At it's heyday in the 1980s, Potamianos' Epirotiki (established in 1850) was the second largest cruise operator in the Mediterranean with a presence in other markets like the Caribbean and South America. Potamianos was at the helm of the Greek Passenger Shipping Association for over 20 years. In March 2020 he wrote a passionate letter to the Greek Minister of Shipping offering detailed proposals about the revival of a more sustainable Greek cruise sector. Things started going wrong for Epirotiki with the loss of three ships in the course of three years (1988-1991), followed by an unsuccessful partnership with Carnival, a merger and a listing in Nasdaq in 1998 as "Royal Olympic Cruise Lines (ROC)" which closed in 2005. A related cruise line, Celestyal Cruises, is still going strong however - it is owned by the Louis group, which bought a 70% share of ROC in 1999.

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The hybrid 8th International Conference of the International Association of Cultural and Digital Tourism (IACuDiT) will be held in Hydra Island, Greece, on September 1st – 3rd, 2021, with the theme “Transcending Borders in Tourism through Innovation and Cultural Heritage”. The aim of this conference is to promote constructive, critical and interdisciplinary conversations on the challenges emerging in tourism from the digital transformation of the industry by bringing together researchers, communities, industry and government stakeholders. The organisers have issued a call for papers, for more details visit https://iacudit.org/Conference2021/ All accepted papers will be published in the conference proceedings, under Springer publications indexed in WEB OF SCIENCE™ Thomson Reuters.

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Chances are that, unless you are an archaeology buff, you have not heard about the Greek Aegean island of Keros. 60 km SE of famous Mykonos, it is its antithesis, as it is totally uninhabited, unless you count an endless stream of archaeologists from all over the world (that keep digging during the day and return by boat to nearby Koufonisia island in the evening). Five thousand years ago Keros was bustling, as one of the most important centres of the mysterious Cycladic Civilization (2,700-2,300 BCE), one of the earliest, advanced civilizations in Europe, that left us no written records but fortunately gave us some wonderful art in the form of the characteristic, modern-art looking, white figurines that influenced Picasso and Henry Moore among others. 

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An MOU was signed between the Ministry of Environment and the Administration Body of the new UNESCO Geopark of Grevena-Kozani according to which the Ministry promises to fund all six Greek Geoparks that are Members of the UNESCO Network, namely, Vikos-Aoos, Lesbos, Psiloritis, Helmos-Vouraikos, Siteia and Grevena-Kozani. 

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250 free charging points are already in operation at AB supermarket sites across Greece with 100 more to be developed in the next 3 months.

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Under the agreement, the recycling company 'Anakyklosi Syskevon A.E.' will come and collect free of charge old electric and electronic equipment, and ink cartridges and lamps from hotel facilities.

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Greek citizens and permanent residents may apply for subsidised holidays in Greece, including accommodation, transport and tours, at www.tourism4all.gov.gr from 5 July 2021. This year's budget is EUR 100 m. which will be allocated to around 600,000 participants through vouchers. To be eligible, your total annual personal income should not exceed EUR 16k or EUR 28k in the case of families (plus EUR 1,500 for each adolescent family member). The subsidy essentially fully covers up to 3 nights of accommodation with a threshold of Euros 40 per person per night. It certainly helps but it should have been at least 3 times as much in order to make a significant impact in tourism destinations trying to recover from a state of shock from the pandemic and with the imminent threat of the Delta variant. 

According to reports Germany's Merkel and France's Macron have criticised the governments of Greece and Cyprus for granting entry to travellers vaccinated with "unauthorized vaccines" (i.e. not approved by the European Medicines Agency) such as Russia's Sputnik and China's Sinopharm, as worries about the Delta variant are growing. The irony was that Greece was the first country to propose, along with IATA, an EU-wide Covid vaccination certificate scheme, and this is finally coming into effect from July 1, 2021.  

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Intrepid Travel has joined forces the the MEET Network Association which focuses on Mediterranean protected areas, to offer tours in Crete, in Samaria Gorge, Sougia and Agios Ioannis villages. The seven day 'Highlights of Crete' tour is offered to the UK market at GBP 995 per person, from mid-August 2021.

The public consultation (dimosia diavoulefsi) for the draft tourism bill “DMOs, Thermal Springs of Greece, Zante Shipwreck, provisions for travel agencies, tourism enterprises and tourist accommodation and other regulations for tourism development” is open until Saturday, June 26 at 2pm. The bill introduces destination management organizations and key initiatives for the effective development of wellness tourism.

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UNWTO, the Greek Ministry of Tourism and the University of the Aegean will collaborate in establishing a research station dedicated to measuring the sustainable development of coastal and maritime tourism across the Mediterranean. The new monitoring centre at the University of the Aegean in Greece will capture and collate measurement data and analysis relating to the environmental, economic, and social impact of tourism. The Centre will also enjoy the support of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

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