Photo source: Condor

Photo source: Condor

German leisure airline Condor on April 18 will launch its 2022 summer schedule that includes flights from eight airports in Germany plus Austria and Switzerland to a number of holiday destinations in Greece including Athens.

The airline this year will also significantly expand its program with flights to North America and Canada this summer.

From Athens, in cooperation with Lufthansa via Frankfurt, Condor will fly to to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and New York.

Condor will fly directly this summer from Athens to Düsseldorf (four times a week) and Leipzig (twice a week).

The airline has also announced a partnership with Greek airline SKY express and will be expanding its route network in Greece from July.

Condor is represented in Greece and Cyprus by Discover the World.

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Marking World Autism Awareness Day, celebrated on April 2, the National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) in Athens presented plans to become autism-friendly and create a positive experience for its visitors on the spectrum.

The EMST is the first museum in Greece and in the EU to create the sensory conditions that will ensure the optimal experience for people with autism, increasing in this way accessibility to culture and education.

Among others, the museum will make available resources including pre-visit materials,  signage, support, sensory maps, staff training and other tools to help people on the spectrum and their companions prepare for and enjoy their visit to EMST, and has also designed sensory-friendly educational activities. 

The plan is being implemented with culture ministry funding for the 2020-21 period in collaboration with volunteer group TheHappyAct, which works to make entertainment and culture accessible to people on the autism spectrum.

“For the culture ministry, inclusion in culture and art is a priority,” said Culture Minister Lina Mendoni.

“Today on World Autism Awareness Day, a public organization, the National Museum of Contemporary Art, is taking pioneering steps on a European level, presenting a sensory accessibility guide that makes the museum space more open, friendlier, and accessible to children on the autism spectrum and to their families,” she added.

Participating in an educational program designed for children on autism spectrum during the event, Deputy Culture Minister Nicholas Yatromanolakis said the design of the innovative program started two years ago in collaboration with EMST.

“Speaking with parents of children on the autism spectrum today, it was clear how important it is to design universal accessibility policies in culture, not only for children but for the whole family,” he said. 

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. People with ASD may behave, communicate, interact, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. 

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The Lighthouse Athens Hotel, a member of Brown Hotels, officially opened its doors and is welcoming visitors to the center of the Greek capital.

Located on Omonia Square, one of the city’s main squares, the hotel features 220 fully equipped rooms that combine baroque style with modern urban elements and pioneering design.

“The new hotel is a must-visit destination for local explorers and tourists,” Brown Hotels said in an announcement.

The Lighthouse Athens features an all day café bar-restaurant on the first floor; a rooftop bar-restaurant on the 10th floor with a pool and panoramic views; and meeting rooms for business travelers.

The hotel also aspires to attract fitness and wellness afficionados in its modern fully equipped gym and indulging spa facilities.

Lighthouse Athens is housed in the building of the former La Mirage hotel, which has been fully renovated by architect Stavros Peppas of SP Architect & Partners.

Shades of blue and green colors, with black and gold details, dominate its interior that includes marble and bronze elements as well as chandeliers, velvet sofas and mirrors.

With Lighthouse Athens, Brown Hotels aims to revive Omonia square and contribute to the area’s growth.

Aiming to bring back Athens’ famed nightlife of the ’90s, the group has plans to open an underground club in the near future.

Brown Hotels, this year is planning to open three more hotels in Athens: the Brown Spices, Domino House and House Sans Rival.

In addition, the group will soon launch new resorts in Corinth, Halkida, Eretria, Corfu and Chania.

During the next three years, the group’s investment plan includes the opening of 40 hotels and resorts that are already in the process of construction and development.

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United Airlines on Monday resumed its daily nonstop seasonal service between Athens International Airport (AIA) and New York/Newark.

“We are delighted to return to Athens in 2022 and resume nonstop services from Greece to the United States,” United Director Sales Bob Schumacher said.

Flight UA125 departs Athens Airport daily at 12:15 pm, arriving at Newark Liberty International Airport at 4:15 pm the same day. The return flight, UA124, departs Newark daily at 5:15 pm, arriving in Athens at 10:10 am the following day (all times local).

United’s service from Athens to New York/Newark is currently operated with Boeing 767-400 aircraft and as of May 7, the route will be operated with Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner aircraft.

The service is planned to operate until October 29 and will be joined next month by United’s daily nonstop seasonal service from Athens to Washington D.C., set to start on May 7.

Seasonal service between Athens and Washington D.C.

“With the return of service to New York and next month to Washington D.C., our customers in Greece can take advantage of direct connections to the U.S., as well as an unrivalled route network from United’s hubs at New York/Newark and Washington Dulles, which offer convenient nonstop connections to over 95 destinations across the Americas,” Schumacher said.

Flight UA983 will depart Athens daily at 11:50 am, arriving at Washington Dulles at 3:15 pm the same day. The return flight, UA982, will depart Washington daily at 5:10 pm, arriving in Athens at 9:55 am the following day (all times local).

United’s service from Athens to Washington Dulles will be operated with Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft.

