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Greece to Set Up 1st UNWTO Mediterranean Coastal & Maritime Tourism Observatory

The first Mediterranean Coastal and Maritime Tourism Observatory of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) will be set up in Greece, the country’s deputy tourism minister, Sofia Zacharaki, announced on Tuesday.

The observatory’s mission will be to support the sustainable development of coastal and maritime tourism in the Mediterranean region.

According to Zacharaki, the observatory will launch during the 66th Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Europe that will take place in Athens during June 2-4.

Speaking during the online Blue Economy Forum, the deputy minister also referred to the Greek government’s 10-year plan for tourism that includes a focus on key aspects of marine tourism and also promotes sustainable development.

“The coastal and marine tourism sector has been hit hard by the pandemic crisis. The Greek government’s primary concern is to support businesses and assist their recovery when travel restrictions are lifted,” she said.

Some of the measures to be undertaken for the support and sustainable development of marine tourism include the promotion of accessibility policies for coasts and ports, the upgrade of maritime infrastructure for tourism boats and sports activities and the provision of digital content services.

Aldemar Resorts CEO Alexandros Angelopoulos and Deputy Tourism Minister Sofia Zacharaki.

During the Blue Economy Forum, Zacharaki also referred to the multiple benefits of special forms of tourism including gastronomy, health and silver tourism.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has given us the opportunity to explore all these niche areas that are especially important for regional development,” she said.

The Deputy Minister participated in a “Fireside Chat” with Aldemar Resorts CEO Alexandros Angelopoulos during the “Blue Economy Forum: The Way to Green Recovery” that took place online on March 2. It was organized by the Delphi Economic Forum and the Institute for Sustainable Development of the European Public Law Organization (EPLO).

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About the Author
Eleftheria has worked for several financial newspapers, magazines and websites during the past 19 years. Between 2004 and 2014 she worked as a radio producer, reporter and presenter for the Greek and English language program of “Athina 9.84 FM”. She also has hands-on experience in the MICE industry.

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