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Greece, UNWTO Discuss Sustainable Tourism at WTM London Expo

Greek Tourism Minister Vasilis Kikilias and UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.

Adapting sustainable practices and upgrading tourism services in this direction topped a meeting agenda between Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias and World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili this week during the World Travel Market (WTM) 2021 taking place in London.

Pololikashvili visited the Greek stand at WTM where he met Kikilias and discussed Greece’s key role in promoting sustainable tourism practices and setting the example for others to follow ahead of the 24th session of the UNWTO general assembly which kicks off on November 30 in Madrid.

Greece currently holds the presidency of the UNWTO Commission for Europe (CEU) and Kikilias is expected to convene a special meeting of the Regional Committee for Europe this month to discuss the issue.

“We want to be leaders in tourism, to lead the effort for a sustainable tourism model and to formulate it into practices compatible with those practiced in the rest of the world that will always be applied,” said Kikilias from London. 

The minister said the “first steps” have already been taken in this direction, referring to the islands of Astypalea and Halki


Photo Source: @Municipality of Astypalea

With regard to the tourism ministry’s strategy, Kikilias said Greece is seeking to cooperate with other countries towards the implementation of “a new sustainable tourism model and a new sustainable tourism product which will have a reduced environmental footprint”.

The minister also announced that Greece would be hosting a conference focusing on the importance of tourism employee and professional training, reskilling and upskilling.

During his London visit, Kikilias also met with UK Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) President and CEO Julia Simpson, Visit Britain & Visit England President Sally Balcombe, Sunvil Holidays Chairman Noel Josephides and senior executives at British Airways.

He also invited British holidaymakers through his interviews to UK media to visit Greece, and particularly lesser-known destinations as well as cities.

Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias with travel bloggers at the Visit Greece stand.

Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias with travel bloggers at the Visit Greece stand.

Lastly, Kikilias also met with travel bloggers and tourism business start-uppers. The minister asked them to “spread the word” on Greece’s beauty and special forms of tourism that can offer visitors unforgettable experiences to travelers.

The Greek Travel Pages (GTP) is an official media partner of WTM London.

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