EMMANUEL A. GYZIS, born in Athens, Greece, 13 January 1947; admitted to Athens Bar Association 1974. Education: University of Athens, Law School (1972), London, (L.LM. 1980), specialized in Aviation Law and originally worked in the respective field on behalf of British Tour Operators and Charter companies. Currently studying for his MBA from the European University Cyprus
With longstanding journalistic and writing activity, his articles have been published in financial newspapers and magazines specialized in Aviation and Tourism. Author of pioneering monographs on the development issues of Olympic Airways (1989), he has published during a course of many years, a series of articles regarding its viability, its position in the international environment, as well as for other private airlines in general, while at the same time he participated in relevant International and Greek Conferences and Organizations. Successful and long-term engagement with issues regarding private airports / heliports, Low Cost Carriers (LCC), Aircraft Fractional Ownership, Ground handling matters. At his law firm “EMM. GYZIS AND ASSOCIATES”, together with a group of specialized associates he deals mainly with aviation law issues (cooperation with construction companies for commercial aircraft and leasing companies) and tourism law issues, specializing in mass tourism from/ to Greece and occasionally cooperating with Tour Operators. Since 1993, he has founded a number of Greek and foreign airline companies, on behalf of his clients, in accordance with the applicable legal status. He has participated in committees for the drafting of legislation regarding air transport, such as private airports, the Presidential Decree for private heliports and the Basic Legislation of the Aviation Code and he is the General Secretary of the Hellenic Aviation Society. For many years, he has been studying emerging markets, as a consultant for foreign companies, which plan to invest worldwide.
MEMBER: Athens Bar Association, International Bar Association, European Society of International Law (ESIL), American Society of International Law (ASIL), British-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, Greek-American Union, Hellenic Aviation Society.
PRACTICE AREAS: Aviation Law, Aerospace Law, Tourism and Transport Law, (European) Commercial and Company Law. Arbitration. Establishment and Operation of foreign companies in Greece. Project Finance. Free Movement of Capital. Privatization. Foreign/ Hotel Investments. Mergers and Acquisitions.
IS THERE A NEW ERA FOR THE HELLENIC TOURISM?
NEW POLICYMAKING & COURSE WITH NATIONAL PARAMETERS
Both the new Superminister of Development, Marine and Tourism, George Stathakis, and the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Elena Kountouras, who in all probability, as it appears, will handle the issues pertaining to the Tourism markets, the mass incoming Tourism and its organization, will require to do some serious preliminary study for these issues before they begin their contacts with the foreign Tour Operators.
Furthermore, before any outward action, a thorough study is needed, for the issues relating to international Tourism organizations, airlines, operators and large business formations associated with airports, aviation monopolies and many other organizations that affect Tourism in our Country.
The preliminary design and the study of policies and of our competitor countries, is also a great issue to be answered.
At the same time, it is necessary for the new Government to be able to implement a new National and more independent policy for the Hellenic Tourism, based on the identity of the Hellenic Tourist Product and the parameters that influence it, positively or negatively.
It would be an omission if the Government did not delved deeper into the issues of visibility, new forms of Tourism with real data, and not fireworks aiming at the personal promotion of heads of the Tourism institutions.
TOURISM IN ATHENS AND THE USELESS MEDDLESOMENESS
Our Country’s Minister of Tourism, presented a few days ago, during an event, possibly in view of the upcoming elections, ten proposals - actions for the gentrification of Athens.
The subject was: “Athens, capital of Hellenic Tourism”.
The event was organized by the Ministry of Tourism and the Hellenic National Tourism Organization.
The parameters that were examined for the improvement of Tourism Services in Athens in the immediate future, are part of the overall National Strategic Plan for Tourism.
But she failed to analyze the general and particular causes for the poor financial status of the Tourists that visit Athens and our Country in general.
This has a direct impact to every aspect of commercial life in Athens.
Since we’re talking about Tourists without even a minimal spending budget.
Numbers without actual worth, 23-24 million Tourists throughout the country, and 13.5 billion Euros in currency, about the same as last year.
