Green Destinations 2022 Conference, hosted by the City of Athens under the auspices of the Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO), was kicked off on Tuesday, 27 September 2022, as ‘World Tourism Day’, with 250 delegates from 43 countries discussing seven panel events and two workshops.
In the opening session, the delegates were welcomed by the keynotes, who addressed the gathering on sustainable tourism and resource governance challenges and solutions. The keynotes for Day 1 included Alexia Panagiotopoulou (Head Of Strategy at Athens Development and Destination Management Agency), Albert Salman (President, Green Destinations), Dr Ioannis Pappas (Director, Mediterranean Region at Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)), and Vasileios Foivos Axiotis (Vice Mayor of Athens in Urban & Building Infrastructure and City Planning).
Further, the morning session featured a Workshop by Grow with Google: Communicating your eco-friendly practices effectively to grow your business, a Regional Event called the Sustainable Tourism Balkans, and an enlightening event on DGI Tourism: Promoting sustainable thinking in vocational education and training in tourism. This was succeeded by National Event: Sustainable Tourism Greece Conference and a workshop by Outdooractive: The magic of content-based platform marketing – How to put your sustainable destination on the travelers’ map.
The evening program of World Tourism Day took place at the iconic Kypseli Municipal Market and marked the unveiling ceremony for the 2022 Top 100 Story competition. 100 destinations showcasing exemplary destination management practices toward a responsible future for tourism were acknowledged for their efforts. The ceremony was followed by a special Gala Dinner, where 12 destinations accepted their Green Destinations Awards and Certification as listed below:
- Wagrain-Kleinarl (Austria) – Green Destinations Certified
- Åsnen (Sweden) – Green Destinations Award Platinum
- Royal Djurgården (Sweden) – Green Destinations Award Platinum
- Vail (USA) – Mountain IDEAL Certified
- Cascais-Estoril (Portugal) QualityCoast Award Gold
- Torroella de Montgrí-L’Estartit (Spain) Green Destinations Award Gold
- Bagnoles de l’Orne (France) – Green Destinations Award Gold
- Agueda (Portugal) – Green Destinations Award Silver
- Kamaishi (Japan) – Green Destinations Award Silver
- Sun Moon Lake (Taiwan) – Green Destinations Award Silver
- Mali Lošinj (Croatia) Green Destinations Award Silver
- Tivat (Montenegro) – Green Destinations Award Bronze
Green Destinations 2022 Conference continues until the 29 September 2022, featuring Day 2, Sustainable Tourism Stories, which is dedicated to the sharing of good practices in the tourism industry, for both destinations and businesses, and Day 3, ‘Future of Tourism Summit: “Creating a Climate for Collaboration”, which aims to bring together destinations, communities, and the travel industry towards climate resilience and climate action.