YouTube, Properties for sale in Greece

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Integrated Resorts

The development of integrated resorts in Greece represents one of the most attractive investment options in the tourism sector.

An exceptional opportunity

The development of integrated resorts in Greece represents one of the most attractive investment options in the tourism sector. Greece’s stunning seashore and beaches, exceptional landscapes with breathtaking views, globally recognized brand, and potential to offer a wide spectrum of attractions add up to an opportunity that is second to none.

There are a number of world-class, integrated resorts being constructed in Greece with the cooperation of some of the leading names in the tourism industry. Resort hotels soon to open in Greece will be managed by Starwood Hotels and Resorts, under the Luxury Collection and the Westin Brands, by Banyan Tree, and by Kempinsky Hotels.

Robert Trent Jones III and Bernard Langher, Trophy Golf & Resorts, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player Design, and Troon Golf are involved in developing new golf experiences in Greece.

In the spa and thalassotherapy sector, Six Senses is present, as is ESPA, Valmont, and Algoane. Greece ranks in the top 10 tourism destinations worldwide (Lonely planet’s Best Travel 2010 Report). In 2008, Greece received more than 17 million visitors and this number is expected to increase to 20 million in the next few years. The sector accounts for almost 18 % of GDP, employs more than 900,000 people, directly and indirectly, and is represented by a multilingual, experienced workforce.

In Greece, a country of many islands, more than 9,000 hotels operate. As Greece transforms itself to an upmarket destination, the need for an increase in resort accommodation becomes apparent. The orientation toward integrated resorts that can offer a wide variety of attractions is taking hold. Destinations that offer spas, golf, marinas and marine sports, conference centres, villas, 5-star hotels, as well as other niche options, are enjoying huge success.

According to the 2009 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%.

Whether by Greece’s famed seaside or noted mountain areas, developers will find stunning locations that gain value added from the diverse and rich local attractions. In addition to seaside attractions, developers are discovering that today’s traveler seeks out one-of-a-kind experiences-just the kind Greece can deliver.

Bird watching in protected lagoons, trekking in virgin forests, visiting classical archaeological sites, exploring traditional villages, or learning age-old crafts are just some of the offerings that resort guests and residents can enjoy. In addition, extreme sports, fishing and hunting, and local gastronomic traditions prove to be highly attractive to visitors.

The Greek government has identified tourism infrastructure development as a priority target and encourages the creation of integrated resorts. Greece’s globally recognized brand, superb natural resources, and the right mix of undiscovered locations with a superb infrastructure is the perfect combination for success.

Greece’s Investment Incentives Law governs the terms and conditions of direct investment in Greece and provides for incentives, available to domestic and foreign investors, dependent on the sector and the location of the investment. In February, 2011, the New Investment Law that introduces new values, new procedures and new financing tools, was voted on and passed by the Greek Parliament. Greece’s new Investment Incentives Law creates an outward-looking investment environment.

Conference Centres

Business tourism represents one of the strongest market segments in global travel today.

Market Synergies

Business tourism represents one of the strongest market segments in global travel today. Conference tourism is growing at an annual rate exceeding 5% and Greece is well positioned to benefit from this expanding trend. Today, Greece is positioning itself at the heart of the conference and congress market and expects to enjoy a 2.5% share of the global market, up from its current 0.8% stake.

The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) places Athens in 15th position as a global conference destination (2008), up ten places over 2007, when Greek venues hosted more than 155,000 conference and congress delegates and the market had revenues of more than 450 million Euro.

Business Tourism
Greece is the ideal location for conventions, business conferences and meetings. Combining excellent conference facilities with unique museums, archaeological sites, shopping and nightlife, Greece provides more than 50 independent conference centres and roughly 300 hotels offer a full range of conference facilities.

The major increase in conference tourism provides significant opportunities for large-scale as well as niche and boutique market venues. Today, tourism in Greece accounts for almost 20% of GDP and a well-established tourism infrastructure caters to the needs of more than 17 million visitors.

