Greek Property Promotion

Archive for December, 2015 – UnionPay International predicts outbound spending trend in 2016

As the year of 2016 is around the corner, how will you plan your outbound travel for the next year? UnionPay International’s cardholders’ outbound spending statistics show that, Chinese tourists not only favor short-distance destinations in Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia, but also prefer to choose the US as one of their favorite long-distance outbound travel destinations. Moreover, Thailand has, for the first time ever, become the first choice of tourists from second- and third-tier cities in the Chinese mainland.

As the bankcard most commonly used by Chinese tourists for outbound spending, UnionPay card has witnessed continuous growth in transaction volume at overseas department stores, supermarkets, and hotels in the past few years. The proportion took up by entertainment, catering and tourist attraction ticket spending has also been increasing over the years. This trend of spending structure is expected to continue with independent traveling gaining greater popularity among tourists.

The US becomes the hottest long-distance destination

According to the report released, the destinations chosen by tourists for independent travels become increasingly diversified. In addition to the five short-distance markets, namely Thailand, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, long-distance markets like Turkey, Russia and Eastern Europe are enjoying greater popularity thanks to the implementation of “One Belt One Road” strategy, and this popularity is expected to continue in the years to come. Meanwhile, driven by the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, Brazil and other South American countries are expected to become the new choices for Chinese tourists.

Based on tourists’ booking statistics, quite a few travel agencies all maintain that “Japan is the overseas market with the best performance this year, and one with the most promising future.” Next year, tourism routes to Japan offered by these agencies will spread all over Japan. With the implementation of the US’s new visa policy (10-year multi-entry), the number of Chinese tourists to the US for independent travels has grown remarkably. Therefore, the US is regarded as the most promising long-distance travel market.

UnionPay cards can be used conveniently in all these popular destinations, especially in the US where tourists can withdraw cash with UnionPay cards at almost all ATMs, and make signature credit card payments at 80% of merchants and PIN debit card payments at all merchants equipped with a PIN pad. Now, UnionPay credit cards issued by almost all national and regional banks in the Chinese mainland support signature payments. Cardholders can also contact the issuer to cancel the PIN before departure in order to ensure PIN-free payment can be made overseas.

UnionPay provides comprehensive and convenient services

urrently, tourists can not only make purchases conveniently with UnionPay cards in the destinations but also enjoy UnionPay card value-added services for booking and tax refund. In terms of booking, online merchants including Agoda and Booking all accept UnionPay cards for payments. Turkey’s well-known hotel booking website,, which has booking access to 250,000 hotels across the world, has recently realized UnionPay card acceptance. In addition, many international hotel groups including Four Seasons Hotels and Mandarin Oriental, as well as Emirates Airlines provide exclusive discounts for UnionPay cards to the end of next February.

UnionPay cards can also be used to withdraw cash at ATMs in major tourist destinations, saving tourists the trouble of carrying large amount of cash overseas. Now, the amount of foreign currency that can be withdrew with each domestically-issued UnionPay card is capped at RMB 100,000.00 per year. Tourists may make purchases with UnionPay credit cards, and they can also carry another UnionPay debit card for back-up. Thanks to the “40 global selected tourist destinations” program launched by UnionPay International, UnionPay cardholders are able to enjoy up to 15%-off discount at more than 300 merchants globally.

Cardholders can claim a tax refund via UnionPay cards when leaving the destination regardless of the payment method they used for purchase. UnionPay International has established cooperation with three major tax refund agencies, namely Global Blue, Premier Tax Free, and Tax Free Worldwide, in launching the UnionPay card overseas tax refund service in 37 countries and regions including Britain, Argentina, Australia, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and Malaysia, covering more than 300,000 merchants. In South Korea, tourists can get instant UnionPay card tax refund when making purchases at merchants cooperating with the local tax refund agencies like KTIS, and Global Tax Free. In Australia, tourists may significantly shorten the tax refund application process by downloading an APP called “TRS”, filling out a tax refund application form online in advance and choosing UnionPay credit card as the means of tax refund.

