Trail experts from all over the world, during October 4-11, will gather on the Greek island of Kythera to participate in the Green Flag Trails Auditor Training Course, the first of its kind in Europe.
Green Flag Trails is a scientifically based trail auditing system, developed over a 15-year period by professor of ecotourism, Leon Hugo. It recognizes trails for their accurate data, environmental responsibility and sustainable management. It focuses on sustainability and responsibility towards hiking and walking tourists and aims to stimulate ecotourism.
The event will feature experts from Greece, Portugal, France, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Russia, Armenia, Georgia, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Kenya.
The Green Flag Trails Auditor Training Course will be hosted by the World Trails Network, with the support of the Kytherian Foundation for Culture and Development (KIPA).
“We look forward to this innovative course being hosted for the first time in Europe,” KIPA President George Kasimatis said in an announcement.
“Our trails show the benefits of collaboration when it comes to innovative tourism development… We have thus far teamed up with the Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos (MedINA), the Municipality of Kythera and Antikythera, and the Paths of Greece.”
Kythera Trails first in Europe to receive Green Flag certification
Meanwhile, Kythera is on its way to become the first hiking destination in Europe to apply the international Green Flag Trails system of trail auditing
During the Green Flag Trails Auditor Training Course, Kythera Trails, the official trails network of Kythira, will be audited and awarded the Green Flag Trails Certificate, the sustainability label developed by the World Trails Network.
The label aims to increase the sustainability and marketability of trails around the world.
“Trails are an integral component of the global adventure tourism industry; they are also vital to many of the world’s urban populations in providing access to nature and recreation,” said founding Chair of the World Trails Network, Galeo Saintz.
The system already has been applied and tested in six different countries to date, including Nepal, South Africa and Peru.