Evangelos Kekatos: Kefalonia's Deputy Mayor of Tourism interview

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Kefalonia's Deputy Mayor of Tourism interview

Deputy Mayor of Culture and Tourism of the beautiful Greek island of Kefalonia Evangelos Kekatos outlines the strategy for its promotion as a very special destination in the international market ιn an interview to Tornos News (www.tornosnews.com):

1.What are the challenges and prospects of tourism development in your region? 

Kefalonia is a steadily rising travel destination with many significant alternative forms of tourism developing in an organized fashion on the island. It offers many interesting activities that create the potential for further tourism development. The targeted promotion of the island at numerous international exhibitions and tourism related events in close cooperation with travel agents, journalists and opinion leaders abroad definitely enhances the desire to visit Kefalonia.

2. Do you have a specific plan in order to promote the tourist attractions and competitive advantages of your region?

Of course, we have a tourism development plan and programme, which is organized by the Chairman and the members of the Municipality’s Tourist Board and approved for implementation by the Municipal Council. 

Its principal axes, briefly put, include:

-Strengthening of marine tourism with the cruise ship sector as top priority
-Development of new markets along with strengthening of existing ones 
-Strong presence with our own pavilion in selected international exhibitions 
-Presentation of alternative forms of tourism on the island
-Collaboration in the form of twinning and partnership pacts with areas we consider important for our development 
-Cooperation with low cost airlines
-Strengthening the island’s cultural profile as a strong competitive advantage, through cultural events in Greece and abroad 
-Educational Workshops in cooperation with local stakeholders for further improvement of tourism services
 -Promotion of the island's green profile by encouraging statutory ecological accreditations in accordance with official European standards
 -Island promotion actions in cooperation with the Ionian Islands Regional Government 
-Active participation in conferences and publicity that showcases the tourism advantages of the island  
-Advertising the security and absence of crime on the island that characterizes it as the ultimate safe destination
-Care about accessibility for disabled guests or elderly people


3. What specific EU funded 2014-2020 programs are allocated for tourism in your Region?

We continue the utilization of European programs through INTEREG as collateral tourism activities, such as a "stone crafting" co-op and an aquarium, to act as additional poles of attraction. We also complete our own web site presenting Kefalonia, as an island of great tourist and cultural interest.

4. How can your region prolong the tourist season? 

The extension of the tourist season, is one of the most important priorities of the tourism policy of the island. For this reason, specific actions such as conferences, festivals, historic events, educational content partnerships with institutions abroad etc. are planned and implemented mostly during the May-June and September-October periods. A critical factor for sustainable development is the coordination of the local market with the season extension, so that it will be able to function, even when the island is less crowded.

5. What measures or initiatives are required for this long awaited objective to be realized?

Development goals, naturally, are designed with a short-term and a long-term time horizon. Continuous monitoring by the Tourism Commission with parallel adjustment to evolving data, e.g. an unpredictable earthquake, is our substantial and qualitative growth compass. 

Defining indisputably realistic objectives along with a sustainable progress of development which will not alter the island's character remains our strict priority.

We continue to invest in "the smile of the visitor" who honours us by his preference and we want, in our way, to appoint him as an "Ambassador of our island to his country".    

 RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

 

 

 

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