Magical Destinations
Greece is an ideal destination for the conference market, whose events often occur well beyond the traditional tourism season. The synergies of the country’s developed leisure tourism sector perfectly complement the conference market, especially in absorbing off-peak capacity. In addition, dedicated and purpose-built conference venues are needed in numerous locations throughout Greece.

Greece’s experienced human resources in the tourism market provide professional and cost-effective services to conference organisers.

An added advantage is the strong and growing domestic market. Greece’s professional communities are now holding hundreds of conferences each year and the demand for high-quality venues is expanding rapidly.

Greece’s spectacular locations, be they seaside settings, mountain getaways, or urban venues, provide countless cultural, recreational, or leisure attractions for delegates as well as their spouses and families. And Greece’s Mediterranean climate is suitable for events year-round. Good accessibility and superb air, sea, and land connections make a variety of sites attractive.

Mainland, Islands, Mountains
Both independent conference centres and hotel facilities offer a wide variety of venue choices. The primary destinations include the cities of Athens and Thessaloniki and the island/seaside locations of Rhodes, Corfu, Crete, Santorini, Mykonos, Skiathos, Kos, and Halkidiki. It is estimated that Greece can benefit from far more capacity than exists today.

A low crime rate, renowned hospitality, and spectacular natural resources make Greece an ideal destination for meetings of every kind.

Many attractive areas, available for development, are suitable as ideal venues at this high-yield end of the tourism spectrum. Business tourism has a high delegate spend, with multipliers into many economic sectors. In addition to hotel accommodations and conference services, the sector supports foreign and domestic travel and transport, food and beverage, entertainment and recreation, shopping and gift buying, and related services.

Although Greece is positioned high in global conference destination rankings, it has a clear need for high-capacity, high-end venues that can benefit strongly from the complementary characteristics of the tourism market.

Conferences at unique locations, such as the medieval town of Rhodes, respond to the trend for events to be at venues with multiple benefits: superb facilities, outstanding locations, and a wide range of leisure attractions.

Marinas

As one of the most favored tourism destinations in the world, Greece is a natural haven for sailors.

A Sea Of Opportunity

As one of the most favored tourism destinations in the world, Greece is a natural haven for sailors. With a coastline of more than 15,000 kilometers, one of the longest in the world, and more than 6,000 islands and islets, Greece offers sailing enthusiasts endless opportunities to enjoy its crystal clear seas, natural beauty, and renowned cultural and historical attractions.

Demand for professional marina services is growing, ushering in significant investment opportunities. The tourism industry in Greece accounts for 18% of GDP, employs more than 700,000 people, and annual visits are expected to reach 20 million by 2010, up from 17 million in 2008.

The value of the tourist marina market reached 30 million Euro in 2008, showing an average annual growth rate of 4% during the period 2005-2008.

Greece’s “user friendly” seas draw visitors from across the globe, who enjoy an exceptional diversity of beaches, islands, and mainland villages.

In order to accommodate the rising number of sailboats and motor yachts, the marinas in Greece require significant upgrades and represent an exceptional investment opportunity. In addition, Greece needs new marinas to be built that will accommodate a wide variety of boats and boaters.

Today there are 19 marinas with 6,661 berths in Greece, offering high quality services. Many of these marinas have been awarded by the European Blue Flag programme. In recent years, the Greek National Tourist Organisation and a number of the 13 administrative regions of the country have begun implementing a programme to create an integrated network of anchoring and related services for boats along Greek coasts; this programme is now nearing completion. New modern marinas, hotel ports, and moorings for the safe docking of boats already operate or are in the process of starting their operation to meet the needs of tourists coming to Greece by sea.

Nationwide, the number of berths for all categories of vessels totals 19,269 in 128 ports, with the exception of commercial ports, fishing shelters, and small harbors of nautical sports clubs. The number of tourist ports, anchorages, and shelters in operation is currently 55, with the total number of berths reaching 10,015. Tourist ports (marinas) reach 80.7% of total berths. (ICAP study on recreational yachting, June 2009).

