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Sustainable Tourism Requires Compliance with the New Requirements of the Hotel and Catering Sector

Sustainable Tourism Requires Compliance with the New Requirements of the Hotel and Catering Sector

The legislative requirements concerning hygiene and safety, while protecting the environment in the hotel and catering sector, were the focus of the information event co-organised by the Mediterranean Agrofood Competence Center (Macc) and the VIE Research Laboratories SA at the KEK Technical Schools of Heraklion Chamber of Crete, on Wednesday 1 February, just before the opening of the tourist season.

During the discussion which had as its main topic "How the modern requirements in the operation of tourism businesses can be transformed into a competitive advantage", the following speakers were present:

Dr. Stephanakis Alexandros Stefanakis, founder and CEO of BioResearch SA, Mrs. Maria Halvatzi-Antonakaki, President of the Association of Food & Entertainment Professionals of Heraklion, Mr. Antonis Papadakis, Vice President of Public Health Supervisors of Greece, Mr. Efthimios Moudrakis, former Deputy Mayor of Tourism-Culture-Labour of the Municipality of Hersonissos, Mr. Mr. George Sfakianakis, President of the Pancretan Association of Hotel Managers, Mr. George Papagapitos, CEO Thalassa Journeys USA and Mr. Miltos Karoubas, former President of the Chef's Club and the discussion was moderated by Ms. Maria Christina Baklava, MACC's Strategic Communications Manager.

Through the very interesting discussion that developed, the highest priority and the imperative need for energy saving and improvement of hygiene and safety conditions in hotels was highlighted, as well as the necessity for the synergy of all directly involved parties to the requirements as described by the new legislation.

It was agreed that hotels and catering businesses, by making use of the new tools and good practices, will only benefit and gain a competitive advantage.

Of great importance was the fact that for the first time supply and demand were perfectly matched in the greatest challenge, which is environmental protection, both by reducing the energy footprint and rational waste management, as well as zero waste practices.

The discussion became more interesting when one of the pioneers in the cruise industry, Mr. George Papagapitos, posted online from New York, listing a series of requirements that are now being put forward by American universities, none other than what is defined by sustainable tourism.

He said: 
"We will reward and give preference to hotels and restaurants that respect the environment and have a low environmental footprint. Local products and producers who respect local history and tradition will be our partners from now on. Quality tourism is that which respects every place visited, and leaves behind only opportunities..."

Stefanakis stressed the importance of changing the philosophy of businesses in order to comply with the legislation, because together with self-control they are the most powerful allies in prevention that protect the entrepreneur.

The distinguished speakers summarized and showed willingness to cooperate in an effort to inform all stakeholders and concluded that undoubtedly self-control, staff training and customer information can only add value and above all lead to sustainability with the first and foremost concern to save the planet.

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