Aiming to tap into the long-term benefits of sports tourism, the Greek culture ministry’s General Secretariat of Sports announced this week that it was working on a framework set to cover the design and implementation of integrated packages for sport and leisure, the certification of relevant bodies and the promotion of major athletic events.
At the same time, the ministry’s Department of Sports Tourism and Alternative Activities aims to create a national network of partner organizations involved in the organization of such events. Based on this network, a digital platform will be set up which will provide information on sports tourism, motivational and recreational activities, events and happenings taking place at destinations across Greece.
The scheme will also cover the design and promotion of grand scale sporting events, the establishment of relevant facilities and the launch of training tourism in collaboration with sports facilities and local businesses (hotels, restaurants, etc.), so as to strengthen local communities, boost the economy and enhance entrepreneurship.
Greece is aiming to benefit from events that have already gained international recognition and attracted thousands of visitors, chief among them the Athens Marathon, which will take place on November 12 this year and which saw more than 50,000 participations in 2016.
Internationally, sports tourism is growing at a rate of 14 percent on an annual basis.