The 11th Annual Advisory Forum on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe was successfully completed in Chania (Crete, Greece)

After 3 days of presentations, round tables and B2B discussions, the 11th Annual Advisory Forum on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe held in Chania, Crete, 5-7 October 2022 was a great success.

The Forum, which was held under the patronage of the Presidency of the Hellenic Republic, was attended by 430 participants from 50 countries, ministers, and high-ranking officials from ministries and the EU. The “Routes of the Olive Tree” were represented by the Executive Director Mr. George Karabatos and executives of the Foundation.

Representatives of the 48 certified Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, as well as representatives of ministries, international organizations, academics, tourism professionals from Greece and abroad also participated.

The Forum was organized by the Council of Europe’s Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes and the European Institute of Cultural Routes, in cooperation with the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports, the Ministry of Tourism, the Greek National Tourism Organisation, the Region of Crete, the Municipality of Chania, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Chania, and the Cultural Route “Historic Cafés Route” based in Crete.

Among the speakers were the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe Bjørn Berge, the Minister of Culture and Sports of Greece Lina Mendoni, the Vice President of the Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) and President of the Greek Delegation Dora Bakoyannis, the Chair of the Statutory Committee of Cultural Routes Ambassador Patrick Engelberg (Luxembourg), the President of the Greek National Tourism Organisation (EOT) Angela Gerekou etc.

During the three days of the Forum, three main general thematics were explored:
Promoting European Values and Intercultural Dialogue.
Safeguarding heritage in times of crisis.
Fostering creative industries, cultural tourism, innovative technologies for sustainable communities.

The importance of highlighting the practices of the Cultural Routes to promote Europe’s common cultural heritage and enhance sustainable local development was also underlined.
The activities of the Cultural Routes were also discussed, experiences were shared, good practices were analysed, new initiatives were launched and partnerships were developed across Europe and beyond.

The next, 12th Annual Advisory Forum on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, will take place in September 2023 in Lodj, Poland.