Greece Sets Targets to Achieve Responsible Tourism
The Greek Tourism Ministry is setting the groundwork for a new tourism model that will establish the country as a leading responsible destination.
“The tourism ministry together with stakeholders is launching a strategy for a sustainable model in tourism. To achieve this it is necessary to invest in research by utilizing new financial tools and scientific methods,” said Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias in a recent interview to Lifo magazine.
Kikilias said it was crucial that the sector was prepared to meet the emerging demands and challenges. Besides the coronavirus crisis, he referred to climate change and addressing natural disasters and underlined the importance of modern policies that will create the conditions for well-paid and quality jobs, support professionals and small and medium-sized enterprises, utilize and respect the urban and rural environment, and all this in a coordinated and effective manner.
“Sustainable tourism can and must contribute to maintaining high and stable levels of economic growth countrywide and establish Greece as a model country for sustainable tourism,” he said.
In this direction, Kikilias says Greece was aiming to reduce plastic waste by 50 percent by 2030, slash the use of harmful microplastics by 30 percent, and allow fishing in 10 percent of the sea area in order to better protect Mediterranean ecosystems.
The minister said Greek tourism stakeholders must lead the way in this effort, including tourism enterprises that will provide quality services with a good environmental footprint and show respect for the particular local identity of each region.
“Visitors take very seriously whether a country is environmentally friendly, whether accommodation and hotels have ‘green infrastructure’, whether there is security,” he added.
Actions on local, regional and national levels must include relevant infrastructure and resources; the use of technology to monitor and direct tourism flows; transport, water, energy and waste management based on destination tourism flows; setting goals and indicators of success as well as developing mechanisms to monitor progress made.