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Foukis Apostolis




Work package 2: F.I. Development
In the framework of the study preparation concerning the incentive programs offered to the region's SMEs, Mr. Tambakis Vassilios, Assistant Managing Director, proceeded to the organization and materialization of adequate number of meetings, during the first semester of 2001, in order to collect all the necessary information.

The general planning as well as the choice of the final number of meetings was based on the first step demand and supply analysis of the region in regards with the general characteristics of the local economic system.

The collected data was mainly focused on the following topics:

  • Characteristics of Local Economic System (presentation of all aspects which characterize the local economic system).
  • Competitive Advantages (comparison of SMEs with big enterprises in specific areas).
  • Strength and weak points (presentation of weak and strength points of SMEs in a concentrated table, so as to have a better understanding of the local market).
  • System of Access to Credit and Soft Financing (presentation of the most significant difficulties that the SMEs have to face in their transaction with the financial sector Analysis of the basic procedure that is followed by the banks in order to give a line of credit).
  • Government Support (presentation of funding programs through which enterprises can be supported)
  • Innovative Financial Instruments (presentation of the most innovative financial instruments which can be used by the local SMEs).
  • Incubators System (presentation not only the local but also the national incubator system).

The sources which have been used in that field was mainly:

  • The Region of Epirus.
  • The 4 Prefectures of Epirus.
  • The Commerce Chambers of the 4 Prefectures of Epirus.
  • Some of the most competitive banks in the region.
  • The developmental companies of the region.
  • The Ministry of National Economy
  • The Hellenic Organization of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises and Handicrafts

The evaluation of the collected data will be completed at the end of September 2001 in order to proceed to the study preparation. The completion date of the study is estimated at the end of October 2001.


Work package 3: T. & M. Development
Questionnaire-based interviews have been carried out with 53 companies and organizations of Epirus, 33 of which are located in the prefecture of Ioannina, 18 in the prefecture of Epirus and 2 based in Athens (but involved in business transactions with Epirus). According to the initial goals of our investigation (which stipulated that goods transport was to be investigated via market research and passenger transport through bibliographic sources), 52 of these interviews pertain to goods transport while one concerns passenger transport.

Preliminary findings from the interviews include:

  • Based on personnel figures, company size is very small (therefore mergers should be encouraged); even large companies in the sample employ fewer than 500 people (with one exception)
  • There is a wide diversity of products shipped into and out of Epirus
  • As expected, most goods are shipped by road or through Italy
  • Out-of-Epirus destinations include mainly Athens, Thessaloniki and other locations in Macedonia
  • The port of Igoumenitsa is plagued by numerous problems only some of which pertain to infrastructure
  • Companies expect transportation costs to be lower by 30 to 50% even when they are not in a position to assess the value of these costs
  • The state should persevere with projects aiming to improve infrastructure; (the Rio-Antirio crossing and the Egnatia Highway are mentioned by most companies)
  • There is some (rather little) evidence that Ioannina receives half of the products intended for Epirus; this may be better supported when all interviews are carried out
  • Rio-Antirio appears to be a significant concern for most companies (when weather conditions are adverse, trucks are forced to take the mainland route through Delphi which is longer, has poor alignment and geometric characteristics and therefore costs more; also, due to the longer time duration, drivers have to stay in Athens overnight and this further increases transportation cost); some companies request more frequent itineraries especially on holidays
  • Bad weather conditions are also responsible for creating problems on the transportation routes to Macedonia
  • Mobile telephony has eliminated problems that resulted when a truck was stranded e.g. in the Katara crossing; in a way, the widespread availability of relatively inexpensive mobile telephones has perhaps rendered unnecessary the use of some telematic applications
  • Companies think that inter-Epirus roads should be improved and widened
  • Companies feel that vehicle fleet of transportation agencies should be modernized
  • European integration has resolved most legal and institutional issues that complicated travel prior to the formation of the European Union
  • Regarding passenger transport, competition should be introduced into the KTEL (local operators) market as current fares reflect very wide profit margins


Work package 4: Ecotourism Development

Ioanna Apostoliadi, project manager of Epirus S.A. and Nikos Mantis President of Epirus S.A. participated in the transnational meeting in Lecce, on the 23-24 of April, where partners from Italy, Spain and Ireland met each other. In this meeting each partner explained their project and they way they will implement their tasks.

Mr. Motta and Mr. Pellegrino presented the opportunities of the tourist development of Lecce.

To each partner were given guidelines in order to implement their tasks for alternative tourism.

The University of Lecce and Perugia as well as the Gal LEADER II transferred their know how and their experience in the development of ecotourism to the partners.

The objectives for the project were set up. These are:

  • Training
  • Easy access to alternative tourist destinations
  • Widely season - longer stay

Furthermore the methodology to be followed is briefly:

  • Marketing
  • Corporation
  • Strategy

The conclusions of the meeting were discussed and the tasks to be done were planed.
The meeting closed with a visit to a zone of implementation of the project: Otranto.

The feasibility study is implemented by the executives of Epirus S.A.(Gerassimos Papailias, Vassilios Kitsakis, Evagelia Geronda) and external consultants (Christos Lambris Charitakis Papaioannou) specialized in ecotourism. The feasibility study has been completed and is given to the National Tourism Organization of Greece in case they have any additional remarks. Based on this study the RESC has begin to operate.
The study consists information of:

  • Description of the anthropogenic and nature of the region of Epirus
  • Definition of ecotourism and how it contributes to the development of the Region
  • Foundation of the Regional Ecotourism Support Center
  • Web Site of the Ecotourism Support Center

The office where RESC will be lodged has been found and fully equipped.
The server operates in the center along with printer telephone device and fax.
The office is decorated with images of ecotourism areas and activities of the Region of Epirus.
In addition a database was developed to support the library of the RESC which is at the disposal of everyone who is interested.
The library has at its disposal books and studies concerning ecotourism.

A dynamic database was designed and developed from the beginning in order to promote the ecotourism in Epirus. This database has been designed in order to meet the needs of, not only the travel agencies but also of the travelers. It is an innovative database, which will support the web site.
The database is ready and now data, information and pictures are being collected.

The packages are under integration by a team of experts. Expected to be delivered by October when the actions of promoting them will begin

The seminar and the congress will be held on 2002 with the completion of the WEB SITE and the full operation of the Center.