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National Geographic to Promote Crete’s UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, Geoparks

Sitia, Crete. Photo source: Crete Region

The Region of Crete has entered into a strategic partnership with National Geographic to promote its UNESCO biosphere reserves and geoparks.

According to the agreement, the following four areas on Crete will be promoted through National Geographic’s networks (TV, printed and digital):

– the Samaria gorge / Lefka Ori and the Asterousia mountain range, both included on UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserves list and

– the UNESCO Global Geoparks in Sitia and on Mount Psiloritis.

“Our award-winning studio National Geographic Creative Works will create and channel content through TV, digital and printed media, and raise awareness on these exceptional monuments to promote this truly unique sustainable tourism experience,” said Nadine Heggie, vice president, brand partnerships for National Geographic.

Crete secures funding for promotional program

For the next 18 months, Crete has secured funds of 1 million euros from the “Crete 2014-2020 Regional Program” for the promotion of its mainland destinations, mountainous regions, cultural and human capital that constitute the island’s comparative advantages for its sustainable development towards 2030.

Moreover, Crete Governor Stavros Arnaoutakis has singed an agreement with the concessionaire of the project which is part of the European Union’s Integrated Territorial Investment program (known as OXE in Greek).

OXE allows member states to implement operational programs in a cross-cutting way and draw on funding from several priority axes of one or more operational programs to ensure the implementation of an integrated strategy for a specific territory.

Samaria gorge. Photo source: Crete Region

Crete’s promotion project foresees the following actions:

  • The creation of a corporate brand for Crete’s UNESCO-recognized areas, as well as the development of promotional content, digital applications, a web portal, training programs and activities, networking events and publications in magazines and newspapers (including the National Geographic)
  • The organization of an international conference on Crete in collaboration with UNESCO for World Heritage and Biosphere sites as well as Geoparks.
  • The organization of an exhibition abroad for the promotion of Crete’s four UNESCO-recognized areas.
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