The increasing tourist demand for unspoiled destinations and personalized services, together with the extension of the tourist season, create the right mix for the development of agrotourism. Greece’s rich natural environment and long agricultural tradition place it in a central position for the introduction of new tourist products that take advantage of new global trends. Attempts are being made to develop the agrotourism sector that can take advantage of Greece’s competitive advantages in this area.
Agrotourism is an attractive form of sustainable tourism for rural areas that aims at bringing the visitor in touch with the natural environment, agricultural activities, local products, and a community’s lifestyle, while at the same time allows investors to develop a product still in its early stages.
The number of rural destinations in Greece is significant and there has been an increase in accommodations to cater to visitors. Tourists, however, desire a wide variety of activities that can accommodate a variety of interests and all family members. In this regard, the potential of the sector is great and is why Agrotouristiki S.A., a new company to promote agritourism, has become active in this area. One of Agrotouristiki's goals is to set, control, and promote quality criteria at a national level.
Agrotouristiki cooperates with ELKE and Hellenic Tourist Properties to attract private funds from Greece and abroad for the creation of large alternative tourism units.
Overall, the company’s mission is to develop agrotourism in Greece through a number of strategies:
- The development of a pilot agrotourism network in Greece (Agrotouring Hellas Net).
- The strategic planning, organization, and monitoring of agrotourism activities.
- The establishment of agrotourism certification based on high-quality standards.
- The promotion of agrotourism and other alternative forms of tourism
Agrotouristiki S.A., through its departments of Strategic Planning, Certification and Promotion, is focusing on
- the design of studies and business plans for the agrotourism development of regions, prefectures, and entire districts.
- the design of regional and intra-district networks for promotion.
- the seeking out and registering of target regions for light tourism development.
- the reinforcement of the educational infrastructure.
- entrepreneurial support.
- technical consultancy services.
- planning and monitoring of ecotourism programs.
- joint investments in agritourism.
- evaluation and implementation of investment plans (208 investment proposals have been submitted up to now, a limited number of which is being directly promoted for implementation (5 units).
- designing and establishing quality guidelines for agrotourism products and services.
- setting up certification procedures for conducting quality control of products and services.
- designing and establishing a Quality Seal for Agritourism.
- raising awareness and providing training on quality systems to organizations involved in agrotourism.
- promoting Greek agriotourism by integrating it in the country’s advertising tourism campaign and at the same time promoting agritourism separately as a form of alternative tourism in Greece.
Agrotouristiki cooperates with ELKE and Hellenic Tourist Properties to attract private funds from Greece and abroad for the creation of large alternative tourism units, with a total investment budget of more than Euro 150,000).
Agrotouristiki is supporting and promoting other forms of alternative tourism, as well. A Master Plan on Ecotourism and a network of Ecotourism Routes near Olympic cities are being designed with the support and advice of the General Secretary of Tourism and the Greek National Tourism Organization.
The Company aims to take on the role of national coordinator in the creation of a national policy for agritourism, creating the necessary conditions to establish it as a successful sector of the tourist economy in Greece.