complete, the Botlr will request for a review. If the guest puts in a positive remark on the built-in screen, the robot does a happy dance.
The official launch of this incredible technology is on August 20th. Brian McGuinness, senior vice president for the Aloft brand, said he could see having one or two Botlrs in each Aloft hotel. “I think there is a chance that this could go enterprise-wide based on a successful pilot,” he said.
So, is this new technology puts a question mark on bellhops? Officials at Starwood say these robots won’t replace any employees. Rather, they will be freed from petty tasks so that they can concentrate on other important managerial works.
The Botlr was designed and built by Sunnyvale, California, start-up Savioke. If the launch is successful, 100 of such Botlrs will be deployed in Starwood’s other properties.
With the airberlin Family Special, children on selected flights receive a 100% discount on the net flight price, making it particularly cheap for them to fly off for their holidays, provided they are accompanied by an adult. The offer includes favourite holiday destinations such as Morocco, Spain or southern Italy. The Family Special can be booked until 19th August. With the Family offer, all you have to pay for children aged between two and eleven on flights between 1st October and 15th December 2014 are the taxes and charges.
From the age of two upwards children can become members of airberlin’s frequent flyer program, topbonus. During the special offer period, travellers using the Family Special who are members of the frequent flyer program will be credited with 500 topbonus award miles. When booking, simply enter the topbonus number for all guests flying. Miles can be redeemed from 3,000 miles onwards to purchase bargain discount tickets or from 2,000 miles in the new topbonus shop.
The airline with the heart is once again demonstrating its family-friendly service with this campaign, as every child also receives a little surprise while on board. For example, to keep them entertained airberlin provides a colouring book, a puzzle or a comic book. It goes without saying that Germany’s second largest airline carries buggies, pushchairs, car seats and travel beds for children up to the age of eleven free of charge.
Tickets can be booked online at http://www.airberlin.com/familyspecial, via the airberlin Service Center on +49 30 3434 3434 (local rates apply) or through a travel agent.
airberlin is one of the leading airlines in Europe and flies to 171 destinations worldwide each year. The second largest airline in Germany carried more than 31.5 million passengers in 2013. airberlin offers a global route network through its strategic partnership with Etihad Airways, which has a 29.21% share in airberlin, and through membership of the oneworld® airline alliance. The airline with the award-winning service operates codeshare flights worldwide with 18 airlines. The fleet has an average age of five years and is among the most modern and eco-efficient in Europe.
In the wake of what is being considered as the worst Ebola outbreak in history, World Health Organization (WHO) issued an ‘international public health emergency’. More than 900 people have died since the epidemic broke out earlier this year.
Ebola outbreak stands as a serious threat for international tourism industry. As the tragic epidemic, passed on through contact with blood or bodily fluids of the infected, has no cure and a fatality rate of up to 90 percent, nations are taking extra precautions to ensure that there’s no possible outbreak in their country/city. Certain carriers have already suspended flights to regions near and across West Africa. Emirates was the first major international airline to suspend service to Guinea, saying “the safety of our passengers and crew is of the highest priority and will not be compromised.” British Airways is the latest major airline to suspend flights to Sierra Leone and Liberia, due to the “deteriorating public health situation.” BA’s cancellation comes as it emerged that a Cardiff resident has quarantined themselves at home over fears they may have been exposed to the deadly virus in West Africa.
Tourists willing to travel to Africa’s favourite tourist hotspots are being warned to take necessary precautions before travelling. “From a tourism perspective, the countries primarily affected by this Ebola outbreak are not what drives African tourism,” Max Rayner, partner of travel industry analyst group Hudson Crossing, told Yahoo Travel.
“But as was shown during the SARS and avian flu outbreaks, tourists and businesspeople considering travel to South Africa, Nigeria, or Kenya will understand that while on a plane, they could be exposed to other passengers who may indeed have come from the affected areas.”
Most recently, quite a few cases of Ebola has been reported in Nigeria, which is also a popular tourist destination among international travellers. More cases of Ebola moving across borders via air travel are expected, as West Africa faces the largest outbreak of the hemorrhagic virus in history, said Tom Frieden, the head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
United States is also bracing for possible outbreak, but the impact won’t be large, US health authorities said.
If not contained in time, the outbreak can pose a serious threat to the tourism industry. Tour Operators are already mulling over planned trips to various parts of Africa. Many nations beefing up security procedures at airports to refrain the infected, still any full-proof solution is yet to be doled out.
A report by the Times this weekend reports that international property transactions by UK buyers are up as much as 84%.
The Times source figures from Currencies Direct which report that transactions from Brits are up 84% in Spain and 65% in France on last year. It’s a small data set but the general trend (although perhaps not at the same level) is supported by many other sources.
It’s almost a perfect storm for the British overseas property market:
Rising UK house prices allowing significant equity release to fund international purchases
A favourable exchange rate. The pound is at a 22 month high against the Euro. British buyers get €1.25 euros to the pound today, a way off €1.45 at the height of the last boom but still not bad
Rising consumer confidence – The UK had the best GDP figures in Europe according to data publish this month
The biggest ingredient for a perfect storm is fear of loss, which always drives booms. Rising prices in Spain may yet provide that ingredient in this market (France, Italy and Portugal won’t rise any time soon and US seems to be levelling off).
The former Greek and Roman ancient city of Ephesus, near present-day Selcuk town of Izmir in western Turkey has received some 800,000 tourists in the first six months of 2014, generating revenue of over 4 million Turkish liras.
Culture and Tourism Director of İzmir Abdülaziz Ediz said, “Revenue from these historic sites is used to improve and restore the sites themselves”, adding the renovation of the Ephesus Museum in the town Selçuk, which has been going on for the past 18 months will be completed soon.
The acropolis of Pergamon- a major center of learning in the ancient world, located in the province of İzmir received 109,000 tourists in the first half of the year, raising the revenue received by museums in the area by 106 percent. Acropolis of Pergamon (Bergama) was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list in June.
The ancient city of Ephesus was added to UNESCO’s temporary list of world heritage sites in 2000. Mr. Ediz is hopeful to see Ephesus in UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2015.