Σάββατο, 5 Ιουνίου 2021

Thessaloniki Leads Greece Towards Digital Future, US Diplomat Says

Thessaloniki is leading the way toward Greece’s future as the digital hub of southeastern Europe, US Consul General at Thessaloniki Elizabeth K. Lee said on Tuesday. 
 The US diplomat was addressing the two-day Thessaloniki Future Thinking Dialogues (TFTD) conference organized by the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce (AmCham). 
 Grecian Delight supports Greece Starting off with praising the city’s strong ties with the United States, Lee noted that it has been the home to two American-affiliated educational institutions for more than 100 years: Anatolia College and the American Farm School, and also has been home to the YMCA since 1919. 
 With the central theme of the 1st TFTD conference being the potential transformation of Thessaloniki to a model nerve center of digital innovation, technology and entrepreneurship, Lee underlined that the US “remains strongly engaged in this area because we know that teaching entrepreneurship and STEM skills to Greek youth will lead to sustainable economic growth and a stronger Greek workforce.” Major U.S. companies like Cisco, Deloitte, and Pfizer have made “the strategic decision to grow their footprint in Thessaloniki so they can tap into the city’s highly educated young workforce and the Balkan market of 30 million people,” Lee highlighted, in line with using the case of the northern city as a jumping point to discuss the cities of the future as innovation ecosystems. 
 “As Ambassador Pyatt has said, American business leaders do not longer ask ‘Where is Thessaloniki?’ but rather, ‘where else can we invest?’,” Lee pointed out. 
 Thessaloniki digital hub ecosystem New ecosystems are popping up in cities, as mostly young people are driven by their dreams not just to make money but to also offer something valuable to the community, Elias Spirtounias, executive director of AmCham, stated. Introducing the AmCham’s conference, Spirtounias said that Thessaloniki is an an example of such an ecosystem. “We live in a drastically and rapidly changing world in which we all are called to adapt and operate faster and more efficiently,” he said, and science and technology can help in key ways to resolve challenges and succeed in areas “where other policies and actions have failed such as in confronting impoverishment, inequalities, health and others.” Such mainly urban ecosystems are “providing the best shelter” to incubate such ideas and to interact with others, he noted. 
The chamber’s commitment is to help educate young entrepreneurs about the business aspect of their projects, the right practices and the constraints of the real economy so they may fulfil their dreams. Spirtounias said that the collaboration between AmCham and the US Embassy at the Thessaloniki International Fair in 2018 was a catalytic event for the city and the region, affording visiting American businesses a clear vision of the prospects of investing in the city and in young Greek people, and inspired the two-day conference. See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Greekreporter.com. 

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Τρίτη, 30 Μαρτίου 2021

Greece, Israel sign agreement on tourism

Greece and Israel signed an accord on Monday to ease travel restrictions to Greece for Israelis with proof of COVID-19 vaccination, a move Athens hopes will support its bid to use vaccination certificates to save its battered tourism sector.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has pushed the idea of using standardized certificates showing travellers have received an inoculation as a means of opening up international travel for the vital summer season.

“We need to facilitate travellers once they provide easy proof of vaccination and this is what we intend to do with Israel,” he said at a live-streamed joint news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

Tourism, which accounts for about a fifth of the Greek economy and employs one in five workers, collapsed last year as the pandemic gutted revenues to 4 billion euros ($4.81 billion) from 18 billion in 2019.

Israel has been a world leader in vaccinations, with more than a third of its population receiving the Pfizer Inc -BioNTech shot.

Mitsotakis said Israel’s rapid vaccine campaign meant Monday’s agreement could point the way for similar accords with other countries later, allowing tourists to visit without additional restrictions.

“I expect what we will be doing with Israel to be a trial run for what we can do with other countries,” he said, adding that he expected a gradual suppression of COVID-19 in the months ahead to release considerable pent-up demand for travel.

Mitsotakis has forecast a strong rebound in tourism this summer, saying vaccination drives in markets including Israel will allow tourists to return despite current industry gloom.

The 27-nation EU continues to debate whether certificates should be required for cross-border travel. Critics say such certificates could be discriminatory and it remains unclear how effective vaccinations will be in halting transmission.

Δευτέρα, 1 Μαρτίου 2021

The best Greek islands to visit in 2021, according to Conde Nast Traveller

Conde Nast Traveller’s list of the Best Greek islands to Visit in 2021:
Syros: Best Greek island for culture and off-season cachet
  1. Sifnos: Best for big, fat Greek feasts
  2. Hydra: Best for a long weekend with the art crowd
  3. Milos: Best for a photogenic and dramatic coastline
  4. Serifos: Best for naturists and purists
  5. Amorgos: Best for deep-blue seas and wide-open spaces
  6. Paxoi: Best for the perfect balance of seclusion and sophistication
  7. Santorini: Best for honeymooners and first-timers
  8. Kefalonia: Best for laidback family holidays
  9. Corfu: Best for character and lush landscapes
  10. Ithaki: Best for a mythical retreat for lovers and loners
  11. Folegandros: Best for authenticity with a bohemian buzz
  12. Mykonos: Best for decadent parties and five-star hotels
  13. Tinos: Best for traditional villages and knockout tavernas
  14. Crete: Best for antiquities, active adventures and sunshine all year round
  15. Patmos: Best for stark mystique and show-stopping villas
  16. Symi: Best for castaway coves and a picture-perfect port
  17. Naxos: Best for endless sandy beaches
  18. Astypalea: Best for escaping the crowds
  19. Zakynthos: Best for seaside holidays with toddlers or teens
  20. Rhodes: Best for travelling back in time
  21. Skiathos: Best for flopping onto a sandy beach with a good book
  22. Lefkada: Best for sailors, surfers, and superstar beaches.