This year, the Ionian Islands Region emphasizes domestic tourism, as the regional governor, Mrs. Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, states in FS. Ms. Kratsa points out that in the Ionian Islands there has been a monoculture not only in tourism as an economic activity but also in the type of tourism, and emphasizes that a strong legacy for the future will be to prove that we can adapt to the new conditions of crises and rapid developments.
The Ionian Islands are a hub for entry into the country, mainly from the West, and even from the most affected countries in Europe, Italy and England, which are the main markets for the Ionian Islands. How do you think ports and airports should be controlled?
We are all on standby, following the implementation of regulations and health protocols, as they evolve and adapt to the conditions created. These depend on the opening of the borders, the airlines that will fly and the hotels that will operate. As there are no clear estimates and predictions for the course of the pandemic, as well as for the interest in travel of citizens from different countries, we do not know how the critical parameters of the tourism chain will develop, starting from the entrance gates. However, we are satisfied with our cooperation with the competent bodies and services.
How will the flow of entry with private boats coming down from the Adriatic be controlled?
Recreational boats are interested in coming from many destinations. The Ionian is a paradise for maritime tourism and we are currently trying to develop port infrastructure to take advantage of these gifts. From June 15, according to the current legal framework, it will be allowed to arrive on special terms, ie inspections by the port authority, compliance with health protocols on the number of passengers and their health status regarding Covid-19 (cases, contacts with cases, etc.). At the same time, the health services of the Ionian Islands Region will check this data to allow or not to allow passengers and crews to leave the islands. We have taken all the necessary measures.
What are the expectations for tourism businesses and employees this year?
We support the demands of our companies with their special characteristics, seasonality, and employees in the respective industries. We, like other regions, have ceded some of the Ionian Islands’ available resources to the Ministry of Development to strengthen support measures.
For our part, we are adapting the campaign to promote the islands in the new conditions, with an emphasis on domestic tourism, we are organizing the Film Office of the Ionian Islands Region to attract the interest of audiovisual producers, with already good results, and we continue to support investment and upgrading. businesses and employees.
We have included in the NSRF 324 additional new tourism businesses in the Ionian Islands, which are subsidized with 49,414,307 euros by the OP. “Ionian Islands 2014-2020”. The total number of integrated tourist investments that are subsidized in the Ionian Islands is 400 and the total investment budget amounts to 61,780,770 euros.
At the same time, we are promoting modern education for 500 unemployed people in the Ionian Islands. The aim is to acquire knowledge and skills that will have a direct and positive impact on the strengthening of their resume and their integration into the labor market.
There is a lot of talk about the monoculture of tourism. Can the Ionian Islands live without tourism?
Certainly the Ionians can live better and with better and more varied tourism.
Monoculture was done not only in tourism as an economic activity, but also in the type of tourism. Both the Thomas Cook collapse crisis and the Covid-19 crisis have rang out a bell for us to expand markets and countries of origin for tourists to specialize in tourism services and extend the period.
We can offer more opportunities for alternative tourism, both in relation to the wonderful and rich natural environment and in terms of cultural tradition, special gastronomy and the huge potential of maritime tourism, which has not yet been exploited.
We try to design and offer these opportunities in infrastructure and services, in collaboration with municipalities and tourism agents.
The Ionian Islands will not cease to be an attractive destination with enormous potential. However, we must prove that we can adapt to the new conditions of crises and rapid developments, and this will be a strong legacy for the future.
How is tourism development combined with such intense waste management conflicts?
The tourist traffic and attractiveness of the Ionian Islands has never been stopped, but the bad conditions created by the inability to manage waste affect the image of the islands and the country in general. Our vision is to upgrade the quality of tourist identity, the lives of residents and public health, and that is why we financially support the initiatives of municipalities to address the problems by enhancing source sorting and recycling, as well as solid waste management. .
Today we are entering a new course, with positive prospects. Under the recent law, solid waste management will be undertaken by a new body (Local Government Societe Anonyme) with partners in the Ionian Islands Region and all municipalities, with the aim of coordinated management, in accordance with national policy and the country’s commitments to modern , which respects and protects citizens and the environment.
What positive and what gaps did the management of avoiding the spread of the coronation leave behind?
He left us a lot of positives. First of all, we realized everywhere how important it is to decide and act as a country, as a society, in a coordinated and responsible way. It is also important that, for the first time since the pandemic crisis, citizens trust the institutions, as should happen in a favored state. We have also developed opportunities for digital communication, agency collaboration and service and teleworking in general.
From the health point of view, the hospitals were better equipped and staffed with medical and nursing staff, no matter how difficult it is in our island and tourist areas, with high cost of accommodation, to come doctors.
As a region, in addition to our support in hospitals, we have started, before the coronation crisis, the planning for the complete upgrade of the building facilities, the medical and functional equipment of the 12 health centers on our islands, for the citizens and the visitors to the appropriate health services everywhere.
source – freesunday.gr