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Greek Tourism Ministry and Hellenic Chamber of Hotels Focus on CSR in Hospitality

Hellenic Chamber of Hotels President Alexandros Vassilikos and Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis.

Hellenic Chamber of Hotels President Alexandros Vassilikos and Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis.

Greece’s hospitality offering is expected to strengthen following the signing of a cooperation protocol to boost ties between the private sector and the state.

Signed on Monday between the Greek Tourism Ministry, the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels and the newly established non-profit company “Hotels For”, the agreement aims to safeguard and promote the tourism product in Greece and abroad through the upgrade of Greek hotels and their best practices regarding sustainable development and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Announced in February, “Hotels For” is a hospitality sector social responsibility initiative that sees to develop relevant initiatives, support those in need and promote sustainable development.

According to an announcement by the tourism ministry, the cooperation protocol is based on the importance of tourism for the world economy and in particular on the fact that tourism is the main pillar of the country’s culture, history, customs, traditions, and economic development and aims to strengthen tourism activities by creating the necessary conditions.

Commenting on the agreement, Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis referred to “a very important cooperation” that was being formed, which will further upgrade the country’s hotel product.

“The Ministry of Tourism is launching a different kind of cooperation with hoteliers. This cooperation, taking place during a key period, will allow the forces of tourism to unite so that the goals of sustainable tourism development and accessible tourism are transformed from a simple ‘wish list’ into a tangible strategy implemented through a series of actions,” Theoharis said.

On his part, Hellenic Chamber of Hotels President Alexandros Vassilikos said the signing of the cooperation protocol between the tourism ministry, the chamber and “Hotels For” starts a new chapter in the contribution of the hospitality industry to Greek society.

“The contribution of maintaining social cohesion and investing in the prosperity of the local communities are necessary preconditions for a long-term sustainable tourism development, giving higher added value to the Greek product,” Vassilikos said.

He added that the launching of “Hotels For” allows for each of the chamber’s members in Greece to join a network of initiatives and social responsibility actions.

According to the signed cooperation protocol, the ministry, the hotels chamber and “Hotels For” will:

– exchange know-how, practical experience, information and statistical data
– offer incentives, tools and adopt indicators for the evaluation of the progress and performance of the chamber’s hotel members
– examine the possibilities of collaborations in tourism events -organized either by each party or by third parties (conferences, tourism exhibitions, thematic events, and other events) – in Greece and in countries or regions of “potential visitors”
– launch jointly planned actions, aiming towards the wider and multifaceted promotion of tourism
– encourage the education and training of executives of the three parties, as well as to the chamber’s hotel owners and staff members
– encourage and support the initiatives and actions of “Hotels For”
– cooperate on a national and an international level and participate, when deemed appropriate, in meetings, conferences and forums of international and non-international organizations, which have an interest or activity in tourism, as well as of specialized international tourism organizations
– encourage the cooperation and support actions of all relevant bodies of tourism or other businesses, whether public or private, to achieve the goals of the cooperation

The ministry, the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels and “Hotels For” will immediately appoint a committee to monitor the agreed action plan and coordinate actions when necessary in the various fields of cooperation. The committee will also be in charge of suggesting revisions or amendments to the agreed action plan.

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