Currently, the overseas acceptance network of UnionPay card has expanded to over 150 countries and regions, covering all tourist destinations frequently visited by UnionPay cardholders. UnionPay cards are accepted at over 26 million merchants and 1.9 million ATMs worldwide. UnionPay cardholders are able to enjoy secure, convenient and cost-effective payment experiences in the major destinations as well as retailers, scenic spots, transportation and daily spending places. – Expert outlook on how culinary tourism is becoming a growing trend in travel

To make a city or neighbourhood a culinary destination, there are a number of elements that need to coalesce. With just a diverse mix of restaurants and an inviting atmosphere, it is not possible to establish a heavily trafficked food destination but it also requires city planning, community development, tourism and marketing.

We asked one of the culinary tourism experts and here is what Elizabeth Bergin, HAAC vice-president, MBI, Inc. Culinary Consulting, shared with us on “How Culinary Tourism Is Becoming a Growing Trend in Travel”

The onset of technology has brought the world of food, wine and travel into homes. The demand for extraordinary travel experiences and the broadening interest in international culinary education is on the rise. The Chicago-based company, the World of MBI/A Taste of France creates and leads culinary travel adventures for educated consumers and food-savvy travelers; culinary industry professionals and students, offering itineraries based on the company’s many years of travel and personal research. Countries visited: France, Spain, Italy, Germany and more.

 “For over 20 years, we have been offering unique style of culinary travel. We know the chefs, the gastronomy and the culture of each country’s region that is visit and select accommodations, menus and private culinary related visits that provide our clients a range of experiences. Our gourmet adventures offer a perfect blend of urban and rural; classical and regional cuisine; leisure time and cultural visits resulting in luxury travel that captures the spontaneity of personal travel, and opens the door to the authentic, personal experiences you want when you travel. Our culinary travel adventures are a once in a life time experience…… to be enjoyed again and again! ” – Top tourism leaders d iscuss future strategies for 2016

The World Tourism Forum, Davos of tourism, was held at Antalya Maxx Royal Belek Golf Resort where tourism leaders congregated in order to shape the world tourism in the new year.

-Leaders steering the world tourism came together as part of the World Tourism Forum in Antalya. Personalities shaping the global tourism trends discussed topics of online tourism,, tourism investments, and new hotel concepts in the first part of the World Tourism Forum.

Presented by MC Ece Vahapoğlu, the Forum kicked off with the opening speech of Bulut Bağcı, President of World Tourism Forum. Expressing his satisfaction in bringing together the professionals of tourism industry at the World Tourism Forum Mediterranean Meeting 2015, Mr. Bağcı went on to say: “We carried out our first event under the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul on 30 April 2015. Today we come together with our colleagues to discuss tourism’s future with the participation of H.E. Antalya Mayor Menderes Türel and industry leaders. Having participated in Davos last year, we decided to hold a summit to discuss tourism in Turkey at the Davos standards and got to work on the process. We will continue to discuss tourism at our global office meeting which will take place at Istanbul Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Center on February 4-6, 2016 and José Manuel Barroso, former President of the European Commission as well as industry leaders will be among the participants. I would like to thank H.E. Antalya Mayor Menderes Türel and Mehmet Ersoy for their support. And I would like to extend my thanks to you for your participation.”

Emphasizing his satisfaction at having successive fruitful events in Antalya, H.E. Antalya Mayor Menderes Türel said” “Antalya has recently hosted the G20 Summit, Piano Festival, and the Golden Orange Film Festival. Next year we will ensure that our beautiful city wins a name as the host of Botanical Expo 2016. In addition to its rich historical texture, Antalya has a wealth of natural resources and agricultural land. We export flowers. The Botanical Expo 2016 will reveal Antalya’s value even further. Tourism is a peace promoting industry in itself. We have quite strong cultural ties with Russia and we would like to leave behind the current political tension with least possible crisis.” Menderes Türel thanked everyone who contributed to the World Tourism Forum.

