Greek Property Promotion

Archive for February, 2015 – Implementing solutions to control mass tourism, a challenge for European cities

Worldwide tourism exponential growth (+276% international travellers in 30 years) leads European cities to face an increasing number of visitors and crowded spots, thus disturbing the tourism model and its public perception. During last European Cities Marketing meeting in Gijón this month, European cities discussed how to regulate visitors’ flows without destroying what made a city attractive at first: its uniqueness!

Keynote speaker, Stephen Hodes, co-founder and partner at LAgroup, particularly captured the audience attention regarding development of worldwide tourism and set the context. From 1980 to 2010, the number of international travellers worldwide has grown from 250 to 940 million and by 2030 this figure will double. While managing the growth of crowded touristic cities, several possible solutions were suggested throughout the day: quotas, creation of new attractions to spatial dispersal, temporal dispersal, limitation in hotel growth, pricing and ticketing of former free attractions… In order to face this challenge, Amsterdam came up with its new campaign to give tourists reasons to go out of the city, highlighting 16 characters to improve the product. And to market Amsterdam abroad, a layer of 6 themes was introduced.

Positive perception of cities is what brings results, Gijón Ambassadors programme showcased by Carolina García, Convention Bureau Coordinator at Gijón Visitors & Convention Bureau, is a good example. The “Inhabitants as ambassadors” programme consists in celebrities born in Gijón singing praises of their hometown. Several surveys show that the credibility and welcoming nature of Gijón citizens is what people appreciated the most during their stay. ECM members experienced this convivial nature during their stay in Gijón thanks to Gijón Visitors & Convention Bureau’s hospitality.

Five member cities: Aarhus, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bruges and Dubrovnik outlined their different experiences in terms of managing visitors flows in conjunction with their sizes, their environments, etc during the afternoon dedicated to best practices sessions.

Speaking about the meeting theme, Ignasi de Delàs, European Cities Meeting President, said: “Exchanges between members are at the heart of European Cities Marketing and this meeting was no exception with presentations and case studies on how cities handle visitors’ flows. It’s obvious that cities need tools to regulate tourism impact and avoid coexistence problems”

The next ECM meeting will take place in Turin, June 3-6, 2015 and the theme will be “Creating the city – how events and infrastructure projects can change the image”.
Source: European Cities Marketing – 10 Practical Tips To Comfortably Travel The World In Style

Everyone enjoys a bit of traveling now and then – it’s good for the soul they say. For me personally it is about leaving my “normal life” behind and focusing on exploring and rediscovering myself, as much as it is about learning about different cultures and history, meeting new and interesting people, trying out great food and partying. I am sure that a lot of people out there want a bit more than to just snap a few pictures and prance around in cargo pants, following a tour guide all day long.

We want to get as close to the movie star travel experience while staying within our means – we want to travel in style and be as comfortable as possible. If this sounds like something you could get on board with, then keep on reading, as you are in for a treat.

1. Go online to find the best accommodations in your price range
Hotel Sign

Most people have had experience with both bad and good hotels, and are aware of the fact that looking for a bit of luxury can get quite expensive. While the 17-25 year old crowd can make the most of a backpacking holiday, and spend their nights in dirt cheap hostels, more mature travelers will be looking for a nice comfortable place that makes them feel like a stylish globetrotter.

You can make good use of modern technology and find excellent short-term rentals, which provide you with a good deal of luxury at reasonable rates. Websites like should be your go to source when planning an exciting holiday and wanting more than just your basic tourist experience.

2. Prioritize your needs and pack your bags efficiently
The most important questions to ask yourself are:

Why you are traveling: business or pleasure?
What will you be doing?
What will you need to make the most out of the experience?
Once you answer these questions you can start packing the right clothes and various other items that you will need. It is always a good idea to have a small first aid kit handy, clothes options for different weather, casual and fancy dress options. You can focus on mixing and matching a few items to create several unique outfits, so you can have plenty of options with a limited wardrobe. Rolling up your clothes, packing socks into shoes and leaving out non-essential items will help you utilize the available luggage space more efficiently.

