The primary sector is the foundation of our national economy and society and a top priority for the government, just as tourism is one of the main pillars of the country’s development that helps create jobs and increase national income.
With a view to the future, in the aftermath of the Covid-19 health crisis and in the midst of a war, we must invest in and strengthen these two key growth factors – tourism and the primary sector. In this context, the Ministry of Rural Development & Food is working methodically and in a coordinated manner to implement a structured strategic plan with continuous actions for the effective interconnection of the primary sector, gastronomy and tourism. The launch of an operational framework is of national and regional concern and needs the active participation of the public and the private sectors for the Branding and Marketing development of the tourism product.
Our country has already established itself as an attractive and increasingly prosperous gastronomy destination, with products acclaimed internationally for their excellent quality: olive oil, feta cheese, honey, olives, ouzo, fruits and vegetables, wine, fish and PDO products.
One of my priorities as Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Rural Development and Food, is to secure the future of beekeeping with the ultimate goal of highlighting its special value to the whole world. Our goal, together with the competent ministries, experts and public bodies, is to establish a special brand that will be an important tool for the certification of the “Greekness” of honey, for its promotion in foreign markets. Through beekeeping parks that are currently opening throughout Greece – with the first park having already been established in Evros – locals and foreign tourists will be introduced to the sector and its domestic labels.
Another proposal for connecting tourism with gastronomy, is through fishing tourism. This is a form of rural tourism, which includes the provision of services related to fishing, sponge fishing, and aquaculture; related practical and technical traditions; and also local customs. The concept sees visitors/tourists essentially combining their holidays with fishing activities in the sea, lakes, aquaculture, for the purpose of entertainment, to gain experiential experiences, become acquainted with local traditions, local customs, traditional cuisine and local gastronomy. The concept also sees the spreading of the philosophy of fishing, as well as the strengthening of local economies. Fishing tourism has the potential to provide additional employment and additional income to fishermen. At the same time, it contributes to the promotion of fish consumption and a healthy diet.
Above all, however, it prepares the general public for fishing activities, contributes to the awareness of the environmental value of sensitive and protected ecosystems, highlighting the good services offered by fishing activities for their conservation and protection.
Finally, fishing tourism can develop into a special and very dynamic factor in the development of local tourism of every coastal and island area. It can be developed where ever there is a liquid element, whether that being the sea, a lake, a lagoon or a river.
In conclusion, on the occasion of the growing tendency to offer authentic experiences to travelers who choose Greece, we must provide a worthy tourist product that will reflect and remind of our history and cultural heritage.
Deputy Minister of Rural Development & Food