CIVITAS cities in Greece and Cyprus unite to promote circular tourism

Rethymno

Image by Unsplash, Igor Ladigin

Rethymno, Larnaca, the region of Crete and the region of Attica are participating in the INCIRCLE project, together with the CIVINET Greece-Cyprus, to devise circular tourism strategies and implement sustainable mobility activities.

The cities and regions have been working closely with the CIVINET Greece-Cyprus since the end of 2019 and other Mediterranean stakeholders, in order to develop local and regional "Circular Tourism Strategies" and to proceed with sustainable mobility activities.

Rethymno, a finalist city for the EU Urban Road Safety Award 2021 and member of the CIVITAS DESTINATIONS project, is the first Greek city to have electric mini-buses. It also aspires to further promote electric mobility in combination with Renewable Energy Sources (RES), which it is doing via a pilot installation of photovoltaic shelters, charging stations for electric cars, bicycles and scooters in two important parking areas of the city.

Larnaca, located in Cyprus, is improving its cycling connections between the city's attractions so that they are more easily accessible to tourists. The city is also developing a digital guide, which will be used by tourists to choose between three Thematic Cycling Routes. Tourists will soon be able to book a bicycle through a mobile application or on a website. In addition, shared bike stations are being installed near local hotels.

Crete and Attica are two regions in Greece known for their sustainable tourism. Both are developing Regional Circular Tourism Strategies in order to help the Municipalities of their region transition to tourism with a lower environmental impact.

Each of the four authorities are located on islands with sizable number of annual tourists - a reality that helps the CIVINET Greece-Cyprus conduct the research needed to develop a Practitioner Briefing on Sustainable Island Mobility Plans (SIMP). The research activities are financially supported by the CIVITAS ELEVATE Activity Fund.  The CIVINET Greece-Cyprus is also the Communication WP Leader and Technical Partner of INCIRCLE.

The four pillars of the INCIRCLE project are Sustainable Mobility, Sustainable Energy, Sustainable Water & Waste Management, but what is of even greater interest to the CIVITAS community are the synergies that could be developed between sustainable mobility and the other three pillars. The production of clean and renewable fuels from renewable energy sources and waste is one the focal points of INCIRCLE. The project is under the sustainable tourism pillar of the Interreg MED programme, with a duration of 32 months and a budget of €3.38M.

Connect with the project at any of the upcoming events:

  • A three-day Circular Tourism event in Aegina 13-15 May 2022, focusing on the island's trails, the coastal ride with conventional and electric bicycles and the discussion with local stakeholders on the Circular Tourism Strategy of the Attica region.
  • Study Visit to Rethymno and Larnaca, May 23-27, 2022
  • Final Project Conference in Barcelona, June 7, 2022

Learn more here.

Author: CIVINET Greece-Cyprus

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