Greece’s Deputy Tourism Minister Sofia Zacharaki presented plans to develop the country’s winter tourism options during the 11th World Congress on Snow and Mountain Tourism held in Andorra recently.
The congress this year focused on the sector’s recovery and on formulating a tourism strategy that takes into consideration tourists’ needs while also preserving natural and cultural resources. It also explored the well-being of mountain communities and addressed innovation, sustainability and digital transformation.
In a panel discussion, Zacharaki and her counterparts from Slovenia, Andorra and Spain looked into ways that will accelerate the sector’s recovery and policies that will promote winter and mountain tourism.
The minister referred to the “Greece Does Have a Winter” campaign which for the first time highlighted the country’s winter offerings. She went on to refer to the investments being made in this direction; the extension of the tourist season, and key infrastructure projects being funded by RRF funds.
Zacharaki also said Greece was improving training and education of the tourism workforce to include new trends and special forms of tourism focusing on mountain destinations.
Lastly, the minister said Greece was updating an operational framework that would regulate mountain and winter tourism activities as well as ensure investment in green infrastructure and low-impact travel experiences.
Zacharaki noted that for the first time, the government, recognizing the enormous potential of winter tourism, adopted a comprehensive roadmap which showcases mountain destinations and ensures commitment to sustainable practices.
“Mountain and winter tourism are among the top strategic choices of the Greek Tourism Ministry in its effort to strengthen the competitiveness and quality enrichment of the country’s tourism industry,” said Zacharaki.
“Greece’s winter and mountain tourism can be an important competitive advantage for the country and contribute to the enrichment of the Greek tourist product,” she added.
Held as part of the UN Year of Sustainable Mountains, the 11th World Congress on Snow and Mountain Tourism saw over 400 participants from 23 countries gathered in Andorra, which has organized the bi-annual event in partnership with UNWTO since its inception.