Kassianidou: The integration of culture in tourism initiatives is crucial

It can play a decisive role in the promotion of sustainable development goals, in the promotion of economic development

tourismos paulikkas.original Tourism, Deputy Minister of Culture

Incorporating creativity and culture into tourism initiatives can play a key role in promoting sustainable development goals, promoting economic development and preserving cultural heritage, the Deputy Minister of Culture, Vasiliki Kassianidou, said on Thursday.

Ms. Kassianidou was speaking during the 1st International Creative Event - The Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative (CSTI), in the framework of the European Project "Let's create a legacy of the SDGs - SDG Culheritage", in Lefkara Conference Center.

The Deputy Minister of Culture said that "it is necessary to recognize that culture and creativity are at the core of sustainable development". Indeed, he continued, "by incorporating creativity and culture into tourism initiatives, we can play a key role in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), promoting economic development, preserving cultural heritage and promoting environmental sustainability." .

He added that the substantial cooperation between the Deputy Ministries of Tourism and Culture has led to significant synergies, especially in the promotion of cultural heritage.

"Our rich cultural heritage promotes Cyprus as an attractive holiday destination worldwide. However, as we support culturally vulnerable destinations, our commitment to sustainability remains unwavering" Ms. Kassianidou pointed out, adding that this commitment includes prioritizing responsible behavior and the preservation of cultural and environmental resources, ensuring that they remain intact in order to to be appreciated and enjoyed by future generations.

"Our commitment to the preservation of the cultural and natural heritage of Cyprus is a cornerstone of our efforts, in line with the principles defined in the International Conventions of Granada and Florence" said the Deputy Minister of Culture.

He also noted that archaeological sites and monuments transcend their historical significance to become dynamic centers of education, sustainability and social engagement.

He explained that this effort emphasizes the transformation of museums and spaces into educational hubs that support sustainability and green development, promoting cultural tourism as a diversified form of travel, deeply rooted in environmental values ​​and respect for local culture, thus cultivating a new type of tourist mentality.

Ms. Kassianidou also pointed out that there is an emphasis on utilizing monuments and archaeological sites as catalysts for the development of the local community, creating economic benefits through small-scale businesses and employment opportunities, and involving local people in the conservation and management of these sites.

On the other hand, he continued, the Department of Contemporary Culture is actively engaged with concepts and innovation initiatives in Smart Tourism and Smart Destinations, focusing on the interaction between cultural heritage, digitization and sustainability. "This effort is aligned with the "Smart Tourism" framework of the European Commission and the "Smart Destinations" initiative of the United Nations World Tourism Organization," he said.

He further explained that the Department is currently drafting a proposal of principles on the policies and strategies that guide the development, planning, management, operation and promotion of smart cultural tourism in Cyprus with an emphasis on contemporary culture. Mrs. Kassianidou underlined that this initiative aims to encourage sustainable, responsible policies and actions in tourism, combining modern culture with innovation and cohesion.

He also added that the Cyprus Handicrafts Service embodies "our commitment to preserve traditional craftsmanship and at the same time propel it into the future through innovation, supporting our local craftsmen and artisans in adapting to the dynamics of the global market".

At the same time, the Deputy Minister of Culture stated that all departments and services of the Deputy Ministry actively comply with initiatives such as the "ICOMOS International Charter for Cultural Heritage Tourism", which emphasizes strengthening the protection of cultural heritage and community resilience through sustainable tourism management.

Ms. Kassianidou pointed out that while remarkable progress has been made in integrating sustainability into cultural and tourism initiatives, it is clear that more efforts are needed to fully achieve the goals. "The path to sustainable development is continuous, requiring our commitment to adapt and grow," he said.

He said that the involvement of cultural and creative organizations such as CSTI in adopting the principles of sustainable development is crucial as it encourages innovation and conveys the message of sustainability in line with the EU framework, which puts sustainability at its core.

Source: KYPE