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Key Tourism Figures 2017: Stavros Benos, President of DIAZOMA

Stavros Benos, President of DIAZOMA“The Monuments at the Center of Life”

DIAZOMA is a citizens’ movement, which was established in 2008 with a vision to contribute to the protection and promotion of the country’s monuments, particularly ancient Greek theatres, amphitheaters and stadiums, as well as to raise awareness among relevant bodies and citizens towards this direction.

Furthermore, during the last few years, the core value of our association has become the integration of our monuments into the center of life and their connection to sustainability and sustainable development.

Within this framework, by utilizing the results of the absolute synergy between citizens, authorities and state institutions, sponsors and European funding programs, we are planning and proposing the implementation of new holistic programs, cultural and environmental routes and archaeological parks.

The cultural route is a specialized, branded tourism product, which is formed based on a specific coherent element. The aim of the aforementioned programs is to constitute the starting point for the sustainable – financial, social, touristic and environmental – development of an area; and to connect the great monuments of nature and culture with local entrepreneurship and the production of the region’s primary sector.

The first cultural route of Epirus’ ancient theaters has already been designed, with the Region of Epirus and the Ministry of Culture playing a leading role in the process. This innovative project is currently implemented with funds worth 37 million euros by the NSRF 2014-2020. The route serves as a “pilot” for the creation of cultural routes in other areas, for example the Cultural and Environmental Route of Central Greece and the Route to the Monuments of the Egnatia Odos (“VIA EGNATIA”) among others.

As 2017 has been declared as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the promotion of monuments and their connection to the real economy, tourism and entrepreneurship can become the inception but also a perfect example of sustainability and sustainable development.

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