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Kythera Trails Become First to Receive ‘Green Flag’ Certification in Europe

Two trails on the Greek island of Kythera recently received the Green Flag Trails certification, becoming the first ever hiking paths in Europe to win the seal.

The announcement was made during the Green Flag Trails Auditor Training Course, which was held on the Greek island between October 4-11. This was the first Green Flag training course to take place in a European destination.

Hosted by the World Trails Network, with the support of the Kytherian Foundation for Culture and Development (KIPA) and the Paths of Greece, the event gathered trail professionals from 13 countries.

During the training course, a selection of Kythera’s trails were audited and two of them were certified as Green Flag Trails, also becoming the first ever trails in Europe to receive the certification.

Green Flag Trails 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 auditing system has thus far been applied and tested in six different countries to date, including Nepal, South Africa and Peru.

“Kythera has been the first step of the Green Flag Trails certification in Europe. The next step is meeting the demand for the certification of trails in other countries across Europe that joined the course, such as Portugal, Spain, Italy and Hungary,” KIPA said in an announcement.

In addition, Russia, Armenia, Georgia, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Kenya are also aspiring to improve the sustainability of their trails, by implementing the system.

All the participants, who successfully completed the course, have become certified Green Flag Trails auditors. Furthermore, Expert Trail Auditor Groups were formed by region.

Kythera Trails is the official trails network of Kythera island, Greece. It aims at enhancing the natural and cultural heritage of the island, while helping the local community thrive.

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  1. Victor Cunningham Reply

    Excellent news and definitely a step in the right direction nudging towards responsible tourism, sustainability and conservation. It is a system I can undoubtedly recommend. Congratulations WTN, Green Flag and Kythera. Hope the other who signed up will follow soon in 2020!

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