The program “Sustainable Development of Less Developed Regions and Isolated Areas by Creating New Touristic Resources and Products through Analysis, Documentation and Modelling of Cultural Assets using Innovative ICT Applications s (AEI)” started in June of 2021


September-October 2022 Greek Business File, Issue No 139


by Antonia Moropoulou

AEI program concerns the following areas: The regional unit of Aetolia-Acarnania (Aitoloakarnania), the Municipality of East Mani, Central and Northern Euboea, Chios island and the Islands of the Dodecanese Chalki, Symi, Kastelorizo and Kasos. Small islands and other isolated areas can exploit the benefits of the revealing and reuse of natural, cultural and architectural assets in a way that new tourism products might be produced and external economies could be attracted towards sustainable development.

Since overexploitation of the abovementioned resources could lead to their deterioration, it is important to provide procedures and measures for their protection and rehabilitation. Thus, the development planning is performed within the concept of circular economy. The procedure of producing concrete results, according to the project’s methodology, comprises the analysis, documentation, modelling and management of the Cultural and Environmental assets, the assessment and evaluation of the potential revealing and reuse towards new tourism products and, finally, the synthesis of proposals of alternative cultural routes along with emblematic interventions to connect the traditional residential cores, to rehabilitate and reuse historical buildings, to restore traditional agricultural and fishery practices within agrotourism, to protect traditional agricultural constructions — such as the series of terraces called “anavathmides,” cisterns, mills and “mitata,” small, stone masonry rural buildings. The aim of these proposals is also to enhance and reinforce entrepreneurial initiatives and promote the employment of youth, in order to support the local economy and achieve social cohesion.

The main hurdles of these efforts are:

• First of all, the lack of informationof the local communities about the development potentials existing in these directions. To this end, we organised dialogue with the locals, in cooperation with Municipalities, inviting representatives of Political Parties and local stakeholders.
• The lack of knowledge for funding schemes and financing tools along with the incapacity to manage on integrated local level divertive provenance of resources. To this end, we are developing with our partners a geo-informatics platform, with all interventions allocated within GIS system and a development platform to use various tools for the implementation of different proposals.
• Among the main hurdles is the lack of coordination of central policies on local level and to this end, after one year of discussions, research and production of concrete results, NTUA, Technical Chamber of Greece, Mayors and Regional Governance have organised a circle of presentations of our proposals, inviting Government and Administration representatives. Presentations took place in Euboea, Aitoloakarnania, Mani, Symi, Chalki, Kastelorizo and Kasos…

The full article is published in the September-October 2022 Greek Business Filehere.