What is World Tourism Day:
Tuesday September 27th is UN World Tourism day promoting responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism around the world.
Greece is not renowned for it’s accessibility, with 227 inhabited islands most of which can only be reached by ferry. Their inaccassability is part of their charm and one of the reasons that many have managed to remain unspoilt during the sweep of cheap mass tourism that spread across southern Europe.
Even the larger islands with airports, large resorts and all inclusive hotels still have tucked away places with steep narrow streets, cobbles and amazing world heritage sites that will never be wheelchair friendly.
Responsible and sustainable tourism is something that can be aimed for here and many smaller enterprises around the region are being run with a thought to the ecological impact as well as the aesthetic. It’s a slow movement in Greece but one that I hope will take off when the financial climate here improves.
Here’s links to those who are working in sustainable tourism in Greece now:
Hand Picked Greece with holidays all based around adding to the local community and find the real Greece and her culture in Crete and the Mani.
Natural Greece who specialise in nature tours and holidays across Greece celebrating the ecological diversity of Greece alongside travel that has a low ecological impact.
Elpida Ranch Rhodes horse riding holidays in southern Rhodes run by a family who put you in touch with the environment and local community they instinctively based on sustainable ecology.
That the Greek economy is heavily dependent on tourism is of no surprise, but how many tourists think about the impact of their travel on the country they are visiting. There are a few things you can do:
Be a responsible tourist by:
- Buy local produce, check the labels and make sure what you buy was actually made in Greece and if possible on the island or region you are visiting.
- Hire a local guide you’ll learn a lot more than a guidebook can ever tell you.
- Do not buy produce made from endangered species (plants or animals) hard woods or ancient artefacts
- Respect local cultures, traditions and holy places. Carry a wrap to cover shoulders or knees when entering an orthodox church and cover up when coming away from the beach or pool to enter a bar, cafe, taverna or shop.
- Walk, use public transport or a bicycle where possible. Many hotels now provide bikes and there is the Cyclopolis bike share scheme in Rhodes town and several other locations across Greece.
- Use water and electricity sparingly. Don’t leave taps running, turn off the air-conditioning when you go out for day and lights in rooms and places you’re not using.
- Take your rubbish with you when travelling around and don’t throw cigarette ends out of cars. There’s a high risk of fires during summer and they are too easily started by accident.
- Lastly ask for local produce in restaurants and bars, every region of the country produces great food and drink. With the freshest vegetables and fish, honey and fruit from the hills, locally made Rhodescco, wines, metaxa, ouzo, raki or mastika. The best goat, lamp and pork slow cooked to perfection. There’s no reason to not enjoy Greece.
World Tourism Day in Rhodes – 5 free things you can do on September 27th 2016
- The Rhodes museum of modern Greek art has three galleries that are all free to enter on the day, with exhibitions of engravings and art of the 20th century, open from 8am on the day you can find out more here.
- There will be a presentation of tourism awards at 11am in the City Hall in Mandraki Rhodes.
- You can get a free tour of Rhodes town on the tourist train running from Aktaion from 3-7pm
- For music lovers there will be an a performance of “melodic exploration” with the Philharmonic orchestra from 6pm at D’Ambrose gate of the medieval city.
- Finally across the island there will be traditional festivals with music and dancing in the main squares as follows:
- Theologos from 7pm
- Afandou from 7pm
- Faliraki from 7.30pm
- Lindos from 8pm
- Lardos from 8.30pm
5 more things you could do in Rhodes today:
- Take a walk around the new town, with it’s Italian architecture there’s more to discover about Rhodes than just the medieval walled town.
- Visit some places completely off the tourist map and travel around the island. There’s a wonderful selection of villages, tavernas and beaches just waiting to be discovered.
- Wander around a village like Lachania and stop for a long lazy lunch at a taverna. Travelling slow is an idea I really like, take you time and really get to discover a place, find out what it’s like in the morning over coffee and stay until supper.
- Discover some of the Ottoman history of Rhodes and see where the Sultans visited. Ruling over the island for around 400 years there’s evidence of them around every corner, they brought mosques, baths and mansions to the city. Enclosing balconies in wood and adding to the mix that make Rhodes what is today.
- Or find long forgotten Italian history in a deserted village square in the hills. The island became Italian in 1912 they brought municipal planning, building and new farming methods to the island.
Share you experiences using the hashtags #tourism4all #WTD2016
What will you be doing on World Tourism Day? If you found this interesting and useful please comment and share, Thank you