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International Meeting

Athens on November 25th 2010


The Society for the Protection and Promotion of the Underwater Environment and its Coastal Area – nonprofit company organizes in Athens on November 25th 2010, an International Meeting on “BIODIVERSITY AND DIVING TOURISM IN THE GREEK SEAS”.

For the conference Mr. Nikitiades George – Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism – has been invited to open the Meeting and speak about the new strategic directions for the development and promotion for special interest tourism activities and especially for diving tourism. Also has been invited the Secretary General of the Aegean and Island Policy Mr. Halkiotis Demetrios.

The Conference is under the aegis of the Secretariat General of the Aegean & Island Policy, the Ionian Islands region , the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels and support the Foundation's ''Protect the Sharks Foundation''


The Conference aims to highlight the underwater riches of Greece and the opportunities and prospects for attracting the international diving market and to promote ‘Greece as a diving destination’ as an additional diving product for the country.

In the sessions of the conference, Greek and foreign guest speakers will make reference to the rich biodiversity of the Greek seas ( 8500 life forms and more than 1500 plants) and their importance, the characteristics of the area as a ‘diving destination’.

The guest invited speakers will also explain how diving tourism is being already developed in South East Mediterranean and the competitor countries. Foreign Tourism professionals as guest speakers will describe their own experience in promoting recreational diving in European tourism markets.

The presentations shall include the action plan of to promote Greece as a diving destination , which is implemented by Dive Guide Greece.

During the Conference is included the development of marine protected areas - diving parks, the legislative framework and operational details of which professionals and experts will speak for.

The Conference is related to the United Nations declaration of 2010 as International Year of Biodiversity, and with World Tourism Day (September 27th 2010) and also has for 2010 the theme ‘Tourism and Biodiversity’ following a decision of the World Tourism Organization.

The Conference is open to all and is highly recommended to tourism and diving professionals, hoteliers and representatives of the local authorities from all parts of Greece, who will have the opportunity to participate in the discussions that will follow after the presentations, to ask and learn about the ways to develop and publicize their tourism product in relation to the diving market.

During the Conference are expected to be stands where professionals can present their activities and products relating to diving and development.

Also, on the occasion of the Year of Biodiversity, will be on display photographs from renowned photographers with themes the underwater environment and characteristics of marine and coastal ecosystems.



Thursday 25 November 2010
Conference Room Athens Electra Palace Hotel
Nikodimou Street – Plaka


Arrivals – Registrations


Representatives of political authorities and professional organizations

Conference Formal Opening

George Nikitiades
Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism


Strategic directions for tourism, the environment and the special interest tourism activities


Development potential in the Aegean islands

Demetrios Halkiotis
Secretary General of the Aegean and Island Policy

10:30 – 10:45

Legislative framework diving and marine protected areas

Panagiotis Kammenos
Congressman N.D.
Former Minister of Merchant Shipping and Island Policy

10:45 – 11:00

Prospects for the tourism sector through the special interest tourism

George Tsakiris
President, Hellenic Chamber of Hotels

11:00 – 11:15

SETE prospects for the development of Greek tourism

Ioannis Retsos 
  Member of BoD SETE

Session 1: The underwater environment as a tourism product - Development and strategic directions

Coordinator:Theodoros Koumelis
Dravel Daily News


“Greece underwater – a new international diving destination” – Dive Guide Greece Project and Action Plan

George Tzanakis
Dive Guide Greece Project
President of the Board
Society for the Protection and Promotion of the Underwater Environment and its Land Area


Tourism diving activities in the South-Eastern Mediterranean – Developing diving tourism in Cyprus

Kostas Fotiou
SSI Scuba Schools International - Cyprus

11:45 - 12:00

Tourism diving activities in the South-Eastern Mediterranean – Action plan of the Organization for the development of diving in the country of destination

Panagiotis Vournas
Representative of Diving Certification Organization

12:00 - 12:10

Quality assurance of the Greek diver training services

Nikos Tzanoudakis
Hellenic Association of Diving Instructors

12:10 - 12:20

Quality assurance of the Greek diving centers

Antonis Halkeas
Hellenic Association of Diving Professionals


Session 2: Marine Environment and Biodiversity

Coordinator: Dr. Drosos Koutsoubas
Assoc. Professor of Marine Biology
University of the Aegean
Chairman, Zakynthos National Marine Park

12:40 – 12:55

Biodiversity in the Aegean as a comparative advantage of Greece

Dr. Chariton-Charles Chintiroglou
Professor οf School of Biology,
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

12:55 - 13:10

Marine protected areas and diving tourism: experience and practices from the Mediterranean and the Greek Seas

