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Key Tourism Figures 2017: George Hatzimarkos, Governor of South Aegean Region

George Hatzimarkos, Governor of South Aegean RegionOfficial Tourism Message

The South Aegean Region, leading force of Greek tourism, with its 50 inhabited islands and some of the most powerful tourist brands in the world tourist map, receives the largest portion of the total tourist flow to Greece annually. An island set of tourist destinations of unsurpassed beauty and singularity, covering the entire spectrum of the visitor’s interests and providing a high level of services.

The islands of the Cyclades and the Dodecanese, islands of unparalleled natural beauty and uniqueness. So close and yet so different, they offer a feast of experiences, emotions, thrills. Islands bathed in light, dipped in blue, where myth, history and reality coexist in an impressive mosaic. Contrasts are their charm. Uniqueness is their identity.

This “uniqueness” is being promoted globally through the implementation of the South Aegean Region’s Strategic Tourism Development Plan; also, through its awarded title as European Region of Gastronomy 2019, the Region reveals the uniqueness of its flavors and aromas in an immense symposium and shares age-old secrets with its visitors – co-diners in an exciting delicious journey of five senses.

The distinction of the South Aegean as European Region of Gastronomy 2019 is yet another proof of its uniqueness, yet another strong challenge for the visitor to get to know our islands through their cuisine. In a place where every dish is not just a tasteful delight; each dish hides history, traditions, culture, continuity in time. The gastronomy in our islands is an authentic travel experience!

From Homer’s splendid descriptions, the symposia of the classical antiquity and the Deipnosophistae, from Hippocrates’ “About Diet” and “Plato’s Symposium” to “Siren Feasts” by Andrew Dalby, where the beginning of a fascinating historical route, dating back to Roman times, the Byzantium, the Frankish rule and the Ottoman and Venetian period, the Aegean gastronomy, as an integral element of Greek hospitality, follows the traces of uninterrupted continuity, from the prehistoric times until today.

Fifty different islands, with fifty different cultural peculiarities and traditions, make up the gastronomic culture of the South Aegean Region.

The Cyclades and the Dodecanese islands are not only about sun and beautiful beaches. They are History. They are Culture. They are the footprints that each place has left along the European and the global historical path.

“Aegean Islands. Like No Other”!

This is our islands’ identity, this is Greece’s identity!

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