Greece received approximately 2.4 million UK visitors between January and September 2016, an increase of 15.6 per cent compared to the same period in 2015, according to the latest figures from the Bank of Greece. According to GFK, bookings made between January and November 2016 saw an increase of 4 per cent compared to the same period in 2015, while there was a 21 per cent year-on-year increase in forward bookings for 2017 during the same period. November 2016 also saw a 24 per cent increase in forward bookings for the year ahead compared the same month in 2016.
Eco-friendly hotel opens on Crete
A new eco-friendly, sustainable, smart hotel has opened on the island of Crete. The Olive Green Hotel is the first of its kind on the island and combines environmentally-friendly architecture and technology, as well utilising renewable energy and the latest recycling operations. The 48-room hotel also has its own restaurant and café that serves seasonal menus from local produce, house coffee blends and Cretan wines.
Major refurbishment for Astir Palace resort in Vouliagmeni
The landmark coastal Astir Palace resort in the Athens suburb of Vouliagmeni is set to reopen in early 2018 following an extensive redevelopment that includes the renovation of the Arion and Nafsika hotels, 13 individual apartments, a new park and an upgrade of the marina. The resort, located 20km from Athens, will benefit from €600 million in funding with the aim of establishing Astir Palace as a world-class destination for visitors. The redevelopment will carefully consider the palace's cultural heritage and the surrounding natural environment.