Remote island ferry links, connecting Karpathos and Kassos with Crete, modernizing port facilities to be able to cater to cruise ships, and upgrading the Kalymnos Diving School were some of the issues on the agenda of an interministerial working meeting this week.
Shipping Minister Yiannis Plakiotakis, Deputy Tourism Minister Manos Konsolas and Tourism Ministry Secretary General Konstantinos Loulis met to discuss priorities aimed at facilitating life and tourism to the country’s remote islands as well as improving infrastructure that will provide ground for further growth.
Redesigning the remote island transport map topped the agenda with the shipping ministry already having pledged to increase the budget for remote island ferry transport to 130 million euros from the initial 90 million euros.
New routes discussed include connecting Karpathos and Kassos with Crete, and Thessaloniki with the North Aegean and Dodecanese islands.
Aiming to tap into cruise travel, the shipping ministry announced plans to revise a legal framework so that port facilities at popular destinations can be leased out to cruise travel management companies for their development into home ports.
With regard to the Kalymnos Diving School, Konsolas noted the importance of training in view of revised legislation on the development of diving tourism, which he said will create the need for new curricula and areas of specialization.
In relevant news, Konsolas visited the island of Kassos, where he met with local authorities to discuss tourism issues. Konsolas said the island has the capacity to develop a unique model of tourism development which will establish it as an alternative tourism destination, which may also include diving tourism products.