Status: in progress
Categorization: tourism, local development
Period: 24.05.2021 / 24.05.2025
Name: Vaso Papadopoulou
Organization: ANATOLIKI S.A. - Organization for Local Developmen
Contact address: 1st Km Thermis -Triadiou (Gold Center N. 9), P.O. Box: 60497, 57001 Thermi, Greece
Summary description: The Local Action Plan for Sustainable Tourism for the Municipality of Aristotle has been developed in the frame of the INTERREG MED "SUSTOWNS-enhancing SUStainable tourism attraction in small fascinating med TOWNS" co-financed by ERDF and IPA. The Local Action Plan has been developed with a participatory approach, in order to address and prevent the decline of regional tourism and enhance the sustainable tourism development in the whole Municipality, using tools and Methodology that developed in the frame of the SUSTOWNS project. The Methodology applied concerns the approach of total quality management regarding the governance and management of sustainable tourism, in order to ensure the clear participation of all the area's stakeholders, as well as the continuous improvement of the Plan itself, aiming at the implementation of sustainable and responsible tourism in the Municipality. The Plan consists of a record of the current situation of the Municipality regarding tourism, a SWOT analysis and a 4 year Action Plan with proposed actions and measures, aiming to enhance sustainable tourism in the area. For the implementation of the Local Action Plan, the Municipality of Aristotle have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, expressing its commitment for the implementation of the proposed measures and the willingness to promote and implement sustainable tourism practices in the area.
EU Challenges for sustainable tourism: (iv) reducing the seasonality of demand
Reason of interest for COASTING: The main aim of the Local Action Plan for Sustainable Tourism and the MoU for the commitment of the implementation of the proposed actions and activities, is to enhance sustainable tourism development in the Municipality of Aristotle. The priorities and the goals of Local Action Plan are totally in line with the priorities of the COASTING project, which also aims at enhancing sustainable tourism development and governance, using a different approach. Furthermore, the pilot area where the Methodology of COASTING is going to be implemented in Greece is the island of Ammouliani which is a part of the Municipality of Aristotle.
: 0.00 €
Financial sources: The Action Plan for sustainable tourism for the Municipality of Aristotle has not been funded yet. It contains actions for the enhancement of sustainable tourism in the Municipality in five different Axes: 1) Destination Management and Promotion, 2) Touristic Products and Hospitality, 3) Cultural Heritage and Identity, 4) Natural Heritage and Environmental Quality and 5) Crisis Management. The main funding sources that are described inside the plan for the actual implementation of the proposed actions are Municipal Own Resources, the Green Fund, the Interreg MED programme, the ROP of Central Macedonia, the Leader CLLD programme, the NSRF 2021-2027, the YMEPERAA 2014-2020, the A. Tritsis programme etc.
Territorial context: The Municipality of Aristotle is located at the Regional Unit of Chalkidiki, Region of Central Macedonia, Greece. It occupies an area of 747.9 km2 and it took its name from the homonymous ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, whose birthplace was the ancient Stageira, located in the Municipality of Aristotle. Based on the latest census of population held in 2011, the population of the Municipality is 18.294 inhabitants, showing an increasing trend compared to the census of 2001. The area consists of highly important natural features, as it consists of mountainous and forest areas, ending in open sea, acquiring a total of over 240 km of beaches. Furthermore, monuments and historical sites are located within its administrative boundaries, such as the Hellenic city of Stageira, the Canal of Xerxes, the ancient Akanthos, the Monastery of Zygos, the Metropolitan church of Arnaia etc. Since the Municipality is characterized as the Gate to the Holy Mount Athos, the presence of pilgrimage tourism in the area is important.
Relation to policies and strategies: The Local Action Plan for the Municipality of Aristotle has been developed in the frame of the project INTERREG MED "SUSTOWNS - enhancing SUStainable tourism attraction in small fascinating med TOWNS". The project has been approved in the frame of the 5th Call for Modular Projects of the MED 2014-2020 Programme, under the Priority Axis 3.1: To enhance the development of a sustainable and responsible coastal and maritime tourism in the MED Area.
Regulation framework: Due to the fact that the Local Action Plan for Sustainable Tourism for the Municipality of Aristotle has been developed in the frame of the INTERREG MED 2014-2020 Programme, it applies all of its procedures and regulations.
