The experience from Transferring the Methodology of Sustainable Tourism for the Rejuvenation of the Small Mediterranean Towns in Greece

After the finalization of the pilot activities of the project SUSTOWNS and the implementation of the Methodology of Sustainable Tourism for the Rejuvenation of the selected pilot territories (Small Mediterranean Towns), the new goal for the partnership was the transferring of the experiences and methodology to new territories, interested in the topic of sustainable tourism and willing to implement similar actions.

After the finalization of the pilot activities of the project SUSTOWNS and the implementation of the Methodology of Sustainable Tourism for the Rejuvenation of the selected pilot territories (Small Mediterranean Towns), the new goal for the partnership was the transferring of the experiences and methodology to new territories, interested in the topic of sustainable tourism and willing to implement similar actions.

In Greece, the project partner of SUSTOWNS is the Organization for Local Development, ANATOLIKI S.A., Lead Partner of the Transferring Work Package. The associated partners where the pilot actions were implemented in Greece are the Municipalities of Volvi and Aristotle. The transfer of the Methodology was well organized and finalized with great success, providing Advisory Services to 15 new Municipalities.

STEP 1: Engagement & Selection of the New Territories

The first step for the transferring of the Methodology was the engagement of new territories, willing to implement similar activities as the one’s implemented in the pilots and also, interested in the topic of Sustainable Tourism. To achieve that, ANATOLIKI S.A. organised a National Seminar where the experiences of the pilots and the general concept of sustainability in the tourism sector were presented. The participants were several Municipalities and Organizations interested in the Methodology of SUSTOWNS. The National Seminar worked as a tool for the networking and engagement of new territories. Almost 20 new Municipalities expressed their interest in participating in the next activities of the project. After setting criteria regarding the population density, the area and the characteristics of the new territories, a Letter of Intent was sent to 15 new Municipalities, for their commitment in the participation of the next project activities and the advisory services on sustainable tourism.

STEP 2: Organization of a training on Sustainable Tourism

The National Training in Greece was well organised as a continuation of the National Seminar and the engagement of the new Municipalities in the activities of the project. The training was mostly aimed at the 15 new territories, but it was also open to a broader audience for anyone interested to participate. The event was separated into two parts. During the first part, ANATOLIKI S.A. presented the main aspects of the Methodology and the steps for the elaboration of an Action Plan for Sustainable Tourism. The second part was organized through a participative approach, as also suggested in the Methodology of the project. The participants proposed Axis for a Model Action Plan for Sustainable Tourism and proposed Actions tailored in the Greek territory needs and the Greek tourism market. The output of the event was the elaboration of a Model Action Plan for Sustainable Tourism which was developed through a participative approach and was sent afterwards to all participants along with the Methodology of the SUSTOWNS project and a list of selected Good Practices related to the sustainability in the tourism sector.

STEP 3: Advisory Services and proposed Actions for the Elaboration of an Action Plan

The next and final step of the transferring activities was the Advisory Services. After the implementation of two aforementioned events, the material produced and the Model Action Plan for Sustainable Tourism, produced during the National Training, worked as a tool for the 15 new Municipalities engaged in the advisory process, for the elaboration of an Action Plan for their territories. With the help of an external expert supporting this activity, the final steps of the Transferring were the consultation process through phone calls and skype meetings in order to note down all the aspects regarding the current situation of the new territories and their strengths and weaknesses. Also, the second goal of the Advisory was to make suggestions regarding the formation of a Local Focus Group with interested local stakeholders and propose Actions and list of activities to be included in an Action Plan for Sustainable Tourism. The final outcome of the Advisory process was sent to the new territories along with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for their commitment in disseminating the goals and the Methodology of the SUSTOWNS project and the elaboration of an Action Plan for Sustainable Tourism, taking into account the proposals made through the consultation process.

The transferring of the goals, the experiences and the Methodology along with the involvement of new territories in the activities of SUSTOWNS was finalized with great success in Greece. The aforementioned activities paved the way to the next goal of the partnership for the next period, which is Capitalization.

Responsible for the Activities of the project in Greece is the Development Organization for Local Development, ANATOLIKI S.A.

For more information you can visit: anatoliki.gr/en/home