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Sustainable Tourism Growth is Non-negotiable, Says Minister

Meteora, Greece. Photo Source: Region of Thessaly

Transitioning to sustainable tourism practices and to a growth model that will meet the needs and demands of the next generations was the focus of Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis’ address during the 2nd European Sustainable Development Forum held over the weekend in the Central Greece town of Larissa.

Focusing on the vast tourist potential of the Thessaly Region, Theoharis said it “undisputedly” offers Greek and foreign visitors an impressive array of special interest tourism products “which have great prospects and attract thousands of tourists”.

Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis

To demonstrate his point the minister referred to Meteora and Delphi, which he said are ranked among the most popular Greek destinations for Chinese travelers to Greece.

Theoharis went on to note that sustainable tourism growth was “non-negotiable” and a key ministry priority, which he added involved the balanced and equal development three areas: economy – environment – society.

In this direction, he referred to the recently set-up Regional Tourism Council, which is aimed to upgrading the Greek tourism product through coordination and effective promotional practices as well as fruitful communication with stakeholders.

Archaeological site of Delphi. © Limes.Media/Tim Schnarr

“The sustainable tourism model is a one-way street to ensure optimal use of natural resources, the preservation of natural heritage, cultural heritage and traditions, and the promotion of quality tourism infrastructure with a limited environmental footprint,” said Theoharis.

“This model responds to the international trends and ever-changing expectations of the global tourist. And our country cannot stay behind developments.”

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