Bas Lemmens, Rommlr CEO said, on the other hand, that people do not sacrifice their holiday programs in a year and added: “Vacationers wish to receive simplistic services. This is why providing services in channels where everything will be offered simultaneously is important. Doing everything together in the online industry will bring profits.” Sharing his happiness at attending the World Tourism Forum, Gianluca Laterza, Southern and Eastern Europe Regional Director of Trip Advisor, said: “Using mobile tools is quite important for you to reach vacationers living in faraway countries such as Thailand, China, and Brazil. The new generation is very sensitive to comments and prices. Enterprises must respond to such comments rapidly and accurately. Free of charge Wi- Fi, breakfast, and transfers are one of the main expectations of youth from a holiday. Today we need to appeal to emotions. Turkey has unique holiday spots. Please do not avoid communicating and promoting these unique destinations.”

Non-accommodation Revenues Must be Increased

Assessing tourism in Turkey during the 1980’s, 1990’s and 2000’s in his speech, Mehmet Ersoy, Voyage Group Board Chairman, said: “Tourism was conducted in Turkey during the 80’s under very difficult conditions.

Transformation of Turkish Airlines as an investor in the 1990’s into a global carrier and birth of private airlines led to development of the hotel industry in Istanbul. Turkey needs to switch to the qualified upper segment with higher spending capacity in the period ahead. Non-accommodation revenues must be increased. Establishing a “Supreme Board of Tourism Planning and Promotion”, which I believe will contribute to the industry, is a must.

Such a supreme board will assure easy promotion of Turkey in the global arena as well as planning activities.

The USA, Greece, and Dubai are implementing this method. Steps should be taken in a planned manner for tourism.”

“Strainwith Russia is an opportunity for tourism in Turkey”

Expressing his pleasure for coming back to Antalya after a long break, Cem Kınay, owner of Steigenberger Hotel Istanbul, said: “I have played an active role in this industry for many years and I have noticed that there has not been much change during the past 25-30 years. I think the recent tension with Russia must be regarded as a major opportunity for Turkey. In a period when we became one of the world’s most important destinations, these incidents should be an opportunity whereby we can draw the roadmap for the coming years. The government, industry, and NGOs must assess the situation in this manner. Antalya has faced crises from time to time coming out stronger after each one. My main recommendation to those who are involved in the industry is to take decisions for the near-, medium, and long-term. Antalya is on the edge of changing its fate! – berkshirehathawayhs, The importance of international real estate sales

The importance of international real estate sales is being underlined by growing companyBerkshire Hathaway HomeServices, which is offering special training to agents on how to boost their business in the sector.

Agents who successfully complete the training earn a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation, which is the only international designation recognized by the US National Association of Realtors.

OPP.Today spoke to Peter Turtzo, Senior Vice President for International Operations for US-based Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, about how much of an advantage the specialist training gives agents and where most buyer demand originates.

“CIPS training provides a strong foundation for U.S. agents seeking to conduct business with international clients. Instruction includes five full days of study covering the very latest in international business in U.S. markets and for transactions in Europe, Asia/Pacific and the Americas. Instruction will involve transaction tools, currency and exchange rate issues, cultural perspectives, regional market conditions, investment performance, tax issues and more.

“Demand we see is similar to the demand recently reported by National Association of Realtors, with   buyers from China, Canada, India and Mexico leading the way, followed by those from the United Kingdom, Germany and France.”

As a result of the training program, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices hopes to pick up a sizeable slice of the lucrative market, he says.

“Few brokerage networks offer CIPS training. With help from this unique opportunity, we want our agents to earn their unfair share of the $104billion international market in the US.

“We intend to win a significant share of the international market in the U.S. and CIPS training will help us achieve that goal. We also believe our Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand will appeal to international buyers and help us gain market share, as the brand is built on a foundation of trust, integrity, stability and longevity. Of course, the geographic location of our affiliates also will help us win international business – many brokerages are located in US destination markets and feeder markets, and are well positioned gain market share.”

Which aspect of the training is most needed or do agents most value, we asked.  “I think cultural and cross-cultural elements of CIPS training will be well received, yet all components – from currency and exchange rate considerations to market conditions, tax considerations and more – are essential for CIPS certification.

