Sustainable Sailing in Greece: GNTO UK Promotes Eco-Conscious Tourism

Sustainable Sailing in Greece: GNTO UK Promotes Eco-Conscious Tourism

GNTO UK Presents ‘Sustainable Sailing in Greece’ Guide for Responsible Seafaring

The Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) office in the UK & Ireland, in collaboration with the Ionian Environment Foundation (IEF), unveiled a new guide promoting responsible sailing in Greece during a special event in London last week. The guide, titled “Sustainable Sailing in Greece,” was authored by environmentalist Christina Archer and financially supported by the IEF.

Christina Archer, in a statement via her LinkedIn account, expressed her aim to provide practical guidance to the hundreds of thousands of summer visitors who sail the Ionian seas. She emphasised the importance of engaging visitors in conversations about protecting Greece's coastal communities and waters. According to Archer, a sustainable sailing sector can play a crucial role in preserving marine ecosystems and supporting the development of coastal communities.

The guide offers valuable insights into responsible sailing practices in Greek seas and promotes maritime activities that do not harm the marine environment. It also encourages sustainable practices both on and off-board.

GNTO UK Presents ‘Sustainable Sailing in Greece’ Guide for Responsible Seafaring
From left: Simon Karythis, CEO Ionian Environment Foundation; Eleni Skarveli, GNTO UK & Ireland Office Director; Claire Shields, country operations manager at Sunsail; Rod Heikell, writer; and Christine Archer, the writer of the guide. Photo source: GNTO

The event, also titled "Sustainable Sailing in Greece," featured Eleni Skarveli, the GNTO UK & Ireland Office Director; Simon Karythis, CEO of the Ionian Environment Foundation; Greece’s Ambassador to London, Ioannis Tsaousis; Claire Shields, Country Operations Manager at Sunsail; writer Rod Heikell; and guide author Christina Archer.

The initiative is targeted at the UK market, where approximately 10,000 Britons opt for sailing trips each year, according to GNTO data. The event concluded with an open discussion moderated by Archer, focusing on the collaborative efforts needed among crew members and the significance of providing visitors with more information for their holidays.

The "Sustainable Sailing in Greece" guide serves as a comprehensive resource for sailors, offering essential information to promote responsible navigation practices in Greek seas. Supported and funded by the Ionian Environment Foundation, the guide was officially presented on December 6 at an event organised by the UK & Ireland EOT Service and the Ionian Environment Foundation at the embassy residence in London.

Acknowledging the traditional affinity the British have with the sea and maritime tourism, the guide aligns with Greece's commitment to sustainable tourism development and the protection of marine ecosystems and Natura areas. The event aimed to inform and bolster the preservation of the unique marine biodiversity found in Greek islands.

The guide includes useful instructions for responsible navigation in Greek seas as well as measures to ensure that maritime activities do not harm the marine environment and the promotion of sustainable practices both on and off-board, encouraging environmental responsibility.

The event kicked off with a greeting from Greek Ambassador Ioannis Tsoousis and a welcome from Eleni Skarveli, Head of the EOT UK & Ireland Service. Skarveli spoke of the EOT's commitment to promoting environmental protection initiatives and highlighted the importance of the Sustainable Sailing Guide, which will be featured on the Sustainable platform Greece.co.uk.

The subsequent discussion, moderated by Christine Archer, featured Pip Tyler, Director of Neilson Active Holidays; Claire Shields, Country Operations Manager of Sunsail; and Rod Heikell, author and sailor. The panel underscored the necessity for crew members to collaborate and underlined the importance of better informing holidaymakers visiting Greece about responsible practices.

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