The meeting was opened by Ms Ana Muñoz Arquelladas, deputy of the delegation of employment and sustainable development of Diputacion de Granada and by Mr Michalis Pavlidis, Mayor of Geroskipou in Cyprus, on behalf of the CHRISTA lead partner Pafos Regional Board of Tourism.
In her welcome address Ms Ana Muñoz Arquelladas stated:
"From the outset, the staff of the County Council of Granada has seen clearly that CHRISTA project was an opportunity for our province. The use of cultural heritage as a resource for a sustainable, responsible and innovative tourism is a perspective in which we believe, and Granada is outstanding among other European regions in terms of a rich heritage.
This will be clear from what you had the opportunity to see during the previous transnational meetings where we shared with examples of best practices from the target territory. We are very proud of each one of them. Cascamorras, international tourist interest celebration that it is hold between Baza and Guadix as example of intangible heritage. Trópolis, it is a space dedicated to culture, ecotourism and leisure as industrial heritage. Archeological Museum of Galera that it is an interpretation center, where visitors can get to know from ancient times to nowadays.
From the County Council of Granada, we are working on many aspects, using the cultural heritage as resource to improve the sustainable, responsible and innovative tourism. I only want to mention the candidacy of geopark to UNESCO, the County Council of Granada is working on this project that is located in the same area of work of CHRISTA Project. Honestly, being part of this project is most productive for us. We are learning from the exchange of best practices from all the countries involved in this project. We are already working on the transferring of some best practices. This is the reason why I want to give you our thanks.
Let me finish by welcoming you to our city and to our province with open arms. I hope you can advance in the action plan that it is the key part of the project to give a new boost the economic development of our territories. And I hope that you can dedicate time enough enjoying our monumental city with a cultural heritage that makes it one of the most visited cities in Spain."
In his opening address, Mayor Pavlidis, stated:
"I am very pleased to open this Joint Meeting on the Action Plans in Granada today, on behalf of the CHRISTA Project Lead Partner the Pafos Regional Board of Tourism. I had the honour to participate in the previous project events in Sibiu, Romania, last year and to experience first-hand the important achievements of our CHRISTA project. We have achieved a lot as a project partnership in terms of exchange of experience so far, with the Thematic Workshops and the Study Tour. We are now at the most important stage of Action Plans preparation, for implementation and monitoring during the forthcoming Phase 2. At this meeting we shall share our approaches to the Action Plans and will have the opportunity to get the latest developments and guidelines from the experts commissioned by our advisory partner European Cultural Tourism Network (ETCN), namely the Universities of Barcelona, Spain and Rijeka, Croatia.
This meeting in Granada opens for CHRISTA Project our involvement in the European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH) 2018. We are all very proud that our CHRISTA project has been selected by the European Commission to be labelled as a highly relevant project to the EYCH. We look forward to contributing to the EYCH 2018, particularly on the 5th European Initiative on ‘Tourism and heritage: promotion of sustainable cultural tourism’, as well as to other initiatives.
I would like to highlight that our European Capital of Culture PAFOS 2017 has gone very well with rich cultural programme and attracting a lot of visitors. As part of the Cultural Capital we have succeeded to upgrade our cultural tourism facilities and services. We look forward to capitalising on the legacy of the Cultural Capital in the years to come, following the successful examples of SIBIU 2007, GUIMARAES 2012 and RIGA 2014 Cultural Capitals, related to CHRISTA project. At the CHRISTA project meeting in Pafos during Phase 2, we plan to present the achievements and legacy of PAFOS 2017 Cultural Capital. Finally, I hope to see you all at the 11th Cultural Tourism Conference that will take place in our Pafos region, Cyprus, in late October this year, with the support of the CHRISTA Project, in the frame of EYCH and in cooperation with Europa Nostra and the European Travel Commission regarding the Awards for Sustainable Cultural Tourism Destinations, also in the frame of the EU-China Tourism Year 2018. I wish every success to our action plans for sustainable cultural tourism!"
The Management and Coordination Team in association with the advisory partner ECTN and its external expert presented the Action Plan Guidelines.
The meeting was concluded with a study visit.