Greek Ministry of Tourism Joins GSTC

On March 9th, a Cooperation Agreement has been signed between the Greek Ministry of Tourism and the Global Council of Sustainable Tourism (GSTC), signifying the Ministry’s intention to harmonize the Greek tourism industry with international standards for sustainable tourism development. [GMT press release in Greek]

Through this cooperation, the Greek Ministry of Tourism aims to strengthen the political statement of the Ministry for sustainable development in Greek Tourism, create global communication dissemination on the new goals of Greek Tourism; and support the Ministry of Tourism and the relevant National Organizations (Hellenic Tourism Organization, etc.) for the creation of good practices and international standards of sustainable tourism (internal capacity building).

“As in recent years, the number of ‘responsible’ visitors has increased considerably, and a new generation of ‘trained’ visitors who perceive travel as a self-improvement experience has surfaced, sustainable tourism development is a key priority to the tourism sector, especially in the current moment of crisis, where we have to rethink the restart of tourism globally,” stated Minister Harry Theoharis upon the signing of the agreement between the Ministry and GSTC.

Greek Minister of Tourism, Harry Theoharis

“To this end, while sustainable development can at the moment serve as a crisis tool, I feel confident that the GSTC will assist the Greek Ministry of Tourism, to the implementation of the Ministry’s comprehensive 10-year Strategy for Sustainable Tourism Development, supporting not only the certification processes of Greek tourism products to match the international standards, but also the smooth harmonization of the sector with local conditions, in the hope to integrate even more sustainable Greek destinations in the future into the global destinations map. Our major goal is the restart of Greek tourism sector after the pandemic, capitalizing on sustainable tourism thematics, such as diving tourism, gastronomy tourism and mountain tourism in all four seasons, drawing experience from the international markets via GSTC. Sustainable development is of vital importance right now remains on the focus of our strategy,” Minister Theoharis added.

The GSTC will support the Greek Ministry of Tourism in the implementation of the “National 10-Year Strategy for the Development of Sustainable Tourism” in the areas of:

  • Harmonization of functions and standards of sustainability in Greek tourism
  • Evaluation of Greek destinations in sustainable performance
  • Integration and new sustainable tourism destinations on the world map
  • Supporting National Sustainable Development Programs
  • Introducing sustainable tourism experience from other tourism markets, through the involvement of its stakeholders in special committees and implementation groups
  • Enhancing good practices for modern accommodations with low environmental footprint
  • Further creative collaboration with tour operators, OTAs and international tour operators through the adoption of green practices
  • Training of public and private officials on sustainable tourism and its certification

“We applaud Greek Ministry of Tourism for taking this bold and important step to go beyond words about sustainable tourism, putting in place meaningful programs to engage with stakeholders in order to push for ever-more sustainable tourism offerings in Greece,” said Randy Durband, GSTC CEO.

“It is a great opportunity for Greece via this agreement to implement sustainable development into tourism, reinforcing a major sector of the Greek economy for the upcoming new era, upscaling the existing good practices and creating a sustainable model for the Greek destinations’ future,” said Dr. Ioannis Pappas, GSTC Programs Director in the Mediterranean Region.

The GSTC Criteria have been translated into Greek and are available to download in the Criteria Translations section.

Τα Κριτήρια του GSTC έχουν μεταφραστεί στα Ελληνικά και είναι διαθέσιμα για λήψη στο τμήμα “ Μεταφράσεις Κριτηρίων”.

GSTC encourages destinations pursuing sustainability practices in development and management of tourism, to join as GSTC members and apply the GSTC Destination Criteria, which eventually can lead to being certified by a GSTC-Accredited Certification Body.