3. Bring along gadgets that will make the journey more fun
Travel gadgets

What you need will depend on the nature of your travels and your personality. For example, businessmen need plenty of electronics, while someone who is more of an outdoors type in search of adventure will be better served packing a GPS, a strong flashlight and a capable multitool, than a portable keyboard. There are some items, however, that will benefit everyone. You’ll need something to keep yourself entertained during the flight or ride to your destination, so an e-book reader or an mp3 player and good headphones are a smart choice. You want to make sure that your trip is as smooth and comfortable as possible – traveling in style is all about the little details.

4. Choose simple clothes that are elegant and comfortable
First of all, a stylish traveler wouldn’t be caught dead wearing a cliché tourist outfit – cargo pants, shorts, brightly-colored shirts, baseball hats and fanny packs are out of the question. However, a three piece suit or a complex outfit, tons of accessories and high heels, are not going to be very comfortable on a long flight, and will make you spend a lot of time going past the metal detector. What you are looking for is something along the lines of business casual or some simple clothes that you might wear when getting some coffee with friends on a lazy Saturday.

5. Girl tip – Pack a small hygiene/make up kit in your carry-on
Travel makeup kit

How do those classy ladies manage to stay fresh and look stunning after long exhausting trips where you get all sore and don’t get nearly enough sleep? Well, they come prepared. You’ll need a few basic hygiene items like wet wipes, a small antiperspirant stick, breath mints, nail file and a brush. To ensure that you look as gorgeous as ever, be sure to also pack a mini makeup kit that includes a small amount of moisturizing cream, liquid foundation, concealer, mascara, and a small eye shadow kit.

6. Guy tip – Get shaving soap in a bar
Since you can’t bring a whole lot of liquid onboard, it pays to find good alternatives. A bar of shaving soap goes a long way, and the whole experience of using a brush and an old school safety razor makes you feel like more of a refined gentleman. You can take advantage of all the extra liquid you will be allowed by packing a nice after shave balm, blackhead cream and moisturizer.

7. Have a few emergency items and spare clothes in your carry-on
Packing carry on luggage

There is always a risk of your luggage getting misplaced, or you may not have the energy to dig through your tightly packed bag upon arriving to your room in order to find something to wear to the restaurant you’ll be going to in a couple of hours. This is why you should have some extra clothes ready to go in your carry on. Accidents can also happen on the plane, and it’s good to have a clean shirt at hand. A few essential items like a flashlight, multitool, lighter and a small first-aid kit are enough to help you handle smaller emergencies.

8. Buy some accessories and clothing items at local stores when you land
You’ll be able to travel more comfortably if you pack somewhat light and get some cool new accessories at local stores. More importantly, you want to fit in with the locals as best as you can, so that you don’t seem out of place. Go on a shopping spree on your first day there and try to find out what the local fashion is like, then get some great little items that you can combine with the clothes that you’ve brought with you. You’ll avoid looking like a wide-eyed tourist and pull of a cultured look that everyone you encounter will appreciate.

9. Research the best cafés, restaurants and clubs before you even set foot on the plane
Google maps

There is precious little time to delve deep into the local culture, visit all the historical sites and experience some great winning and dining. As soon as you have made the reservations, go online, open Google maps and get to know the lay of the land. Websites like provide plenty of useful information on the local restaurants, bars and cafes, so you can make a list of places to visit and mark the most efficient routes from your accommodations to different areas in the city.

You can take screenshots of the maps and save them to your phone, so that you can access the information even if there is no Wi-Fi around, and you definitely want to avoid data roaming. Plus, pulling out your phone to have a quick look is inconspicuous, while leering over a big old map makes you seem like a pesky tourist to the locals, and an easy target to the criminal element.

10. Learn to speak the local language and behave according to the accepted etiquette
One of the best ways to ensure that you have a pleasant stay and that you are welcomed with open hands by the locals, is to learn as much of the language as you can. Focus on the most common phrases, slang words, proper pronunciation and the basic grammar rules – no one cares much about finding the post office or using stilted formal phrases. Oh, and find out as much as you can about proper etiquette, starting from how close locals stand to each other without perceiving a breach of personal space and how they greet each other, all the way to table manners, how to behave when coming into someone’s home and social norms related to dating and partying.