THE HOTEL VAT INCREASE TO 13% FOR 2015, THE ABOLITION OF
THE REDUCTED TAX FOR THE ISLANDS
- INTERACTIVE CONSEQUENCES -.
The Hotel VAT increase to 13%, relentlessly demanded by our country’s lenders and willingly accepted by the Government, seems like a time bomb.
And it is a “time bomb” for one reason only.
Because since the contracts with the TOUR OPERATORS for next year’s Tourist season, from May to August 2014, have already been signed and their pamphlets have been issued with charges for accommodation costs based on the signed contracts, now they are called to absorb these extra costs.
And the chances are now strong that they are going to redirect a large number of reservations in countries with better inelastic costs.
It’s mainly the wrong timing that surprises and amazes.
It shows ignorance of parameters, correlations and consequences.
It shows amateurism, regardless of the evaluation of the phenomenon from a political stance point of view, which is not necessary herein, but it is understandable.
Of course, at the same time they have decided to increase the reduced VAT rate for hotels in specific island destinations (Aegean), which has been in force for many years.
In a ferocious manner, the President of SETE who was furiously judgmental, the prominent Minister of Tourism of Hellas, and the General Secretary of the Hellenic Tourism Organization, immediately lashed out against the Government.
THESSALONIKI – PHILOXENIA 2014 –
Is its existence necessary without a radical reorganization?
The PHILOXENIA 2014 Expo was held in Thessaloniki for yet another year.
The picture of such a poor Expo presence of Hellas internationally, during all these decades, is not beneficial at all, but rather harmful.
The important countries in Tourism that participated in 2014 were once again very few.
Therefore, PHILOXENIA has turned once more into a runway for the Greek Tourism mandarins, to brag that they have brought in 23 million tourists this year, while the imported currency has been extremely low in relation to the incoming Tourists.
This means that the Tourists who came were below average in spending capacity.
Every enterprise in the Tourism destinations is still talking about the degradation of the quality of visitors.
And PHILOXENIA, completely ignored by the main Tour Operators, probably awaits for the BOLLYWOOD companies, which will be brought by our MP from Corfu, to shoot their films in Hellas.
Are the Minister of Tourism and the other Tourism authorities in Hellas, favorable to such disdains or have they realized that things must finally change in order for the serious world key organizations in the field of Tourism to stop smiling sarcastically at us?
PRESERVING A CONSTANT HARDSHIP – THE TWO AIRBUS A 340-300
THE SINS PAID BY THE HELLENES
The sinful and inefficient TAIPED charges the unfortunate Hellenes once again, with the amount of 219,500 Euros.
That is because it was announced that the Interministerial Commission of restructuring and privatizations met and approved the above maintenance fees for the two aircraft, in order for them to remain airworthy.
And they can play with words all they want, mentioning at the reasoning for the decision, that the cost will be borne by the Hellenic State’s account: “Hellenic State – Account of privatization revenue”, and supposedly will not burden the state budget, but who actually pays? It is self - evident.
The detailed figures that make up the final cost are the following:
a + b) 61,500 € for CAMO, in ground status, (preservation), and for insurance and parking services.
c + d) 48,500 € and 109,500 € for the payment of outstanding invoices due to the maintenance contract with “Olympic Airways SA”, who is on “life support”.
The summary of the adventures of the above aircraft is typical of the way the “monster state” manages its aircraft assets, namely:
These aircraft were purchased in the period 1998/1999 for 200 million Euros, along with two other similar ones.
THE STATE EXPERIMENTS WITH WATERDROMES “STATISM” BRINGS NEW HINDRANCES TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF SEAPLANES
The ¨brilliant¨ idea of the Head of the Region of South Aegean, George Hatzimarkou, that the State will develop Waterdromes at his Region, creates new
adventures for this troubled sector.
Because, by that, all the struggles of the private sector, in investing capital, studies and time, will be in vain.
The year-long procedures that were necessary for the approval of Waterdromes and for the creation, among others, of the appropriate legal framework for their operation, had to face the ¨Lernaean Hydra¨ of the Greek catastrophic bureaucracy.
