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Ithaki, Kefalonia to Focus on Alternative Tourism

The Greek Tourism Ministry is looking to establish Ithaki and Kefalonia as alternative tourism destinations, Deputy Tourism Minister Sofia Zacharaki said during a visit to the Ionian islands this week.

Zacharaki visited the islands ahead of the country’s opening to tourism in mid-May where she met with regional authorities to discuss issues of concern.

Subjects addressed included infrastructure upgrades and needs, as well as ways to enhance the tourist product, expanding the tourism season, and specialized training and upskilling for tourism professionals based on needs specific to each destination.

In this direction, Zacharaki announced a training program for some 20,000 unemployed and seasonal workers which is set to get support from the Recovery Fund as well as similar ministry initiatives for the development of gastronomy, mountain, spa, walking, marine and diving tourism.

Kefalonia. Photo © Panos Karas / Shutterstock

Besides discussing coronavirus safety issues and protocols ahead of Greece’s opening to tourists, Ionian island authorities requested weekly targeted promotional and marketing actions.

Showcasing wine tourism also topped the agenda of talks. In this direction, Zacharaki said the ministry had already taken steps to make wineries visitable and to promote these via a special online platform.

Lastly, Zacharaki visited island vaccination centers where she was briefed on the progress in the Covid-19 vaccination rollout. The government has given islands priority in view of the upcoming tourism season.

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