Knowing enough about a particular culture can help save you a lot of trouble – e.g. you don’t ever want to try to outdrink a Russian and people in the south of Italy can get really touchy feely and in your face, and use a lot of hand gestures as they talk to you. Also, be sure to gain some understanding of the basic body language cues and hand gestures, so you avoid accidentally offending someone.

There are different ways you can travel, but if you don’t want to be seen as just another annoying goofy tourist, you’ll do well to follow these tips. With a little work you will be able to spend your vacation in great comfort, look cultured and elegant, and exude confidence.

Featured photo credit: Nick Harris via – Moscow Overseas Property & Investment Show

Moscow Overseas Property & Investment Show
13-14 March 2015

Buy2Greece – Super funds eye overseas property Super funds eye overseas property

Super funds eye overseas property
Wednesday, 18 February 2015 | Stefanie Garber

As the ‘unpleasant experiences’ of the GFC begin to fade, superannuation funds are once again looking to dip their toes into international property, says LaSalle Investment Management.

Speaking in Sydney yesterday, LaSalle’s Asia Pacific head of strategic partnerships Ian Mackie said a number of Australian pension funds have been considering entering international property markets in recent years.

“We see, in our travels around Australia, that there is significantly increasing interest from Australian superannuation funds to get offshore but they are very cautious,” he said.

He suggested this wariness stemmed from “unpleasant experiences” with international property markets during the GFC but interest was once again rising.

Speaking at the same event, organised by LaSalle, head of research and strategy Paul Guest said Australian pension funds were facing tight conditions domestically.

“When you have an environment with growing pension fund allocations and a relatively small domestic market, or at least a closely held domestic market, you have two routes to follow,” he said.

He suggested super funds could choose to invest in Australian assets, following the example of Taiwan and South Africa, where “where you just keep buying domestically and bid down the yields until they are at two per cent”.

Alternatively, the funds could consider overseas markets, similar to the British and Dutch models, according to Mr Guest.

“Australian superannuation funds are going to have to make that choice in the next couple of years because they have this growing flow of allocations,” he said.

“They have an allocation to property and they have to choose where to place that.”

Mr Guest indicated that the international route may become more common for Australian super funds within the next 10 years, citing Korea as an example of how quickly the tide can change.

“It doesn’t take all that long to change. If you go back 10 years ago, Korean funds weren’t on anybody’s radar,” he said.

“Ten years later, a whole list of Korean pension funds have gone international.” – Social media fuels Chinese overseas real estate purchases

(Reuters) – For some Chinese investors, the first step to purchasing millions of dollars in property on the other side of the globe is a lot like ordering a new t-shirt online – search and click.

Social media is the catalyst, connecting Chinese buyers and overseas agents. At least one prospective buyer entrusted an agent with $100 million to invest in residential housing. Others bought houses in Houston or plots of land in Colorado, sight unseen, according to real estate agents.

In the last six month of 2013, $1.1 billion worth of potential transactions were referred to international agents by, the largest real estate portal that targets Chinese buyers looking abroad. It was unclear how many deals were actually completed.

As property prices cool in Hong Kong and Singapore, which have long been magnets for Chinese investment, more money is flowing to real estate markets such as New York, London and Sydney. Chinese have overtaken Russians for the first time as the biggest buyers of apartments in Manhattan, according to real estate brokers.

Chinese buyers invested $13.5 billion in overseas property last year, compared with $6.3 billion a year earlier, according to real estate consultancy Savills.

China’s social media platforms such as QQ, WeChat and Weibo are hugely popular among younger property buyers, many of them 20-something scions of China’s wealthy families. They are driving a new phase of Chinese outbound property investment that is expected to grow 20 percent per year in the coming decade.

“Social media is immediate and familiar to the buyers, it’s a way to connect people without formality and without introduction. And then you have a little connection,” said Joel Goodrich, a San Francisco-based agent who specializes in luxury real estate.

He and his co-worker in New York were referred a Chinese businessman by at the end of last year. The client gave them a budget of $100 million to invest in real estate in New York. They have been communicating over QQ Chat, a popular instant messenger in China run by Tencent, and the buyer has made plans to visit the U.S. city to check out his options. has also referred clients with budgets of $200 million and A$320 million ($298.93 million) to real estate agents overseas, according to Andrew Taylor, the property website’s Hong Kong-based co-chief executive officer.

