ECONOMY

Agritourism route through central Peloponnese to revive the region

Agrotouristiki SA, the state corporation for alternative tourism development, is setting up a network of municipalities in the central Peloponnese, following the route of ancient geographer Pausanias, to promote the region as a model «ecoagritourism» zone. Funded and supported by the Region of the Peloponnese and serving as a pilot for similar programs across the country, the «Single Interprefectural Agritourism Network» will include cities and towns at the prefectures of Ileia, Arcadia, Argolida and Corinthia. It will stretch from Ancient Olympia to Corinth, passing through Vytina, Tripolis, Nafplion and Epidavros. The president and CEO of Agrotouristiki, Brighitta Papastavrou, said the project will include investments of 20 million euros; a study is already under way, based on recreating the «Route of Pausanias,» which exceeds 200 kilometers and will in the future become an investment attraction. The proposal to stem from the study will invite visitors to a completely «organized agritouristic region» that will cover all their needs through the development of an integrated agritourism product (services, products, information) across the 200-kilometer route. Travelers will enjoy the region’s special character, the beauty of nature, the culture, the myths, the history and customs as well as quality services and original local products, «themed routes,» accommodation and food at modern farms, traditional hostels, farmhouses, traditional coffee houses and restaurants. Apart from tourists, the project intends to attract local residents and investors so that they develop business plans either by themselves or with local professionals and authorities, which is why technical tourism infrastructures are also being promoted.