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Third Entrepreneurial Discovery Process Focus Group on Tourism in REMTh

General Information

Organised by JRC-IPTS and their partners in the region as part of the European Parliament Preparatory Action "Actual and desired state of the economic potential in regions outside the Greek capital Athens," the Entrepreneurial Discovery Process took place on 11-12 February.

More than 100 stakeholders, mainly coming from the tourism and related sectors in the region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace and from other Greek regions participated in the event. Opened by the Governor of the Region, George Pavlides, the event combined plenary and parallel sessions centred on expert presentations and the generation and discussion of innovative ideas by stakeholders in relation to four main themes:  four season tourism; tourism and cultural heritage; ICT and tourism; and gastrotourism. In addition to introducing the project, presenting elements of the international context, and describing the focus group approach in the plenary sessions, IPTS representatives participated in the four parallel working groups on:

  • Four seasons tourism
  • Tourism and cultural heritage
  • ICT and tourism
  • Gastrotourism

A plenary session with presentations by international experts set the scene for each parallel group, which started with a further presentation, usually by a local expert. Each group then generated and subsequently examined several promising ideas, with linkages emerging between, as well as within, the four groups.  Rapporteurs provided summaries of the outcomes of each group at the end of the first day and then in the final plenary session. More than 100 participants took part in this focus group event, with around 30% coming from the private sector. 

The detailed summary of the outcomes and the ideas is available here.

Subsequent project development workshops, also to be organised under the preparatory action, will endeavour to take selected ideas from this and the previous two focus groups (on wine and on meat and dairy products) forward to develop more concrete projects for possible implementation in the region. In addition, the regional Managing Authority will gradually take over the organisation of the additional focus groups to come, the first one of which will be on marble and zeolite later in Spring.

The focus group event was featured on the local television channel Thrakinet.

Details of the focus group are also available on the managing authority website.

Agenda and Presentations

The agenda is available here


Introductory plenary session

  • Introduction to the project – Mark BODEN - JRC-IPTS
  • Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, its identity and distinctiveness - Evanthia TZIMOU, REMTh
  • Research and innovation in tourism in Greece and REMTh in an international context – Karel HAEGEMAN - JRC-IPTS

Plenary presentations in four thematic areas:

  • 4 seasons tourism - Experiences from East Marmara Region – Turkey – Devrim SAVLI – East Marmara Development Agency
  • Tourism and cultural heritage - The potential of tourism and cultural heritage - Dr Angeliki KOTTARIDI, Archaeologist and Director of Emathia's Ephorate for Antiquities
  • ICT and tourism - Gaming and creative content for tourism – Nikos VOGIATZIS – Corallia, gi-Cluster
  • Gastrotourism - Gastrotourism – Alessio CAVICCHI - Italy

Parallel EDP sessions in four thematic areas:

  • 4 seasons tourism - Examples of four seasons tourism - Nikos DRAKONAKIS, Managing Director of ETAM SA
  • Tourism and cultural heritage - The Black Sea Silk Road Corridor - Dimitris KARAVASILIS, General Manager Astir Egnatia Alexandroupolis Hotel
  • ICT and tourism - Experience from a cross-border project between Greece and Bulgaria: Joint Target Initiative Targeting Cultural Heritage (JTI) - Christos PARTSIAS, Regional Development Fund, Region of East Macedonia & Thrace
  • Gastrotourism - Spanish capital of gastronomy - Pedro PALACIOS - Spain

Plenary session - Case studies

  • Supporting SMEs in tourism – experiences from Bulgaria - Krasimira BAKARDZHIEVA, Aspect and Eurekatourism Plus
  • Regional touristic strategy of Baleares – Antonio VIADER - Innovation Director at FundacioBIT


Hotel Grecotel Egnatia, Alexandroupolis, Greece

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