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Ancient Olympia: Ministry Aims to Build Stronger Link Between Culture and Tourism

Archaeological Site of Olympia. Photo © GTP

The importance of linking culture with tourism to further enhance the tourist experience and at the same time contribute to regional growth was the focus of an event held at the archaeological site of Ancient Olympia in the Ilia prefecture attended by Culture Minister Lina Mendoni.

Addressing the event titled “Ilia 2030 – Ancient Olympia at the Epicenter”, the minister underlined the need for actions that will bringing added value to local communities and in turn boost the national economy.

In this direction, she suggested creating a link between culture and tourism with a focus on special interest tourism such as senior travel.

“Investments in culture always benefit local communities, the local economy and ultimately the national economy,” said Mendoni, adding that during the construction phase of a cultural project, a one-euro investment  over a period of five years returns 3.44 euros.

Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni.

Mendoni said the culture ministry was currently implementing culture projects, including museums and restoration of archaeological sites in the Ilia region budgeted at 12 million euros.

The minister went on to refer to the Ilia region’s two “great comparative advantages: its cultural wealth and its magnificent natural environment. The Olympic Games, for example, are associated with a vast heritage, mythology, history, timeless values, and must have a decisive role in the development dynamics of the region”, said Mendoni.

Lastly, she underlined the need to create special interest tourist experiences for the 65+ travelers “who are looking for places that combine nature and culture”.

Additionally, she added that unknown locations, sites and monuments such as the Temple of Epicurious Apollo and the thermal baths of Kaiaphas be promoted and included on tourist itineraries and in offshore cruise excursions.

“Besides infrastructure, the state must ensure that there are synergies with all local bodies to create cultural routes with the aim of extending the time visitors stay in Ancient Olympia and Ilia,” she said.

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