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World Centre of Excellence for Destinations

Official SMED reports presented to Crete and Samos, Greece

The World Centre of Excellence for Destinations (CED) announced the presentation of the official reports of the System of Measures for Excellence in Destinations (SMED) to the islands of Crete and Samos, Greece. This event was held in the Town Hall of Vathi, Samos, in the presence of Mr. Manolis Karlas, Mayor of Samos, Mr. Filippos Petrouskas, Mayor of Vathi, and Mr. Cesar Castaneda Vazquez del Mercado, CED Director of Operations.

According to Mr. Michalis Toanoglou, General Manager of the Tourism Organization of Samos Prefecture (OTONAS), “The participants in Vathi have listened carefully to the core issues that were identified by the SMED report and their reaction was quite positive. It was very clear that due to the current critical period for Greece and the great reform of Greek administrative authorities, there is a great challenge to reposition the destination. The SMED report is a valuable tool that can be used effectively by destination stakeholders under a common vision to plan long-term sustainable development. The specific recommendations from the SMED are centered on the improvement of many different sectors of the destination’s structure. Over the next four years, there will be a continuous support from CED in all efforts made concerning those improvements. The report is a great opportunity, which has the potential to impact the future development of Samos tourism significantly and become the core element of a strategic plan for the next 10-15 years.”

“The islands of Crete and Samos are the first destinations in the Aegean Sea to recognize the value of a measurement system like the SMED and sign a partnership agreement with the CED. The authorities of both regions will set up a working group whose objective will be to implement the recommendations made in the official SMED report”, said Dr. Castaneda.

The SMED is an evaluation tool developed by the CED that aims to identify the different levels of performance of a tourist destination, propose recommendations for improvement and increased competitiveness, and facilitate the integration of the destination in an international network of tourist destinations of excellence.

Based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the CED has signed partnership agreements with Canada Economic Development for the Quebec regions, the Ministere du Tourisme du Quebec and the Ministere des Affaires Municipales et des Regions du Quebec.

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