“We are truly excited to be…Re-UNITED again, welcoming United Airlines back to Athens, with daily nonstop seasonal services to metropolitan New York as of today, and the nation’s Capital, Washington, as of next month,” AIA Director Communications & Marketing Ioanna Papadopoulou said.

United has been serving Greece with summer seasonal flights since 2016.

“Even during the highly adverse two-year period of the pandemic, the US market demonstrated great resilience and always ranks among our most important and popular markets, with a large Greek-American community playing a key role in this,” Papadopoulou added.

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The new luxury “Superstar” vessel of Greek ferry operator Seajets on April 8 will begin itineraries from the port of Rafina to the Aegean islands.

Formerly known as “SuperFerry II”, the vessel will conduct daily evening itineraries from Rafina (departure at 4.45pm) to the islands of Andros, Tinos, Mykonos and Paros.

The passenger ship can travel at a speed of up to 21 knots and carry 1,480 passengers and 240 vehicles.

“Superstar is the ideal solution for short getaways but also long stays on the islands,” Seajets said in an announcement.

The company offers a 20 percent discount for passengers, private cars and motorcycles on return tickets that will be issued until April 12 for trips with Seajet Superstar until the end of the season.

Passengers must be members of Seajets Seaclub and issue both their departure and return tickets with their membership card.

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Vigla Hotel, Amorgos

The Vigla Hotel on the Greek island of Amorgos has announced that it will reopen its doors and welcome guests on April 10.

Located in the village of Tholaria on the north part of the island, Vigla Hotel offers high quality services and authentic hospitality in its recently renovated rooms, as well as stunning views of the Aegiali bay.

“We know that now, more than ever, travelers are looking for carefree safe holidays. We are here to make it happen,” Vigla Hotel Managing Director Despina Giannakopoulou said.

The village of Tholaria and the bay of Aegiali on Amorgos.

The hotel has maintained all its safety-conscious measures to ensure maximum safety for its guests and employees against the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

For example, the hotel offers disinfectant dispensers for guests in all rooms and public areas as well as contactless procedures such as online check in and digitalized menus supported by QR code or special links.

Photo source: Vigla Hotel

Meanwhile, Vigla Hotel provides its guests with the opportunity to experience new activities via the Dream Blue, its specialized travel agency promoting the beauties of Amorgos.

“Aiming to make nature-based physical activity accessible to all, we propose hiking routes and road trips to the amazing nature of Amorgos with our expert guides. In addition, we offer a number of indoor activities such as cooking and dance lessons,” Giannakopoulou said. More information is available on the website of Dream Blue here.

To celebrate its opening, Vigla Hotel has launched a special campaign with an exclusive offer of 15 percent discount for long stays.

In addition, the hotel continues last year’s #be_a_traveller_again offer with a 10 percent discount.

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Accor, a world leading hospitality group, on Thursday announced the opening of its Niko Seaside Resort, a member of the MGallery Hotel Collection, on Crete as of April 10.

“The second MGallery property in Greece and inspiring boutique hotel, opening its doors this April, will be a wonderful chance for guests to experience the unique and inspiring character of the island,” said Cristina Ramos, COO Franchised Hotels Southern Europe at Accor.

The new resort combines the unique design aesthetics of the MGallery Hotel Collection with the cosmopolitan character of the island of Crete, creating a remarkable adults-only seaside destination.

Situated in the coastal town of Agios Nikolaos in eastern Crete, the resort offers panoramic views of Mirabello Bay.

Visitors are within walking distance from the historical sights of the island, the legendary Voulismeni Lake, and the cosmopolitan centre of the area that offers a variety of activities and experiences.

Niko Seaside Resort MGallery features 141 rooms and suites with private plunge pools and stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and the historic town.

The newly renovated building features wood and marble as primary materials as well as a colour palette of grey, green, and blue shades that complement the space and its surroundings.

For those who appreciate refined flavours, the creative chefs of the hotel’s two on-site restaurants provide guests with a special culinary experience that melds the flavours of Crete with international influences.

It should also be mentioned that the resort uniquely intertwines water as one of its central features offering a truly ethereal experience.

As with every MGallery property around the world, Niko Seaside Resort MGallery has its own unique character and story to share, expressed through its Iconic Object and Memorable Moment. The resort shares the Cretan spirit of hospitality, having the Cretan Lyra as an Iconic Object and a visit to the uninhabited island of Spinalonga as a Memorable Moment .

Accor established a partnership with with Knossians Group and Hines for opening the second MGallery resort in Greece.

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Best Western Southeastern Europe has appointed Charis Brousalian as the new Business Development & Marketing Director at its Athens office in Greece.

In his new role, he will aim to increase the brand awareness of Best Western in Southeastern Europe, create attractive packages, increase sales for members and deliver exceptional services for existing members.

“I am more than happy to join Best Western a well-known Global Chain with a dynamic development, sales and strong international presence,” Charis said.

With a background that includes contracting, business development, product development, media, marketing and sales, Charis brings over 20 years of experience in the tourism industry to Best Western.