Member of the bord of MedPAN & National Marine Park of Zakynthos

13:10 - 13:25

Marine Parks in the Greek Seas and Prospects for the Development of Diving Activities : The case of the Zakynthos National Marine Park

Dr. Drosos Koutsoubas
Assoc. Professor of Marine Biology
University of the Aegean
Chairman, Zakynthos National Marine Park


Display Screen the documentary "Gimme a Hug" Geert Droppers in the production of the Protect the Sharks Foundation

Short discussion

Short coffee break (15’ )

Session 3: Development of marine protected areas and diving parks

Helen Siatra

14:15 – 14:30

Underwater archaeology and the wonders of the Greek Seas

George Koutsouflakis 2
Professional Underwater Archaeologist

14:30 - 14:45

Marine Biodiversity and Diving: Innovative Tools and New Methodological Approaches

Dr. Konstantinos Ntounas
Research Director
Greek Centre for Marine Research – Herakleion, Crete

14:45 - 15:00

The tourism development of the underwater archaeological wealth - International experience

Angelos Maglis
Managing Director
ATLANTIS Consulting S.A

15:00 - 15:15

Certified underwater artificial reefs  - a green technology at the service of diving tourism and marine biodiversity

Prof. Gian Andrea P. Garancini
Reef Consulting srl


Light Lunch (30’)

Session 4: Development of the Diving Tourism destination and Local Government

Coordinator: Margarita Manousou

16:00 – 16:15

Recreational scuba diving - a Strategic Approach for Greece

Christos Petreas
Business & Tourism Economist - consultant
Expert in regional and tourism development

16:15 - 16:25

Prospects for local government collaboration in developing diving tourism

Eleftherios Kehagioglou
President of the
Small Islands Network

16:25 - 16:35

How the local Government “Kallikratis” see the diving tourism

Arnaoutakis Stavros 1
Elected Periferiarchis
Region of Crete


Strategies to attract the international diving market

Christos Petreas
Business & Tourism Economist - consultant
Expert in regional and tourism development

16:50 – 17:05

The new strategy for the promotion of the Greek tourism experience

Nikos Kanellopoulos2
President, Hellenic National Tourism Organization

17:05 - 17:15

Developing the diving tourism package: the approach of the travel agent

Nicos Mylonas
Director of Olympic Holidays

17:15 - 17:25

Quality figures and statistics of the English diving market

Alex Khachadourian,
Senior advertising excecutive - sales
- British diving magazine DIVER
- Diving Travel Guide - www.divernet.com
- Diving Exhibitions
(London & Birmingham)
United Kingdom

17:25 - 17:35

The requirements of the diving market by Holland and Belgium - Quality of services offered

Rob Keersmaekers
Manager of diving magazine Duiken
( Holland – Belgium )

17:35 - 17:45

The German dive market (Germany, Switzerland, Austria): Characteristics and viewing tools to approach

Heinz Kaesinger
Editor of German Diving Magazine ATLANTIS Co-owner of Kaesinger & Lauer Communication company


Conclusions and closing




[1] Has been invited
[2] Pending confirmation
[3] Confirmation after the elections of 14th November



Europe (of 15 countries) has 3,500,000 certified divers, from which estimated 800,000 traveling outside their country every year for a diving trip. At the same time the International Organization PADI providing diver training, says that it has issued more than 20,000,000 degrees worldwide. Of all those there is hardly anyone in Greece yet. But this market is characterized by long vacations, the visitors are quality financially and usually accompanied by family or friends, in other words, a very desirable client.

We talk about a major international market that Greece has not yet approached, a now more than 90% of customers of Diving Centers are occasional customers who randomly choose to do this activity, either because they find it in front of them, or because the group leaders " sell " it, while no energy for development and promotion of 'packets diving tourism implemented virtually yet. But our country and its regions have the characteristics to compete dynamically in this market.

We are confident that Greece can and must reclaim the particular characteristics of the underwater environment and recreational diving activities, in direct connection with the land area, since most of the day both divers and their attendants, spend their time on the “land "area.

Indicative benefits for Greece:
• A new market is approached virtually, because is combined with a new one for Greece tourism product that can be used as a independent and additional product as well - to enrich existing coastal - holiday
• The activity of diving is all year round, thus the elongation of the season is assisted

• This "new" product is international and in specialized exhibitions and events presented, in which Greece has never appeared to be a tourist destination until now
• The activity of diving lasts long stay, and the diver is usually accompanied by friends or family
• In an effort to "promotion of Greece as an international diving destination” all businesses operating in the wider - land - an area of diving are running
• The participation of particular hotels and other accommodation is supported as the "accommodation" and its services, are necessary to offer integrated product diving trip

Dive Guide Greece
Information tel. 0030210 4528978

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