Marie Shoemaker, director for Network Education Services, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, explains why the course is valuable. “Currency issues and tax laws alone make international transactions more complex, and then there are visa laws, financing and other considerations.

“An agent who’s trained to handle these challenges can make the difference in a home sale or purchase.”

Since its launch in September 2013, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, which has its headquarters in Irvine, California, has grown to nearly 40,000 agents and 1,200 offices operating in 47 states.

HSF Affiliates LLC operates Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Prudential Real Estate and Real Living Real Estate franchise networks. The company is a joint venture of which HomeServices of America, Inc., the nation’s second-largest, full-service residential brokerage firm, is a majority owner. -Google is now a licensed mortgage broker.

Google is registered as a licensed mortgage broker. Though the company won’t be financing mortgages, it will aggregate quotes from local and national lenders it has partnered with, includingZillow (Z) and Lending Tree (TREE), in order to help users find the best mortgage.

Google (GOOG) acknowledged that lender participation is based on a flexible cost-per-lead model, which means the company is paid by the mortgage lenders.

The mortgage comparison tool adds to Google Compare’s offerings, which also allow users to shop around for car insurance quotes and credit card offers.

Image – Top Hotel Experience

gallery0120-20img_9428_29_30_31_32_33_fused – Oia Santorini

At 7 most popular destinations in Europe for travel in 2016 appears Oia Santorini in the ranking of Travelers’ Choice ™ awards yesterday announced the biggest travel platform in the world, TripAdvisor, and was formed based on user preferences – European destination for 2016

oia -7 billion passengers to fly by 2034

Passenger numbers will be double the expected 2015 total of 3.5 billion by 2034 with seven billion people taking to the skies, according to IATA’s 20 year Passenger Forecast Report.

By 2034, the largest passenger markets will be China, the United States, India, the United Kingdom and Indonesia will reach fifth place. Japan is sixth, Brazil seventh, Spain, Germany and France, eight, ninth and tenth. Italy falls out of the top ten.

The five fastest markets for additional passengers over the next 20 years will be, China with 758 million new customers, the United States at 523 million, India is to have 275 million and fourth and fifth are Indonesia and Brazil with 132 million and 104 million, respectively.

“The demand for air transport continues to grow. There is much work to be done to prepare for the 7 billion passengers expected to take the skies in 2034,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and Chief Executive Officer.

Across the regions, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East are expected to have 4.9% growth, with 2.9 billion and 383 million passengers, respectively. Africa could grow by 4.7% for 294 million passengers by 2034.

Latin American should also grow by 4.7% for an annual passenger total of 605 million in 20 years time. Europe will grow the slowest at 2.7% for a market of 1.4 billion, while North America expands by 3.3% to also reach 1.4 billion.

The forecast also found that in the next 20 years the real cost of air travel is expected is reduce at a rate of 1-1.5% per year.

www.Buy2Greece. com – Chinese property investors head to the Med

According to experts, Chinese property investors can be broken up into groups, including high net worth individuals (HNWI), corporations and institutional investors, that have different motivations to invest in overseas real estate.

“High net worth individuals’ [purpose for real estate investment] is for the younger generation, [with concerns] like education or immigration purposes,” said Henry Chin, head of research for Asia Pacific at CBRE Asia Pacific. He added that institutional investors considered issues such as “diversification, liability-matching and hedging.”

Moreover, Mediterranean countries are a compelling investment for the wealthy Chinese because they “offer incentives which not many other countries do, such as investment immigration,” said Taylor.

So-called golden visa investment programs differ in the minimum required investment amounts across the Mediterranean countries. Greece has the lowest required investment at $279,602 (€250,000), with residence permits renewable every five years. The most expensive among the Mediterranean countries is Spain, which requires a property investment of $559,200 (€500,000) before granting a visa.

The Portuguese Government, which pioneered the property investor visa scheme, has awarded 2,022 such visas since its introduction in 2012, 80 percent of which were granted to Chinese buyers, according to