The need for a public dialogue on tourism, co-operation and strategy development for its smooth and sustainable development was highlighted by the Ionian Regional Governor at the launch of the Pilot Destination Management Program.

The event took place on the occasion of the completion of two destination management plans for Rhodes and Santorini, which are a “pilot” for developing similar plans in other destinations in the country.

In her brief address, Ionian Regional Governor Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou stressed the need for a public dialogue between bodies, institutions and experts in order to develop a model for the Ionian Islands and the Ionian Islands development of tourism on every island.

“We are a tourist Region, with a tradition of tourism and prospects for tourism development, which we want to exploit and enhance. We perceive tourism as a network of activities, services and production processes, which are constantly evolving, mainly due to the rapid development of technological achievements and international competition in this field. With this in mind, we feel that our Region must determine its position and role within this new world scene and provide the tools and strategy that will give it the opportunity to build its own identity, its own policy, to take advantage of the benefits and prospects we believe we have, the know-how and accumulated experience of productive actors, and which are the backbone of our economy. This is the importance of the new start we are making today, “said Ms. Kratsa – Tsagaropoulou.

Vice-Mayor Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness A Alexandros Alexakis referred to the need to set up a body in order to make the Ionian Islands tourism product more competitive adapted to the future challenges of tourism development and following the standards of others.

The presentation was made by a consortium of consultants from the United Kingdom and Greece, who analyzed the wide range of principles, phases and tasks that make up the design of a destination management plan and lay the foundations for its effective implementation.

For his part, the representative of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in Greece George Maltezos referred to the necessity of drawing up a destination management plan in order to explore various aspects of how we envision tourism in the coming years and the impact it has in the experience of visitors but also in the lives of citizens.

Afterwards, the representative of Toposophy company Pantazis Pastras gave a brief presentation of the pilot program and the objectives of the meeting Roger Carter outlined the key issues for drawing up this plan, as well as the work plan.

“A destination like Greece needs to carry out a series of actions of an international nature, but cooperation and consensus among stakeholders is needed in order to achieve the desired outcome over time. We need to attract the most lucrative tourist markets, identify those markets and develop products and infrastructure to increase overnight stays at one destination, ”said Carter.

The key points of the management plan, as presented, are to differentiate the destination from the competition by offering visitors authentic experiences and activities related to the local community, ensuring sustainable development for both the destination and the tourists, who tend to prefer such destinations, but also the broad cooperation of all stakeholders in the strategy of approaching new markets.

YellowRailroadLtd CEO Tom Buncle pointed out that the proposed actions and vision for destination development are entering a new era of visibility and management, namely in destination management, applying a more holistic approach.

The presentation was followed by a discussion and an exchange of views between participants and positions on how to address all of the above strategic challenges and the proposed action plan.

The event enjoyed the impact of institutional and productive institutions, and attended by the President of the Regional Council Nikos Mouzakitis , the executive secretary Dimitris MILIOS the Antiperifereiarchis Corfu Melita Andrioti – Skordilis, the Deputy Head of Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness Alexander Alexakis, the Deputy Head of Social Cohesion, Public Health and employment Konstantinos Zorbas , the Deputy Head of Environment, Energy and Regional Planning Spyros Ioannou , the Deputy Head of Infrastructure Ms. Manolis Orfanoudakis Technical Works , the Mayor of Corfu Meropi Hydra,Deputy Mayor of Tourism Panagiotis Varouchas , the president of the Municipal Council North Corfu Constantine Grigoropoulos , Division executives Tourism of the Region of Ionian Islands and the Managing Authority, the President of the Hotel Association of Corfu, Charalampos Voulgaris and Vice Spyros Rokas , the Vice President of the Chamber Corfu  Nikos Cheirdaris the President of the Economic Chamber of Corfu   Theodoros Pagratis the President of OEVEK Constantine Kitsakis and representatives of professional v Societies and collecting the spot.

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