Theme park in peri-urban areas for the promotion of sustainable development and regional attractiveness
The most naturally attractive and culturally valuable asset of the Municipality of Aristoteli Chalkidikis is the location of ancient Stagira as the birthplace of Aristotelis, the famous ancient Greek philosopher. Past and present local governance, as well as citizens, have followed actions to promote this facet of cultural heritage in the form of what has been called the ‘Aristotelis brand’. Place branding in tourism marketing is applicable to ‘nations, cities and regions’ and is defined as ‘a way of making places famous’ by assigning a name or sign to the place and developing its image.
Aristotle’s Grove combines elements of educational and outdoors recreational tourism, as it is situated in a green area, uphill, overlooking the sea and with views of close by mountains, while it contains a series of experimental, scientific and interactive instruments that visitors can play with and learn about the laws of physics and Aristotle’s writings.
Aristotle's Grove is an outdoor theme park and it is placed in a municipal area. The cost of the maintenance of the area is covered by the Tourist Real Estate Development of Municipality Aristoteli.
Evidence of success
According to the official website of the Municipality of Aristoteli, it was estimated that only during the summer months alone Aristotle’s Grove received more than 15.000 visitors.
According to an announcement by the Municipality of Aristoteli, the attraction of visitors to Aristotle's Grove shows a significant increase every year. Gradually since 2014 the traffic increased by 30%. In 2018 the park had officially over 25,000 visitors.
Potential for learning or transfer
Parks that focus on local culture, history, education and science can be encountered all over the world. Moreover, there are different sizes and structures of theme parks, ranging from small and simply structured ones, to elaborate large theme parks with many subsections. Theme parks such as the one operating in Aristoteli, focusing on history, cultural heritage and education, are very important both nationally and locally because not only they define a nation’s identity and export brand, but also they can be beneficial in the local economy and community.