Sustainable tourism means the enhancement and protection of the natural resources and the environment, of the natural surroundings, of the culture and the history. Sustainable tourism also means the supporting of the local community. It is a continuous process of improvement of the services offered in the cities, the rural and coastal areas, the mountainous areas, the protected areas, while the role of the tourism enterprises is critical.
In the context of the GreenSpots project, researches in all areas of the project (Rodopi, Xanthi, Evros, Hascovo, Chepelare and Rudozem) were carried out and a large number of natural and cultural resources (wetlands, beaches, mountains, special landscapes, archaeological resources, Byzantine monuments, Ottoman monuments, monuments of Modern Times, historical places) that can be enhanced in the logic of the development of a sustainable tourism, were identified. Proposals on the creation of thematic routes by promoting the activation and the synergy of all local bodies (Local Authorities, Culture Agencies, Environmental Agencies, etc.) have been designed.
Also, the accommodation businesses & the restaurants will have to respond to the logic of sustainable tourism. The sustainable “green" tourism enterprises, beside saving money to the owner, conserve natural resources and contribute to the development of the local economy while promoting environmental awareness to residents and visitors in the area. Under the GreenSpots project, standards for those enterprises to adopt for achieving sustainability were prepared by the Development Company of the Municipality of Komotini, “K. Karatheodori”.
60 criteria to be met by the accommodation businesses and the restaurants were selected. Criteria in the logic that “small changes and efforts can make a big difference”. The level of response by tourism businesses is vital for achieving sustainable tourism. Besides, at destination level, the support and the commitment of the Unions, representing those enterprises, is essential.
The protection & enhancement of natural and cultural resources in conjunction with the upgrading of the tourism services under the concept of sustainability and the development of partnerships between local authorities and enterprises will make the areas attractive, highlighting their uniqueness.
More information can be found on the project website www.greenspots tourism.eu and the phone number +30- 25310 – 23165.