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Greece’s South Aegean Region Presents ‘Green’ Initiatives at WTM

South Aegean Region Governor George Hatzimarkos

South Aegean Region Governor George Hatzimarkos

The steps taken to bring Greece and particularly the South Aegean Region to the forefront of sustainable practice spearheaded the region’s participation at World Travel Market (WTM) in London this week.

The region, which has broken all records this year in terms of arrivals and demand, is leading the way, emerging into a sustainability hub through groundbreaking initiatives such as the “Rhodes Co-Lab”, “ASTYBUS” on Astypalea, “Just Go Zero” on Tilos, “GR-eco Islands” on Chalki, the “Aegean Neorion Innovation Center” on Syros and the “Naxos Smart Island”.

“It’s not by chance that all these initiatives are located in the South Aegean. It is the result of planning and hard work and we are proud that our region has welcomed change, innovation, and responsibility,” said South Aegean Region Governor George Hatzimarkos.

6.1 million visitors in South Aegean in 2022

South Aegean Region Governor George Hatzimarkos (second from right) at the Rhodes’ stand at WTM London.

The South Aegean Region has so far this year welcomed 6.1 million visitors on 34,500 flights marking a 15 percent rise over 2019 through to October 31 while pre-bookings are strong for 2023.

Hatzimarkos attributed this year’s positive performance to the region’s effective management of the Covid-19 crisis. “As result of this confidence, the South Aegean maintains its momentum” despite the challenges, the cost-of-living crisis and the imminent hikes in transport costs.

At WTM, leisure travel operator TUI said its Destination Co-Lab Rhodes project, launched earlier this year in partnership with the South Aegean Region was an important part of the company’s sustainability agenda.

South Aegean Region Governor George Hatzimarkos (center) looks on as TUI Group CEO Sebastian Ebel speaks during a press conference hosted by Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias (left) during WTM London.

The Destination Co-Lab Rhodes aims to establish the South Aegean Region and the island of Rhodes in particular as the global center for sustainable destination model development.

“We have high ambitions and we could not wish for better partners than our Greek and South Aegean friends… Our joint vision for the Co-Lab is clear. We know what needs to be done. We will now bring the Destination Co-Lab to life,” TUI’s CEO said.

The Greek Travel Pages (GTP) is an official media partner of WTM London.

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