City leaders in Corfu and Heraklion have teamed up with Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) to assess the sustainability status of each city and to map out a plan for a future of sustainable tourism.
The destination assessments of Corfu and Heraklion, to be co-funded with CLIA and conducted by the GSTC, will provide benchmark data, and find ways for balanced development of tourism in their localities. The sustainable assessment process will begin in December 2020 and will involve three phases across a period of five months – an initial preparatory phase of research and data compilation, a second phase of on-site assessment with stakeholder engagement, and a final phase of analysis and report.
Mayor of Central Corfu and Diapontia Islands, Meropi Spyridoula Ydraiou, said: “We are sure that the Municipality of Corfu and Diapontian, CLIA, GSTC and Corfu Port will set up a strong cooperation ensuring the best for the destination and the society. Hopefully, this will be the start for a sustainable future for our destination!”
Mayor of Heraklion, Vassilis Lambrinos said: “In Heraklion, the economic and tourist capital of Crete, the municipality is responding to the challenges of our times by taking the bold step of evaluating the sustainability of the city. We are cooperating with CLIA on this initiative and we anticipate that, with the knowledge and support of GSTC, new perspectives will be opened for Heraklion as a tourist destination as well as further development of cruise tourism, while respecting sustainability principles”.
GSTC CEO, Randy Durband said: "GSTC applauds the popular destinations of Corfu and Heraklion for taking seriously the imperative for continuous improvement in managing their destinations more sustainably. We also applaud CLIA for its active participation in these endeavours. For our part, GSTC pledges our usual impartiality in delivering objective assessments of the current approaches to sustainable management."
CLIA President and CEO, Kelly Craighead said, “CLIA is delighted to be expanding its partnership with the GSTC on this new initiative jointly with two such important Greek destinations and cruise ports.
The city leadership in Corfu and Heraklion are to be commended for their commitment to mapping a sustainable future for the benefit of both residents and visitors to these popular cities. The cruise industry is dedicated to sustainability and our experience supporting previous sustainability assessments has shown what can be achieved when city leaders, local communities, and industry work together towards a common goal. While we may only be a small part of the tourism sector, we want to play a big part in helping to preserve the heritage and environment of the world’s favourite destinations.”
The GSTC Destination Assessment focuses on four main categories of destination sustainability: destination management and governance; economic benefits to local communities; protection of cultural heritage, community, and visitor well-being; environmental protection and conservation.