Greece’s push for year-round tourism and to get foreign arrivals to see something other than islands, beaches, sun and sand and summer has extended to gastronomy, and now to opening cheese factories to visit.
The tourism and agriculture ministries said that a bill outlining how that would operate was open for public comment through Feb. 22. Greek cheeses are perhaps as underrated as the country’s world class wines gaining recognition.
“More than 17 million euros ($18.28 million) … will go into actions for the promotion of agritourism and culinary tourism in Greece, through the use of digital platforms, maps, applications, branding and marketing actions to promote new, authentic experiences to travelers visiting our country,” said Deputy Tourism Minister Sofia Zacharaki, reported SchengenVisaInfo.com.
The cheese factors would have to adhere to conditions set by the government in order to be given the ministry’s special seal and have to set out expectations for the services to be provided, the report also said.
The Visitable Cheese Factory Label, which allows select cheese and dairy factories to welcome visitors and provide guided tours, hospitality, catering and tasting services, will be granted by the regional tourism ministry service.
“We are sending an open call to all organizations, associations, producers and companies producing cheese and dairy products to help formulate the framework that will cover the new visitable cheese factories,” said Zacharaki.
He said that the new seal is part of ongoing ministry efforts to promote Greek agritourism and ensure the quality upgrade of the country’s tourist product.
“With Greek production being one of the most important comparative advantages, we are strategically investing, aiming to encourage participation in tourism development in a sustainable and fair manner while showcasing destinations through significant activity in the primary sector, but also strengthening the country’s producers by creating new opportunities for extroversion and increasing their income,” she also said.