Sustainability is at the core of our tourism strategy for Greece,” Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias said during the 2nd Blue Economy Forum that took place recently.

During the online event, Kikilias referred to four major challenges that Greece has to meet in order to successfully protect its marine environment and achieve sustainability:

– biodiversity loss
– non-viable fishing
– marine pollution
– non-viable sea transport.

Photo © Greek Travel Pages (GTP)

To protect the maritime ecosystem of Greece and the entire Mediterranean region, the Greek tourism ministry is in the process of establishing a Research and Monitoring Center for Coastal and Maritime Tourism in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Kikilias said.

The research center is expected to function as a hub of cooperation, exchange of good practices and know-how for the collection and processing of data related to coastal and maritime tourism.

The minister participated in a session titled “Maritime and coastal tourism and investments” with Aldemar Group CEO Alexandros Angelopoulos.

Pololikashvili: Research center to guide development

The session also included a video message by UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili regarding the establishment of the coastal and marine research center in Greece.

“I am pleased to be working with the tourism minister of Greece through the research and monitoring center for coastal and maritime tourism in the Eastern Mediterranean region,” Pololikashvili said.

“This center will help us guide the development of tourism for destinations and their communities, and ensure that we put local communities, the environment and sustainability first… Ahead of the UN Ocean Conference in Portugal in June, it will also show how tourism is leading the way in facing up to its responsibilities and taking action,” he added.

The 2nd Blue Economy Forum was organized by the Delphi Economic Forum and the European Public Law Organization (EPLO) with the aim to promote the benefits of green and blue economies and their contribution to tourism and economic recovery in the post-pandemic era.