Identifying ways to facilitate cruise tourism to Santorini, while ensuring the protection of the marine environment topped the agenda of talks on Tuesday, between Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Europe representative Maria Deligianni.
Visiting Santorini, Theoharis and Deligianni, who oversees the Eastern Mediterranean region for CLIA Europe, discussed priority issues for cruise tourism to the Cycladic island including the implementation of an operating system for cruise arrivals and departures in coordination with ferry arrivals, the construction of port infrastructure at both the old port of Fira and at Athinios, the construction of a new port, and ways to disperse cruise passengers in order to tackle overcrowding as well as promote other areas.
Theoharis was on Santorini this week to discuss an island-specific tourism strategy that will focus on preserving the island’s landscape, traditions and tourism offerings through coordinated actions involving private and public partners.
Deligianni underlined the importance of Santorini for the cruise industry as the country’s second most popular cruise destination, and went on to reiterate CLIA’s support in all actions aiming to ensure the sustainable development of the island.
In this direction, Theoharis said the ministry would be examining ways to involve all stakeholders in addressing the challenges.
According to CLIA statistics, Greece is the third largest cruise destination in Europe, after Italy and Spain, welcoming 4.09 million passengers in 2017. Piraeus, Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu and Katakolon are the most popular ports of call.
The world’s largest cruise industry trade association, CLIA supports policies and practices that foster a safe, secure, and sustainable cruise ship environment for the more than 28 million passengers who cruise annually.