That was until the Statism Mandarins realized that Waterdromes were ¨hardly toys¨, for those who could not comprehend a project like this, to mess with, and now the State itself comes to thwart the private initiative.
UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENTS OF TOURISM MANAGEMENT
ONLY FOR FOREIGNERS.
The perfect solution!! Are we living in a different Country?
The Ministry of Education, apparently in perfect collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, through a provision included in a Bill that is currently being adopted, managed to perform their miracle.
Schools of Tourism Management are to be established in collaboration with the Universities of the Aegean and Crete.
That means University level faculties.
The only thing is that the student candidates must be foreign nationals, speaking English and pay tuition.
Therefore, it seems that our Ministers, after having “flooded” the Tourism education with all these abundant university faculties for the Greeks, are completing the puzzle now, taking it one step further, by creating schools for the foreigners.
In reality, with no existing University School of Tourism in Hellas whatsoever, with the Hellenes seeking higher education in that particular sector, be struggling with half-measures, the Mandarins of Tourism and Education are serving us “Marie Antoinette’s cake”.
But perhaps is that supposed to be the case, since the Tourism market is flooded with employees of all sorts, which are powerless, (because that services their employers’ interests), to operate effectively by themselves in their field of work, and are extremely low-paid?
HELLENIC TOURISM 2014
Large turnout with low expectations
Much is said and there is a buzz regarding the huge increase of Tourists arriving in Hellas in 2014.
In all possible ways and in all the media outlets, the competent Tourism Minister is mentioning the 21,500,000 Tourists that will spend their holidays in our country this year.
This number includes all sorts of nationalities.
Indeed, this triumphalism approaches the reality, especially in key destinations, where the number of charter flights is impressive.
Who are these Tourists, though?
What currency do they bring outside their holiday package?
Because this matter is highly important for the domestic services market in general.
At an average cost of ± 600 Euros for prepaid packages, paid at the source, that is, the Tour Operators located in their home country, a very small percentage of these sums reaches Hellas.
Following many years of “turbulence”, this airport in Crete, whose operation is guaranteed to produce extremely large revenue for the state budget, for tourism in general and for the trade of our “aircraft carrier” island, finally seems ready to be auctioned.
The tender prospectus is scheduled to become available to the prospective investors within May 2014.
The perpetually tormented TAIPED with the construction investors, which will definitely be colossal foreign firms accompanied by their Greek subcontractors - partners, which are well known and always present.
International investors, have strongly expressed their interest at times. Investors such as the Spanish ¨ACS Group¨, mother company of ¨Hochtief¨, with its Greek partner ¨GEK – Terna¨.
Other prospective investors include the German company ¨Fraport¨ with experience in managing more than a dozen airports around the world or companies with equally great expertise like the Swiss ¨Flughafen Zurich¨, and ¨Aeroport de Paris¨, along with ¨J & P Avax¨.
Of course the French group ¨Vinci¨ with its colossal expertise will also be present, and so will the South American ¨ Corporation America ¨, which manages about 50 international airports.
Ryan Air and its Greek “sponsor”
The British company has attacked the Greek market like a ¨bull in a china shop¨, by realizing pre – sales of several thousand tickets at a price of 20 Euros for the trip from Athens to Thessaloniki and vv.
By using these pre-booked tickets as a weapon and by permanent positioning of two aircraft at the AIA, the said company exerts maximum pressure upon the management of Eleftherios Venizelos Airport. And its goal is to achieve low air service prices at the airport.
The Athens airport, by issuing a number of statements, is trying to avoid these cuts, bearing in mind the services it offers, and its other customers as well.
But Mr. Michael K. O ' Leary will gradually obtain 175 aircraft, which must be made operational at all costs within the next 3 to 4 years. Therefore, he makes these offers to the public, using an organized plan, where his company is at a loss, whose aim is the long-term survival of the “Mega low cost carrier”, who will own 400-500 aircraft by 2019.
The same goes in Thessaloniki, for many destinations within Greece and abroad. They will use one aircraft there at first. The company, which is known for its extremely aggressive marketing policies in the international markets, has both loyal fans/customers and sworn opponents.