Issues relating to the Greek Tourism Ministry’s cooperation with the regional authority of Crete topped the agenda of talks between minister Olga Kefalogianni and the island’s governor, Stavros Arnaoutakis.
During a meeting at the regional authority’s headquarters on Monday, Minister Kefalogianni discussed important issues related to further developing the island’s tourist traffic as well as promoting the island as a global tourist destination.
Both officials agreed on the common goal of establishing Crete as a model destination of sustainable tourism development.
Highlighting that Crete is a destination that welcomes millions of visitors every year, the minister said the aim is to not just have “a few good years” in tourism.
“We’re here today to lay the foundations so that Crete becomes a model of sustainable tourism development,” Kefalogianni said, adding that the ministry will place focus on the elements that make the island an “incredibly” attractive destination.
“Culture, the natural environment, the human factor, tradition. The present is very good but we believe that Crete can have a very bright future in tourism,” she said.
Kefalogianni’s statements were echoed by governor Arnaoutakis who underlined the regional authority’s interest in sustainable development.
“We are interested in being able to invest in quality tourism and the extension of the tourist season,” he said.
Moreover, the governor pointed out existing problems the island is facing both at the airport of Heraklion and in other areas.
“We hope the problems can be normalized next year,” Arnaoutakis said.
In response, Kefalogianni pointed out that among the ministry’s priorities is the need to immediately improve the orderly operation of Heraklion’s airport with regard to the level of infrastructure as well as staffing.
Among other things, the minister highlighted the importance of two new modern technology projects taking place on the island: the Northern Road Axis of Crete, which will measure approximately 300 km and connect the western end of the island with the eastern; and the new airport in Kasteli.
According to tourism minister, both projects, which are expected to be completed by 2030, will stimulate the island’s economy, thus contributing to the increase in tourist arrivals from all over the world.
The meeting at the headquarters of the Region of Crete was attended by General Secretary of Tourism Policy and Development Myron Flouris, Deputy Governor of Tourism Kyriakos Kotsoglou, Deputy Governor of Heraklion Nikos Syrigonakis, Deputy Governor of Rethymno Mary Lionis, Deputy Governor of Lasithi Yiannis Androulakis, Rethymno Mayor Giorgis Marinakis and other officials from the island’s regional and municipal authorities.