China tightly controls foreign currency transactions. Individuals can exchange Chinese yuan for a maximum of $50,000 a year. Chinese companies, however, can buy more U.S. dollars than otherwise allowed by fake invoicing. Many wealthy Chinese have made use of corporate and legal entities to transfer large sums overseas.

SEARCHING FOR INVESTMENTS’s Taylor said his portal has worked with customers as young as a 20-year-old student who was studying in the United States and looking to buy property there for his family back in China.

Since the website launched 2-1/2 years ago, the types of inquiries have changed. Where once clients were looking only for a place to live in the United States, now it’s often about finding a good investment.

“They’re asking questions about what’s the capital gain, what’s the yield potential, what’s it like living here and what are the taxes,” Taylor said.

Goodrich said 99 percent of his clients buy for investment and they look for yields of around 3 to 4 percent. The top 1 percent are looking for a trophy property. owned by Nasdaq-listed Sina Corp, and are other marketplaces that work on a similar business model, acting as intermediaries for Chinese buyers and overseas agents.

Other domestic and international online agents are also scrambling to form new partnerships and expand their services. Earlier this month, U.S. real estate information company Zillow Inc said it planned to partner with China’s Beijing Yisheng Leju Information Services Co, an affiliate of E-House (China) Holdings Ltd, to tap growing interest from Chinese mainland clients, the second-largest foreign buyers of U.S. homes last year.

Chinese buyers spent $425,000 on average on U.S. homes as of the end of March 2013, with 69 percent of deals reported as all-cash purchases, according to Zillow.

Although most buyers prefer to check out properties in person before buying, some have agreed to long-distance deals.

Gladys Wang, a Chinese agent based in Houston who has more than 1,400 followers on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, said she had clients closing deals to buy $300,000 to $400,000 properties without even seeing them.

“Many Chinese are not familiar with Houston, but they learnt more about the city by following my posts on Weibo,” said Wang.

“Nowadays consumers look at reviews before they make a purchase. Social media is good for this. They have more trust in me than those who found me through ads, because they have been following my Weibo, and that speeds up the buying process.”

Instead of selling physical properties, some agents opt for land sales which cost less and close faster.

Frank Hu, an agent listed in’s U.S. website, focuses on selling land in Colorado and Hawaii because the entry-level investment is much lower at $10,000 to $20,000.

“Clients don’t need to visit the land before buying; there’s nothing to see about land. We only need to provide clients information like its location and price,” he said. ($1 = 1.0705 Australian Dollars) (Additional reporting by Beth Gladstone in NEW YORK; Editing by Emily Kaiser and Alex Richardson)

Chinese spent $106B on global luxury products in 2014

Chinese bought 46% of the world’s luxury products in 2014 – 76% of which was purchased overseas, a recent Chinese luxury report reveals.1
In dollar amounts, that was US$106 billion spent by Chinese luxury consumers.1

Simply put, the global luxury industry is becoming more Chinese. After all, Chinese luxury consumption is influencing this industry like no other nationality has before.2

Borderless travel & Chinese luxury boom

China’s population is becoming increasingly urbanised2, and its large and fast burgeoning middle class means more Chinese are able to splurge and travel.2

Over 100 million Chinese travelled abroad in 2014.10 By 2020, 200 million Chinese tourists are expected to travel overseas.11”
Also, as they travel more, Chinese have quickly realised the price benefits of buying luxury goods abroad, which resonate well with the typical Chinese value-for-money culture. This further perpetuates their desire to spend, and spend abroad.

However, it would be foolish to assume that Chinese buyers are all the same. As diverse as China’s many dialects and provinces are, so too, are the profiles of its consumers.