The growing demand for new space, a wide variety of services, and wide-ranging facilities translate into opportunities that require experience, expertise, and strong partnerships.

Public Private Partnership legislation is also an attractive platform with which to meet the needs of marina expansion through the development of state-owned real estate.

The Greek government has identified tourism infrastructure development as a priority target and encourages the construction of new marinas, along with the upgrading of existing marinas, to accommodate the increasing demand in the high growth yachting sector.

Golf

Golf is one of the most promising investment opportunities in Greece today and the potential for growth in this under developed market is outstanding.

A Promising Course of Investment

Golf is one of the most promising investment opportunities in Greece today and the potential for growth in this under developed market is outstanding. It is estimated that throughout the world, more than 60 million golfers make use of 32,000 golf courses. In Europe alone, almost 7 million people are active players. As Greece becomes a year-round tourism destination for Northern Europeans, and a first- and second-home location for both professionals and retirees, the demand for golf courses is rising dramatically.

Due to a relatively low domestic demand historically, current development is low in absolute numbers and the room for growth is significant. Greece offers abundant locations in spectacular settings to serve golfers from colder climates, from where there are good connections to Athens, points of Greece’s mainland, and the Greek islands. There are five 18-hole golf courses in Greece: in Glyfada, Corfu, Rhodes, Chalkidiki and Hersonissos (Crete) and one 9-hole course in Elounda, Crete, catering to 1,300 local players. New championship courses are set to open in the spring of 2010.

The KPMG Golf Benchmark Survey 2007 finds that the business performance of golf courses in the Southeast Mediterranean region should be excellent (31%) or good (69%) versus that in Western Europe, where results indicate a performance of good at 56% and excellent at 17%.

Globally, the number of golf courses is growing by 3% annually, with a 5% growth in the number of players. Greece, and investors in golf, stand to benefit from this worldwide trend.

Year-Round Golf
The climate in Greece is ideally suited to year-round golf. Average winter temperatures in southern Greece average 14C.

Recent interest by major international names in the industry shows that Greece is set to create a new golfing destination in Southeast Europe. Troon Golf has recently agreed to manage two new, 18-hole championship courses, being designed by Robert Trent Jones III and Bernard Langher, at the Costa Navarino resort in the Peloponnnese. Trophy Golf & Resorts has signed on to manage the Jack Nicklaus course at the Kilada Hills resort, also in the Peloponnnese and Gary Player Design is overseeing the course at the Lavender Bay Golf Integrated Residential Resort near the town of Volos.

While six golf clubs operate in the country today, roughly 30,000 players use the courses, demonstrating the potential for significant growth. The well-developed tourism infrastructure throughout Greece is a perfect balance to further expansion. Hotels, restaurants, transport, and a full range of leisure activities and cultural attractions are well suited to complement the sport of golf. As an example, the new Bob Hunt-designed course on Crete cooperates with more than 60 partner hotels, an enviable position for a golf club anywhere.

Investment Incentives
A substantial number of large land tracts, many with synergies to residential and resort real estate, are available for golf course development. Licensing procedures have been simplified and tax rates are attractively set at 25%.

The Greek government has identified tourism infrastructure development as a priority target and encourages the development of new golf courses throughout the country. Golf is one of the most promising investment sectors in Greece today.

Spa / Thalassotherapy

The increasing global awareness surrounding better health, wellness, spa treatments, and unique therapies such as thalassotherapy is fueling a strong interest in the abundant mineral and hydro resources of Greece.

Investing in Wellness

The increasing global awareness surrounding better health, wellness, spa treatments, and unique therapies such as thalassotherapy is fueling a strong interest in the abundant mineral and hydro resources of Greece. Investors interested in responding to this dynamic trend are finding that the combination in Greece of thermal springs and attractive investment opportunities is ideal for pursuing a highly attractive market that is growing significantly.

The use of thermal spring water, rich in minerals and therapeutic elements, is a popular and effective treatment for a variety of ailments, including myoskelatal pain, dermatological conditions, pulmonary disorders, as well as for the effective treatment of stress. Greece’s thermal resources are abundant and recognized for their regenerative properties.