Between 2010-2015, Charis was part of the team of leading online travel agency (OTA) booking.com, holding the position of Account Manager in Greece and then as Global Account Manager at the company’s Amsterdam office. In Amsterdam, he managed accounts of international hotel chains including Accor, Melia and Choice to increase revenue for booking.com.

From 2015 to 2022 he was the Sales & Marketing Manager at the leading international travel media group GTP (Greek Travel Pages) in Athens. His role at GTP included developing new products, increasing sales, securing new partners, cultivating excellent relationships with companies and clients, and representing the media at local and international travel fairs and events.

GTP’s CEO, Maria Theofanopoulou, expressed her appreciation for Charis’ contribution over the last seven years as the Sales & Marketing Manager for Greek Travel Pages.

“Although throughout these years we faced unprecedented exogenous challenges posed by an economic crisis, a pandemic and a war, Charis’ determination, dedication and ability to work through unforeseen challenges contributed to the team’s effort to overcome any disruptions. I have no doubts that he will use the same impressive amount of determination towards his new endeavor, and I wish him best of luck,” she said.

Based in Athens, the office of Western Southeastern Europe is responsible for the group’s development in 13 countries, while it supports the operation of 35 hotels in its area.

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Photo source: Cosmobeds

Photo source: Cosmobeds

Cosmobeds Travel DMCC, a specialist wholesaler, continues its expansion program with the opening of new offices in Madrid, Spain; Istanbul, Turkey; and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

With headquarters in Dubai and a local DMC office in Athens, Greece, Cosmobeds has a portfolio of over 20,000 worldwide directly contracted properties covering all accommodation types (hotels, resorts, apartments, villas).

“Since our launch last year, Cosmobeds has been expanding its distribution network in Europe, Asia and most recently the Americas,” Cosmobeds Vice President of Global distribution Alberto Picciloni, tells GTP Headlines. Alberto has many years of top management experience in companies such as GTA (Hotelbeds Group), Webbeds Group and Methabook.

According to Alberto, the company will continue to grow its partners’ network in Latin America and North America with the help of Cosmobeds’ IT partners connectivity and in-house system.Moreover, Cosmobeds is adding more relevant hotel content weekly, not only in its key destinations but also in other areas like the Americas and the Caribbean.

“We are also planning to grow our team in the months to come,” Alberto adds.

Cosmobeds’ Head of sourcing, Rita Buffa, highlights that the company continuously contracts European hotels, international chains and independent hotels, offering from city breaks to beach destinations. Buffa has worked for many years in global wholesalers such as Webbeds Group and RTS, and is now based in Cosmobeds’ Madrid office.

“We have also established direct contracting in the UAE region thanks to the market knowledge and contracting experience of our Contract Manager Rahil Loku,” she tells GTP Headlines, adding that Cosmobeds is adding more technology systems to allow connections to many hotels/chains as possible.

“There is more news to come and we have great projects ahead under construction,” Buffa said.

Commenting on the company’s rapid development, CEO George Marsellos referred to “very exciting times” for Cosmobeds Travel DMCC.

George Marsellos“We are very happy to see such talent joining our company and making an impact in such a short period of time with new products in Dubai, Turkey, European cities, Asia, USA and new clients globally. As it is still very early days for us, we are aware of the hard work everyone needs to put in to create a good environment for our staff and a successful project to be part of. We would like to thank our clients and suppliers for the support so far in such challenging times and we are happy to welcome more clients and hoteliers to join our dynamic project.”

Cosmobeds is looking forward to meet new partners at the upcoming trade shows of WTM Latin America (April 5-7), ATM Dubai (May 9-12) and IPW Orlando (June 4-8).”

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Photo source: Eurowings

Eurowings has announced that it will fly from its new base in Stockholm to the Greek islands of Crete (Heraklion), Rhodes and Mykonos for summer 2022.

The airline on Sunday launched flights from its new base in Stockholm/Arlanda to a number of destinations in Europe and the Mediterranean region.

“The new flights from Stockholm go to several popular holiday destinations in southern Europe, such as Palma de Mallorca, Alicante and Malaga in Spain. Eurowings will also fly to the Greek islands of Heraklion [Crete], Rhodes and Mykonos as well as to Larnaca in Cyprus,” a company announcement said.

Photo Source: Municipality of Heraklion

Stockholm is the 11th Eurowings location in Europe – and the fifth base outside the home market of Germany, following Palma de Mallorca, Prague, Pristina, and Salzburg.

Other destinations included on the airline’s schedule from Stockholm are Birmingham, Nice, Hamburg and Düsseldorf.

“Sweden is a market that fits perfectly with our orientation as a value airline for Europe,” said Eurowings CEO Jens Bischof.

“In uncertain times, many travelers are no longer primarily looking for the cheapest ticket, but for an airline they can trust unconditionally in terms of safety, reliability, and social responsibility. With our Lufthansa DNA, an attractive network of affordable direct flights, and customer-friendly, innovative services, we can offer just that,” he added.

Eurowings will add more destinations from Arlanda during the summer.

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