The World Tourism Forum (UNWTO) has agreed with the Greek Ministry of Tourism to establish the first research station dedicated to measuring the sustainable development of coastal and maritime tourism across the Mediterranean.

Coastal and Maritime tourism is one of the most important economic drivers within the Mediterranean basin. Greece aspires the Research Center to become a reference point for the study and protection of coasts and seas in the Mediterranean.

The new monitoring centre will be based at the University of the Aegean. From there, experts will capture and collate measurement data and analysis relating to the environmental, economic, and social impact of tourism.

“This new research centre can provide key data to guide the restart and future development of the sector, ensuring it fulfils its potential to provide opportunity for coastal communities and to protect and celebrate natural and cultural heritage” UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said.

Greek Minister of Tourism, Harry Theoharis, and Secretary General of UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili, sign the deal for the establishement Coastal and Maritime Tourism Research and Monitoring Centre at the High Level Conference on Coastal and Maritime Tourism

The United Nations specialized agency and the Ministry of Tourism confirmed their collaboration on the initiative during the UNWTO High-Level Conference on Coastal and Maritime Tourism, held in Athens and co-hosted by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and Celebrity Cruises.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Global Chairman of CLIA and Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises added: “As part of the cruise industry’s commitment to responsible travel, CLIA is pursuing carbon neutral cruising in Europe by 2050, and we work closely with cruise destinations and coastal communities to support economic growth in a sustainable manner.”

Greece has been re-elected Chair of the UNWTO Commission for Europe for the 2021-2023 period.