The main pillars of the strategy of sustainable tourism are the socio-economic development and the preservation of the natural and cultural wealth, for the promotion of a tourism model with the primary goal of respecting and preserving the local cultural heritage. Social benefits relate to the equitable distribution of economic benefits and the resolution of social issues, such as the sub-tourism of rural areas and the over-tourism of large cities. What is required, however, is the collective participation in the structure of the governance mechanisms, where the citizens and the local self-government work on equal terms at all levels.
The establishment of a single identity highlights the sustainable development prospects in the protected areas with the digital portal of “Nature Greece”, in connection with the regional management units, where in addition to the basic information and suggestions for alternative activities will be given. At the same time, certified local businesses will be promoted, such as accommodation, restaurants, etc., as well as national service companies that are active in the field of ecotourism, while it will be possible to implement volunteer actions.
The “Nature Greece” identity can create a new label of local products, which will give them added value, coming from a protected area, which will be highlighted with a product certification system that will be financed by actions of the new Common Agricultural Policy from 2023. The USA was the first to create the institution of roadless rule, “roadless rule”, while in Europe we are the first to take the first step, to stop in Greece the fragmentation of virgin areas and their coverage with artificial surfaces.
The new tourism model will lead in the next decade to an increase in arrivals of up to 20%, as ecotourism represents about 1/4 of the travel market, with an annual increase of 20-34%, leaving, in fact, up to 95% of their costs to the local economy, compared to 20% of all-inclusive packages. The anthropogenic sounds that come through the increasing noise pollution from urbanization, the intensification of agriculture and habitat loss, highlight the importance of human interaction with nature in order to maintain mental health, experiencing a pervasive environmental biodiversity, with a definite negative imprint on man.
Professor of Dermatology
B’ Vice President GDHI
President Hellenic Academy of Thermal Medicine
President World Academy of Chinese & Complimentary Medicine