Hydrotherapy, the use of water in treatment, and thalassotherapy, the use of seawater and seaweed (from the Greek word for sea, “thalassa”), are particularly appealing in Greece, where there are more than 700 thermo springs, many of which are classified as therapeutic. The active ingredients present in the springs are well documented and many springs are certified by the Greek National Tourism Organisation.

Greece’s spas currently attract roughly 100,000 visitors annually. Although there has been concerted investment in the spa sector during the last decade, it is estimated that the growth potential is significant, given the untapped thermal resources available and the stunning locations in which to create spas and thalassotherapy centres.

Well-trained specialists in Greece, multilingual and experienced, provide quality and cost-effective services.

Experienced human resources, suitable land for development, simplified licensing procedures, a low corporate tax rate (25%) mean that the dynamic spa market is an outstanding investment choice.

As part of a seaside resort, spas are ideal complementary offerings to extend stays to throughout the year, rather than in summer months only. Catering to the special needs of clients—effectively treating sports injuries, arthritic or rheumatoid conditions, or skin conditions—dramatically increases the demand of such an investment.

The established tourism infrastructure of Greece is complementary to the spa sector, with a host of other activities and attractions a natural draw.

The Greek government has identified tourism infrastructure development as a priority target and encourages the creation of spas and thalassotherapy centres. Greece’s thermal springs and climate are highly suitable to attract spa clients 12 months per year.

Thematic Tourism

As the trend toward a wider variety of tourism products emerges, Greece is well placed to offer highly attractive alternative tourism options

New Tourism Products, A New Tourism Philosophy

As the trend toward a wider variety of tourism products emerges, Greece is well placed to offer highly attractive alternative tourism options. Investors will find attractive incentives to develop new, thematic tourism offerings, from traditional settlements than can be converted into mini resorts, to numerous possibilities in health tourism, religious tourism, gastronomic tourism or sports tourism.

It is estimated that more than 25% of travelers from Europe seek new, alternative tourism products. This well-educated and affluent demographic sector welcomes the opportunity to participate in out-of-the-ordinary experiences in non-traditional tourism settings.

Greece is able to offer a multitude of these special-interest niches. As a complement to its core product of sun, sand, and sea, Greece’s extraordinary landscape and natural resources, cultural and historical wealth, as well as its tradition of hospitality translate into appealing investment opportunities.

One of the greatest benefits of thematic tourism is its suitability as a 12-month opportunity. Special-interest activities attract adherents year round, providing a revenue stream the entire year, rather than seasonally, as is the case in traditional visits.

Greece is dedicated to transforming its wealth of resources into valuable products for the international traveler. Investors are invited to develop thematic tourism options that take advantage of these unique assets.

The Greek government has identified tourism infrastructure development as a priority target and encourages the development of new forms of alternative tourism that can perfectly complement its traditional product. Greece attracts more than 17 million visitors annually.

Ecotourism

Greece’s breathtaking landscape and wealth of unique ecosystems is a superb setting to provide ecotourism experiences. As travelers become deeply interested in the natural environment, the opportunities to create one-of-a-kind ecotourism products are huge. With Ramsar Treaty sites, some of the most abundant and diverse flora and fauna in Europe, a wealth of agricultural areas, iconic mountains, unpolluted rivers, and exceptional habitats, Greece is perfectly suited to be a magnet for eco tourists the year round. This untapped market promises tremendous growth and the Greek government supports a variety of developments with attractive incentives.

Sports Tourism
The land that gave birth to the Olympic Games, and organised in 2004 one of the most successful Olympic Games ever, is ideal for the development of sports tourism. From sailing to spelunking, trekking to paragliding, Greece is well-suited to attract sports enthusiasts from around the world, who can engage in a diverse number of activities while enjoying the abundant attractions throughout the country, from spectacular scenery to breathtaking beaches.

