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Posidonia launches Sea Tourism Forum


The potential for sea tourism and its significance as a key factor in the development of the economies of Greece, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea region will be examined in depth during the first Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum, scheduled to take place in Athens next summer.
Under the heading, ‘The Challenge for Greece, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea’, the Sea Tourism Forum will be held 21-22 June 2011 at the recently opened Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens. The forum will focus on three key areas of sea tourism: cruise shipping, the yachting industry and inter-island and passenger shipping. The programme will present the policies, the infrastructure and the land-based requirements necessary to support and promote these vital and inter-related sectors of tourism.
The inaugural two-day event is expected to attract the attention of the industry’s leaders and stakeholders who will focus on the challenges for sea tourism, investment opportunities in the region, new infrastructure projects and a platform for launching new ideas and ventures.  
“The conference will address key issues of the sea tourism industry, which creates synergies between shipping and tourism, hence creating new investment opportunities in the region” said Theodore Vokos, project manager, Posidonia Exhibitions S.A, the organiser of the event.
“One of the questions we will address during the forum is how the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea can benefit from taking an organised and long-term strategic approach to sea tourism – coordinating these key interrelated areas. Given the potential for sea tourism in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea, Greece can play a leading role, with Piraeus the business hub that promotes and supports the development of these areas. 
 The Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum will examine in detail how the region can:

• Attract foreign and domestic investment that will serve both the industry and the national economies
• Kick-start joint ventures in its sea tourism infrastructure
• Simplify the legal framework and follow up on recent government initiatives
• Upgrade its services to the industry
• Position itself as a main maritime and cruising hub 

Joint marketing activities from both the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea countries to influence cruise itineraries, as well as discussions on how to provide a full range of services and port infrastructure for the cruise industry will also be on the agenda.
On the second day of the forum, the development of the yachting industry as a key revenue generator for the Greek economy and the Eastern Mediterranean will take centre-stage as ‘yachting economics’, including the growing influence of super yachts, comes under the spotlight.
Among the issues to be debated are:

• Reversing  ‘anti-yacht’ sentiment
• Streamlining bureaucracy and reversing the trend of yachts leaving Greek marinas
• Upgrading port and marine facilities and supporting infrastructure including repair and maintenance facilities
• Providing accurate and up-to-date information on services and marinas to the international customer base
• Developing services to improve travel from and in Greece

The forum will also focus on passenger and coastal shipping issues and will address key concerns about connections between Greek islands, shipping lines’ network capabilities and fleet quality, human resources, port infrastructure and other important topics.
The Sea Tourism Forum is organised under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries.

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