In January 2016, local authorities launched the “Aegean Islands. Like No Other” campaign developed in association with SETE to promote the region up to 2020 by highlighting the specific qualities of each island. The campaign includes four components: beach, cultural, religious tourism and weekend tour packages, which account for 80% of international tourist arrivals in the country.
The strategy includes state-supported promotion of the Cyclades as a destination for gastro-tourism. Greece will invest €3.2 million in a local agricultural support programme, which includes opening specialised stores on the islands and in Athens, installing vending machines with local produce in ports and airports, and an online platform for retail trade and wholesale distribution. According to SETE president Yannis Retsos, the organisation’s goal is to bring together companies from different economic sectors (e.g., agricultural and cultural) to enhance the quality of goods and services Greece offers tourists.
“The South Aegean islands were named the European Region of Gastronomy 2019 by the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Art and Tourism (IGCAT)”
Local authorities are actively investing in cultural immersion activities available on the islands and expanding the geography of traditional events. For instance, the animation festival AnimaSiros, one of Greece’s largest cultural events held annually on Syros since 2008, will also take place on the islands of Kimolos, Sikinos and Folegandros.