As the rising sophistication of Chinese consumers2 become more prominently recognised, it’s important to also note the diversity that exists within this group. These buyers range from middle-aged businessmen to young female shoppers to nouveau riche. For example, it’s been said that China’s nouveau riche tend to be more eager and willing to flaunt their newfound wealth.3

The end result of all this surging wanderlust, though, is the thriving economic impact that Chinese luxury consumers now have – whether in Asia, Europe or the US.3

Chinese effect on luxury brands

Given this boom, luxury retail markets worldwide have been scrambling to attract Chinese money, and we don’t blame them. Chinese travellers remain the undisputed fastest-growing luxury buyers in the world, and more enticingly, they allocate 71% their budget on shopping when travelling overseas.5

2015, however, will see luxury brands evolve. The role of e-commerce, for example, will play a more dominant role.

In the past, high-end brands have been averse to hopping onto the e-commerce bandwagon, which they perceived would tarnish their image and eliminate the inimitable in-store experience that comes with luxury shopping.

Now, however, luxury brands are increasingly embracing digital marketing strategies in lieu of the uprising digital and social media revolution – especially in China, where there are 632 million internet users and 519.7 million smartphone users.6

91% of Chinese go online everyday7, of which 81% access the internet via mobile.6 Additionally, 65% of China’s HNWIs (high-net-worth individuals) favour online social media as their preferred source of information.8
Yet navigating China’s social media landscape is complex, and quality social media marketing is key to the success of high-end brands transitioning to their digital storefronts without losing its exclusivity appeal and brand loyalty.

Luxury real estate online

Fortuitously, luxury real estate has been one sector that has been successful taken online – much like a duck takes to water.

Overseas property remains the top investment choice for China’s ultra-rich, and the first place to search for such a purchase is online.

We’ve seen visits on go from 1.5 million to 2.5 million monthly visits, and news of wealthy Chinese investors buying overseas properties without ever even viewing the property are making agents and developers salivate from all corners of the world.
In the past year alone, we’ve heard of wealthy Chinese investors buying million-dollar homes sight unseen and Chinese luxury property transactions completed entirely via social media. These stories have become the stuff of legends amongst property agents and brokers.

Somewhat unique to Chinese buyers is their marked penchant for generational driven investment:

97% of affluent Chinese are more inclined to buy a lifestyle property12, while 93% of Chinese HNWIs are more likely to purchase legacy homes for their children, usually worth between US$1 million to US$3 million.12
Truly, the impact of Chinese buyers on global luxury markets is impossible to ignore, and property agents and brokers would do well to tap into the market online if they want to remain relevant and on top of the game.

Best Vacation Rental Damage Protection Tips For Property Owners

A vacation rental is an extremely valuable asset. With the amount of time and money invested in making it perfect for the guests, you would definitely wish to keep it safe from any sort of damage.

However, leasing your cottage or flat to a stranger involves numerous risks. While some incidents might be inconsequential, other might show significant consequences.

How to Curtail Vacation Rental Damage
No damage, whether malicious or accidental, is good. Damage to your vacation rental cannot be avoided due to regular incursion of guests. The list begins with broken furniture, spillages, jammed DVDs, burns, and the list is endless! Having your vacation rental trashed by careless guests is no less than a nightmare. Well, check out the following tips to reduce the damage to your precious asset.

Screen your guests
Screening your guests is the initial step towards protecting the rental cottage from damage. This can be done by speaking to guests before the booking is confirmed. This would help you find out the nature and behavior of potential guests as well as the type of vacation they are planning. If you are, in any case, not a phone call person, you can communicate with the person through emails.

Be careful about red flags and inconsistencies. Follow your instincts and don’t hesitate turning away inquiries you do not feel good about. However, it should be noted this method of screening is not flawless. It is, therefore, recommended you get an insurance policy to cover loss due to mishandling or intentional damage.

Take security deposit for your rental cottage/home
Don’t hesitate to ask for security deposit before you confirm the booking. Usually, the security deposit can be a flat fee or certain percentage of the booking amount. Security deposits provide you cash-in-hand in case of out of kilter situations. You can deduct the money for the damage and return the remaining.

Some useful tips about how to handle the security deposit issue:
It is a turn off for potential guests if the security amount is too high.
Make sure the deposit amount is not spent if you have a tight budget. It is better to keep it in your savings account to prevent you from squandering it.
Many states mandate the deposit be returned to guests within a specific period of time. Usually, this time period is 14 days. Find out what your state mandates and follow it to them.
Get insured
Getting your vacation rental property insured is a good alternative to security deposit. If you are listing your property on the Internet, getting it insured is a matter of just one click. Well, as a matter of consideration, online polices, inspite of being cheap and easy to implement, might not cover all aspects, especially pet damage. Therefore, make sure you read the fine print before signing on the dotted lines.

