Creation of a Local Quality Agreement and a new marketing tool, the creation of the "Psiloritis Friends" reward programme using membership card to redeem points
Τhere are many small enterprises in the area of Mount Psiloritis in central Crete (officially recognised as UNESCO Global Geopark since 2015),which are unable to apply effective marketing strategies, promotion to the local & global tourism market & capitalization of the value added of the recognition of UNESCO.
The issue was dealt within two axes: a) the creation of a Local Quality Agreement; b) the development of marketing tools to be addressed to visitors coming from the nearest urban centers of Crete. First, we had the creation of the Local Quality Agreement & then a new marketing tool, the creation of the "Psiloritis Friends" reward programme (purchase local services using a membership card).
Aims to attract visitors to the region & boost the local economy. Furthermore, it supports the creation of clusters & cooperative networks in order to promote local products & services & utilize their cultural & environmental value.
Μembership card procedure: a)The visitors fill the registration form at the website www.psiloritisfriends.gr,b)the visitors get the membership card in a printable format & can also download the mobile app in order to collect & redeem points for any expense they make at the collaborating enterprises.
Specific software was created, promotional material &publications.
Main stakeholders: the enterprises that participate in the programme are accommodation enterprises, restaurants and shops selling local products.
Funded under local LEADER programme: € 103,723.75.
The management of the Transnational Cooperation was assigned to the Geographical Network "Land of Psiloritis", in cooperation with L.A.G.
Enterprises participating are burdened with a small amount that partly covers their financial support.
Evidence of success
It was the first time that such an initiative (bonus card) was implemented on a territorial level.
Its application mobilized local enterprises and sensitized them to issues of cooperation between SMEs, development of the quality of services and community involvement for a common promotional strategy of the area.
19 “Suppliers” enterprises have experienced the rise of the traffic in the market due to more than 50 membership cards that were used by holders coming from the nearest urban centers.
The difficulty in applying good practice lies primarily in the fact that its promotion, prominence and management, required significant financial costs which were not easy to be ensured.
Potential for learning or transfer
"Practice" was created in the context of the transnational cooperation of the LEADER programme (2007-2013) with the Troodos Geopark region in Cyprus. Already since its birth, it had been targeting to the transferability of this method and software to other regions. It has also been presented in the context of consultation of RISCRETE (Smart Specialisation Strategy of the Region of Crete).
Practice is transferable to areas with similar characteristics to Psiloritis. Important parameters in this direction are :
• These areas can compose a "product" with distinct identity.
• To have a critical mass of enterprises in order to establish networks and Local Quality Agreement.
• To be able to attract a stable number of visitors who will respect their culture and environment.
The L.A.G. has already begun working with other UNESCO sites in Crete where good practice could be applied.
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