Health Tourism
Greece is well known for its wealth of excellent doctors and medical professionals, who study and train in some of the finest universities in Europe and North America. This resource is increasingly becoming a strategic asset, as patients discover the benefits of receiving health care where expertise can be combined with both cost savings and an attractive recuperative environment. The World Health Organization ranks the Greek healthcare system in 14th place in its global listing of 191 countries.

Cosmetic surgery, rehabilitation centres, fertility clinics, and dialysis treatment in a resort environment are but of the few areas that are proving to be successful in the area of health tourism. One of the most appealing facets of treatment in Greece is the option to recuperate in a beautiful environment and enjoy the many pleasures of Greek hospitality. A new law supporting health tourism is expected to be passed in 2010.

Religious Tourism
Greece’s religious heritage attracts visitors from around the world, who visit churches, cathedrals and monasteries located throughout the country, often in spectacular locations. Religious tourism integrates spiritual, cultural, and historical themes and delves into the rich tapestry of Greece’s national identity. In addition to embarking on spiritual journeys to Christian Orthodox monasteries such as Mt. Athos and those of Meteora, strikingly perched atop towering peaks, visitors come to Greece to appreciate and study unique Byzantine and post-Byzantine artifacts, including icons and iconography, mosaics, murals and shrines. Places of worship, from simple island churches to imposing cathedrals, are repositories of centuries of religious practice, and whose wealth resonates widely.

On the island of Patmos, for instance, thousands of visitors follow in the footsteps of St. John the Theologan at the Cave of the Apocalypse, where he is said to have written the Book of Revelation. Such experiences complement more popular and traditional forms of tourism and provide singular opportunities throughout Greece.

Agrotourism
As travelers the world over demonstrate an interest in sustainability and eco practices, agro tourism is becoming one of the most dynamic sectors of the thematic tourism market. Based in rural areas and centered around agricultural lifestyles, agrotourism focuses on developing a closer relationship with our natural environment and the people and communities who inhabit and make a living off the land. Agrotourists live and often work alongside local residents, learning about agricultural practices in a “hands-on” approach, one that generates income for agrobusinesses or host families, and opens a world of educational opportunities for visitors. Agrotourism is an economic driver in remote, regional areas, often of great natural beauty, and can act as a magnet to draw visitors to local festivals and celebrations, spur the production and sale of local products, and create strong cross-cultural social bonds. In addition, agrotourism integrates well with other forms of thematic tourism such as adventure and sports tourism, religious tourism, and historical and wellness tourism.

Greece offers abundant opportunities in this growing market, which offers holiday experiences in dedicated agro villages or the chance to create new products, incorporating local traditions and customs.

Greece’s Investment Incentives Law governs the terms and conditions of direct investment in Greece and provides for incentives, available to domestic and foreign investors, dependent on the sector and the location of the investment. In February, 2011, the New Investment Law that introduces new values, new procedures and new financing tools, was voted on and passed by the Greek Parliament. Greece’s new Investment Incentives Law creates an outward-looking investment environment.

Seaports & Seaplanes

Seaports and Seaplanes—New Transportation Infrastructure for Greece

Sea Plane operators: Get ready to raise your wings—and serve Greece’s marine destinations.

Under the new law “Creation of a Development Friendly Environment for Strategic and Private Investments” of the Ministry for Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, seaplane operators may now serve Greece’s islands and maritime destinations, as seaports are established throughout Greece.

This Law provides a permanent solution for the establishment, operation and development of seaports for air transport. With this Law, providers of such services will be able to proceed seamlessly in the development of their business activities. The Law enables public or private entities to create seaports for air transport, provided that certain conditions are applied. An explicit licensing procedure with defined time limits has been established. Specifically, a Directorate of the Ministry for Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks will be the competent service that will receive the application and the technical dossier of interested parties and will also be responsible for the receipt of all necessary approvals by the co-competent bodies and agencies within a predetermined period of time.

The establishment of seaports for air transport may fall within the strategic investment procedure (known as ''fast track''), provided that the requirements of Article 1 of the Law 3894/2010, as applicable, are met. The establishment of seaports for air transport may also be included in the framework of Public-Private Partnerships.

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