The City of Athens and the Athens Development and Destination Management Agency (ADDMA) have commissioned an assessment of Athens as a sustainable tourism destination, Travel Daily News reported. The assessment has been commissioned in partnership with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and will will include more than 70 on-site evaluations in the neighborhoods and parks of Athens. Museums, archaeological sites and other attractions will also be assessed.
The Mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakoyannis, commented on the city’s strategy for sustainable development and said that the principles of sustainability were already embedded in the DNA of the city.
All of this is part of a strategy that gives emphasis to our urban lungs by reviving the city’s greenery. For this purpose, in fact, we have quadrupled our budgetKostas Bakoyannis, Mayor of Athens
Bakoyannis announced that certain important sites would be undergoing important upgrades and restorations. Some of the sites included Lycabettus Hill, one of the city’s most visible and crucial urban lungs, the National Gardens, Strefi Hill and at Plato’s Academy, as well as interventions on the hills west of the Acropolis.
The mayor noted that there are large projects like the “Double Regeneration” on Alexandras Avenue and in the Botanikos neighborhood. There are other small projects such the reconstruction of sidewalks in neighborhoods throughout Athens that will be done with better, more sustainable materials.
We are fighting for every square meter of public space. This is not an easy fight. It would not be easy in any city. But every square meter that you release and re-use is a square meter wonKostas Bakoyannis, Mayor of Athens
He went on to underline that Athens is actively embracing the “green revolution” that is taking shape across Europe. The city will submit its climate action plan for consultation at the UN Climate Change Conference taking place in Glasgow in November of this year.
Bakoyannis addressed the issue of waste recycling and noted that the level of recycling in city was at 2% when he took office. He announced that the city has 20 new trucks to collect waste for recycling, and that by 2022 the level could certainly be close to 10%, up from the current 5%.
We are preparing to move on to the next phase, which is to install underground waste bins. We have already renewed 90% of our equipment, we have reorganized the waste management system, and now I dare say that Athens is cleaner than everKostas Bakoyannis, Mayor of Athens
The certification of Athens as a sustainable tourism destination will help the city to compete with other major European destinations, attracting visitors to experience the local quality of life while supporting the city’s efforts in destination management. “This program program for Athens is only at the starting point, and it requires more than one term. It is more than the work of a single mayor,” Bakoyannis said.
As part of the assessment process, online workshops will provide city leaders with training on sustainable practices. Courses in sustainable tourism will provide participants with GSTC certification.