Objectives: The overall objective is to increase the local tourist vocation, generating opportunities and economic benefits for operators, through structured and co-designed tourism policies. In particular, the main objective is to develop local policies that sustain tourist flows, while respecting the characteristics of the historical, cultural, social and natural heritage. The main aim is to ensure sustainable tourist flows over time in the Municipality of Aristotle and to preserve the social and cultural specificities, ensuring the growth of local business activities.
Developers (and governance): The Local Action Plan for Sustainable Tourism has been developed with a participatory approach. At the start of its implementation, a Local Focus Group created with parties and individuals interested in the development of sustainable tourism in the area. The Local Focus Group (LFG) included Municipal representatives, associations, NGO's, Universities, enterprises, individual and representatives of the Region of Central Macedonia. The role of the LFG was critical for the development of the Plan. Several meetings were organized for the participation of all the different parties. A draft version of the Plan was also sent to the LFG members, in order to review it and express their opinion on the topics addressed.
Beneficiaries: The Beneficiaries of the Plan are the Municipality of Aristotle, the different tourism actors operating in the area and the citizens of the Municipality in general. From the participatory approach of the development of the Plan, several people had the chance to attend trainings and meetings, raising the awareness among them on issues related to sustainability. Furthermore, the Plan's goal is the rejuvenation of the area through sustainable tourism development. Taking into account that the results of the Plan are long-term with the condition that it will be implemented, the final beneficiaries will be mainly everyone involved in the tourism value chain in the Municipality of Aristotle and the citizens, in general.
Innovation aspects: The elaboration of the Action Plan for sustainable tourism for the Municipality of Aristotle was based on the Methodology created in the frame of the SUSTOWNS project. The innovative aspect of the Methodology for the elaboration of the Plan relies on the fact that it was based on three different theoretical aspects: 1) The Total Quality Management based on tools to promote the sustainable and time-sustained tourism in small towns, 2) The Butler's Tourism Area Life Cycle Model and 3) the principles of Sustainable Development.
Actions: The main actions implemented for the elaboration of the Local Action Plan for the Municipality of Aristotle were: 1) Creation of the Local Focus Group (LFG), including several parties and individuals interested in sustainable tourism. 2)Trainings aimed for local stakeholders to learn about sustainable development principles and good practices. 3) Meetings with the LFG members aimed at the participatory elaboration of the Plan and raising the awareness among them on sustainability issues. 4) The Draft Action Plan was sent to the LFG members to review it and propose additional actions to be included. 5) The elaboration of the Action Plan for Sustainable Tourism and the MoU signed by the Municipality with the commintment of inplementing the proposed Actions.
Stakeholders involvement: The Local Action Plan for Sustainable Tourism for the Municipality of Aristotle was developed with a participatory approach. The LFG members attended meetings, where a draft version of the Plan was presented, allowing them to express their opinion on the topics addressed and also, propose actions to be included. During the online meetings that were implemented, the involvement and participation of everyone was achieved using online participatory platforms and tools.
Results achieved: The final outcome of all the activities was the elaboration of the Local Action Plan for Sustainable Tourism for the Municipality of Aristotle and the MoU signed by the Municipality, committing to implement the proposal. The Action Plan tried to include all the different aspects of sustainable tourism development in the area and was based on 5 Strategic Axis: 1) Destination Management and Promotion, 2) Touristic Products and Hospitality, 3) Cultural Heritage and Identity, 4) Natural Heritage and Environmental Quality and 5) Crisis Management. The Municipality of Aristotle, after the finalization of the Plan, has now a list of proposed Actions for the next four years, aiming to enhance the sustainable tourism development in the area.
Potential for learning and transfer
Challenges and obstacles: The biggest obstacle for the elaboration of the Plan was the pandemia of COVID-19 and the fact that many of the meetings were organized in an online form. Especially at the beginning of the spread of the virus, many of the Local Stakeholders were not familiar with the use and the participation in online meetings. We overcame this obstacle through continuous consultation and guidance to everyone.
Success factors: The biggest success of the Plan was the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Municipality of Aristotle, committing to implement the proposal. The next challenge is the implementation of the action plan and the successful rejuvenation of the area through sustainable tourism.
Transferability in COASTING project: Due to the fact that both projects deal with sustainable tourism and because both projects have as an area of implementation the Municipality of Aristotle in Greece, many of the actions listed in the Action Plan for Sustainable Tourism for the Municipality of Aristotle can be applied in the ICZM protocol that will be developed for the island of Ammouliani. Furthermore, the local action plan for sustainable tourism, developed in the frame of the SUSTOWNS project, represents a different approach for the enhancement of Sustainable Tourism Development in the area.