Presentation of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe programme during the UNWTO 1st International Western Silk Road Workshop
George Kalamantis, representative of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture to the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes (EPA), gave a presentation about the Cultural Routes programme with an emphasis on the Routes going through Greece during the 1st International UNWTO Western Silk Road Workshop. This event was help in Alexandroupoli, Greece on 26-27 April 2017 and was jointly organized by the UNWTO (World Tourism Organisation), the Ministry of Tourism of Greece and the region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace.
The Western Silk Road Tourism Development Initiative aims to bring together different stakeholders in Europe with a view to promoting the Western Silk Road as a tourism destination. This will eventually lead to intensified regional and cross-border cooperation and a new interpretation of the European Silk Road heritage. A Memorandum of Cooperation signed in 2016 between the UNWTO and the Council of Europe fostering cultural tourism development aims to create synergies between the UNWTO and the Cultural Routes programme.
Three main topics were discussed during the Workshop: the challenges and opportunities to develop the Western Silk Road as a trans-national tourism route, the marketing potential of the Route, and how to concretely ensure the project’s long-term success and viability. As part of the discussions, a Western Silk Road Work Group has been established in charge of guaranteeing a coordinated approach. A 2nd International Western Silk Road Workshop, will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria on 27-28 June 2017 to further discuss and concretize the issue.