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South Aegean Islands Tapping into Sports Tourism

1st World Taekwondo Beach Championship on Rhodes. Photo Credits: Nikos Karanikolas

1st World Taekwondo Beach Championship on Rhodes. Photo Credits: Nikos Karanikolas

Aiming to enrich its tourism options, the South Aegean Region is tapping into sports tourism with a wide variety of sporting events taking place across the islands.

Running races, regattas, cycling, triathlon, beach volleyball, shooting, basketball, football, marathon, climbing, and swimming are just some of the championship events taking place on the islands of the South Aegean within its strategy to enhance the tourism product and attract tourists seeking more that just the traditional sea and sun experience, encourage sport and wellness in local communities particularly among the young, upgrade facilities and attract visitors all year round.

International Rhodes Grand Prix 1.2 UCI on Rhodes.

International Rhodes Grand Prix 1.2 UCI on Rhodes.

In 2017, the South Aegean Region in collaboration with associations, sports federations and other public and private bodies held 74 local or international sporting eventsIndicatively, the International Rhodes Grand Prix 1.2 UCI, the International Rhodes Tour 2.2 UCI and the UCI Rhodes Gran Fondo Tour as well as the International Tour of Rhodes attracted cyclists from across the globe.

Other host destinations of sports events last year included the islands of Kos, Kalymnos, Leros, Andros, Naxos, Tinos, Donoussa, Santorini and Mykonos.

Santorini Experience. Photo © Elias Lefas

Santorini Experience. Photo © Elias Lefas

The South Aegean Region also organized the swimming races of the Santorini Experience 2017 event and supported the Cyclades Trail Cup, which included the Naxos Trail Race, Syros City TrailAndros Trail Race, Donousa Mountain Run and Tinos Challenge.

Naxos Trail Race 2017

Naxos Trail Race 2017

Other events promoting the Greek islands included the 1st World Taekwondo Beach Championship on Rhodes which was attended by some 2,000 participants. The South Aegean Region has also participated in the Peace and Sport forum in Monaco, organized by the independent global Peace and Sport organization which uses sport and its values as an instrument for peace.

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