25 February 2013

Taken from a travel website

Greece is back (but look at the last line for a worrying trend).

Greece is making a big comeback, according to the latest trends update from Thomas Cook.

The destination has climbed from the third most popular destination to the second in the operator's latest Holiday Monitor.

Sales, marketing and e-commerce director Mike Hoban said: "Greece looks to be making a really strong comeback this year with online and offline enquiries significantly up on last month.

Searches for Santorini have doubled as have those for our specialist Greek tour operator, Manos, and other Greek islands including Crete and Zakynthos.

"As people put a holiday abroad at the top of their shopping list, it appears to be stalwart favourites, like Greece, that are in high demand this year. Our customers are moving back to tried and tested destinations they've visited previously, whether they're looking for an authentic Greek experience or a value for money all-inclusive hotel with great facilities but still in a beautiful location.

January is traditionally the busiest single month for summer holiday bookings, particularly the family market and early booking indications to Greece are very positive with some of our members reporting booking levels not seen since 2009. However, if bookings are to hold strong it is essential that Greek suppliers do not respond to these positive signs, as they have in past years, by increasing prices."

The survey of Thomas Cook customers also found:
- 47% said a holiday would be their most important purchase this year
- Over 32 million searches have been made on Thomascook.com so far this year
- 50% of all Thomas Cook's charter packages sold in 2012 were all-inclusive. 

This is perhaps the most worrying part of the article, It is all very well to have tourism, and we greatly appreciate all visitors, but the charm of Greece has always been in its family businesses - small tavernas on the beach where granny grills fish, local bars where you meet other travellers and the locals instead of drinking warm beer from plastic cups all inclusive style, interesting local shops instead of bland hotel gift shops. Greece is all about making discoveries for yourself; there is no need to come here AI, we have accommodation and facilities to suit all people, on all budgets; this is the way Greece captures peoples hearts and these people in their turn are the heart of our tourism.

Greek News in English

Here is another link for daily Greek news in English, just begun by one of the country's main daily newspapers Eleftherotypia. It gives a brief synopsis of political and economic news and is definitely worth a look for people interested in the general situation in the country, not only the long lists of reforms/not reforms, taxes/not taxes etc. which feature in headline news every day.

11 February 2013

Welcome to our brand new website

We have spent a good part of the winter re-designing our Corfu Premier Property site, which features top-end and other particularly lovely property in Corfu. This may be why we have been a bit slow at blogging recently, but hopefully we are now back to normal. Do take a look at the site in all its glory.

The Electric Man

Whilst being shown this little house above Paleokastritsa we met the owner, and got talking about this and that, as you do. He showed us a large white scar on his hand - the result of a serious electric shock several years ago which almost killed him. He told us that at the same time as being aware that he was almost dying he realized that the electricity that surged through his body had given him a special ability - and he is now an expert water diviner. As we left he promised to show off his skill whenever we want! We'll take photos of the event when it happens.

And not a horse in sight

With all the news in the UK at the moment about horse meat finding its way into beefburgers and ready-made lasagne, I find our  local butcher’s shop very reassuring. When I first came to live here I was horrified at the old fashioned wooden butcher’s block, the carcasses hanging in the windows dripping blood all over the floor, and the rabbits with their tails left on to show what they are. I’ve got used to it now, and to not seeing a display of meat to choose from, rather having to ask for a piece of meat to grill/stew/roast or whatever I want to do with it.

And how I appreciate asking for mince and seeing the butcher select a piece of beef or pork and put it through the mincer in front of me. They even trim all the fatty bits off first!

As for ready- made meals and frozen beefburgers, I missed these the convenience of these  in the early days, but now I prefer to spend the time and make my own and at least know exactly what has gone into it.

9 February 2013

Right Move / Wrong Move

We have recently decided not to advertise any longer on the Rightmove International website. A few people have sent us emails worrying that maybe the house they are planning to visit has been sold, so we would like to inform all our clients that they will be able to see all our properties as usual on our websites: corfuhomefinders.com corfupremierproperty.com greekbargainproperty.com and corfuvilladom.ru/

Rightmove sent us almost 1,000 enquiries over the past year, but sadly only one is progressing towards a sale and only a handful of these enquiries even led to viewings. The cost of advertising is simply not justified. We regret the decision mostly for our vendors who liked the kudos of a big name operator, but in the end it does seem that small is beautiful and we can operate efficiently without the Rightmove name.

We still continue to co-operate with, and advertise on, a number of other websites - A Property in Greece and The Greece Buying Guide to name just two.

4 February 2013

Blogging South Corfu

I am sure that lots of people already read this wonderful blog which is of particular interest to me as it extols the virtues of the area where I live. 

So many visitors and locals never seem to venture south of Corfu Town and it is definitely their loss, as the south has so much to offer both on east and west coasts. After the two Corfu series in 2012 ('A Tale of Two Islands' and the infamous 'Kavos' series) both completely edited out the lovely parts of central and southern Corfu, it is nice to find something positive! Give it a read!

Back in Corfu

I am just back in Corfu after nearly two months away and I do always find it a bit of a culture shock. This time the holes in the road are fairly spectacular and it will require several trips to and from Corfu Town to learn where they are and automatically avoid them - although I heard a radio interview the mayor assured everyone that a team was travelling around the island filling in the holes!

Having been rude about Corfu roads however I did actually rent a car in the UK, and driving around some fairly busy roads in the London area, I decided that our Corfu roads do not compare all that badly. I also occasionally for the first week get withdrawal symptoms about the proximity of shops etc, and generally miss the bustle in London. Then I start my morning drive to work, all along the coast, and when I see blue sea, blue sky, fishing boats and the contrast with the snowcapped mountains on the mainland, all looking so beautiful, then I start to appreciate all over again what we have here in Corfu.

1 February 2013

Morning Moon

The clear skies have given us a lovely view of the full moon this last week, and confusingly it has still been there at sunrise. So looking east I can see the pink sunrise and to the west the moon setting – very beautiful and extraordinary.