Sustainable Tourism: A Key Focus Area of the 9th Our Ocean Conference

Between April 15-17, Greece is hosting the 9th Our Ocean Global Conference, reaffirming its commitment to transition to a “Blue economy”, to achieve a new balance between economic development, social cohesion, and sustainability. As the host country of the High-Level event, Greece is spearheading global efforts to ensure a new relationship between tourism development, marine environment conservation and overall sustainability of local communities, as sustainable tourism can be a core driver to build resilience to climate change crisis and bridge social cohesion gaps.

Impacts of Climate Change to Tourist Areas

The main impacts of climate change in tourism areas are sea level rise, temperature increase, reduction of rainfall and extreme weather events. At the same time, indirect impacts such as landscape alteration and biodiversity disturbance affect tourism development prospects.

The Benefits of Sustainable Coastal Tourism

Sustainable coastal tourism can support nature conservation funding, generate new and alternative forms of tourism, achieve better markets, and provide more income opportunities for local communities and sea professionals (i.e. divers, fishers), contributing to population attraction and retention. Sustainable tourism is giving birth to a more nature-conscious visitor, who is willing to spend more to protect and enjoy nature, and live like a local with the locals.

Sustainable Tourism in Greece

Greece is as one of the world's leading tourism destinations. In recent years, both the Ministry of Tourism and the private sector have made significant progress, adopting sustainable tourism practices.

Making Greece a leader in sustainable tourism in the wider Mediterranean region is a bet that we must win for the benefit of society and our rich cultural environment. We are placing special focus on the long-term development and resilience of tourism destinations by establishing environmental protection rules. For example, small Greek islands, destinations with special characteristics and rich potential, are offering services that are based on comprehensive sustainability plans.

An Expert Panel on Sustainable Tourism

On Wednesday, April 17th, tune in to the Our Ocean Conference YouTube channel as a global panel of experts come together to discuss how blue economies can protect the ocean through sustainable tourism initiatives.

About the Our Ocean Conference

The Our Ocean Conference (OOC) was first launched under the initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the Secretary of State John Kerry in 2014, aiming to fill in the then-existing gap in global ocean governance. Our Ocean Conference provides an opportunity for ocean leaders and stakeholders to discuss and address the challenges our ocean faces and to demonstrate ocean conservation leadership by making policy, science, funding, partnership, and substantial commitments that will set us on a path to a sustainable future.