Make a note of repeat guests
Preparing a list of repeat guests is one of the most effective ways to mitigate rental damage. Make note of the damage your property has incurred when a particular guest has stayed. Sift out guests who seem to take pleasure in damaging your vacation rental and focus on those who treat the property with respect. This will not only help you keep your property safe, it is also a good way to build a rapport with your guests.

However, it has been observed damage often is caused in spite of the various precautions and protective measures taken. Under such circumstances, it is best to speak to the guests and find a solution that will make both parties happy. This said, you should also look at the severity of the damage. In most cases, minor damage, such as broken glass or window pane, is usually an accident or non-malicious intent. You can either let it go or talk congenially to the guest and request them to pay for it. Normally, guests feel bad and offer to pay for the damage.

In addition to the above mentioned tips to mitigate the risk of damage to your vacation rental, it is equally important to get it insured against other risks like theft, fire, and other similar mishaps, that can come up at any point, to cover your losses. – Easy US visa rules attract more Chinese buyers

An extended visa to visit the United States will attract more mainlanders to buy homes there despite the recent slowdown in US home price appreciation.

The Chinese are already the largest or the second-largest group of foreign property buyers in 46 of the 50 states, according to the National Association of Realtors in the United States. Its data shows Chinese investors spent US$22 billion on US real estate, or nearly a quarter of all international sales, in the year to March 2014.

Adding to this strong trend is an agreement signed by Barack Obama and Xi Jinping in November that provides citizens of both countries access to 10-year tourist and business visas, eliminating the hassle of annual renewal.

“It will make a trip much easier. One just needs to buy a ticket and pack,” said Tony Huang, managing director of Shanghai-based Maxview Realty, which helps multinational firms relocate expatriates to China.

He has visited the United States many times for business and is applying an EB-5 visa, which will eventually grant him a green card if he invests US$1,000,000 to create or preserve at least 10 jobs.

A survey by East-West Property Advisors showed 25 per cent of Chinese respondents said the visa extension would directly translate into speedier purchases of US properties
“I plan to buy (a home in the United States) in the second half of this year or early next year,” he told the South China Morning Post. He prefers three cities on the west coast – San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Huang’s top priority is education for his seven-year-old son. He wants his son to have a global view, which, he says, is driving his plan to move to the US. Fleeing the pollution at home is the second-most important reason.

A survey by East-West Property Advisors, which helps Asians buy US property, showed 25 per cent of Chinese respondents said the visa extension would directly translate into speedier purchases of US properties while 42 per cent said easier visas would help to a varying degree.

Sam Van Horebeek, the firm’s founder, said a few mainlanders have even decided to buy simply by viewing the videos of the properties.

Huang, however, prefers on-site visits with his son and wife. “It will be for self-use,” he said.

“We will visit the three cities for about a week and live with friends. We’ll then seal the deal. US$1,000,000 is in any case not a big deal if you consider home prices here in Shanghai.”

While small mainland cities are still mired in a downturn due to a serious housing glut, top-tier cities such as Shanghai and Beijing have shown some signs of recovery in recent months.

On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, US single-family home price appreciation slowed to its weakest level in more than two years in November as lean inventories and tight mortgage standards limit housing market activities, according to the S&P/Case Shiller composite index.

San Francisco continued to lead all 20 metropolitan areas with a year-on-year gain of 8.9 per cent, while the average gain slowed to 4.3 per cent in November.

Buy2Greece – Moscow Overseas Property & Investment Show


The Moscow Overseas Property & Investment Show is the project designed to help companies confront economic crisis. While both corporate and private investors are struggling to find proper investment instruments, the review of overseas property markets and information on prospective investment projects are in particular demand.

The Moscow Overseas Property & Investment Show gathers leading overseas property experts. Developers, real estate agents and brokers, banks and management companies will present their best projects, high-quality analytics and economic forecasts. More than 160 companies introduce diverse property investment projects from over 35 countries are introduced at the show. – International Property Expo