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By Nikos Krinis
The ambitious “Cultural Route of the Ancient Theaters of Epirus” project was recently introduced to travel professionals and visitors attending the World Travel Market (WTM) 2019 exhibition in London.
The ambitious project, which officially launched in 2018, focuses on Epirus’ five ancient theaters – Nicopolis, Dodona, Cassope, Amvrakia and Gitana – and looks to “travel” visitors through time with the five theatres as main stops. The cultural route includes visits to four of Greece’s regional units where eight archaeological sites can be found.
Iulia Marcoula, the Director of Tourism for Epirus Region, told GTP Headlines that Epirus awaits for all to discover its “hidden” secrets.
“Epirus is a crossroads of cultures, traditions and unique natural environments. Every visitor can live an unprecedented experience by becoming familiar with the cultural monuments, archaeological sites, hiking trails, enjoying remarkable landscapes in unique colors and tasting local quality products which will satisfy even the most demanding tasters,” Marcoula said.
An NSRF-funded project, the cultural route is an initiative of the Region of Epirus and the Culture Ministry that took off thanks to the valuable assistance of Diazoma, a movement of people sharing the same passion for the Greek cultural heritage and whose mission is to help protect, restore and promote monuments, especially ancient theaters.
Promoting Epirus’ cultural route through synergies
Regarding the cultural route of Epirus, Diazoma helped carry out the initial stages (geophysical surveys, expropriations, excavations and restoration studies), leading to the restoration works of the theaters.
“We aim to help the ancient theaters of Greece and basically are trying to raise private income (through crowdfunding and sponsorships) so we can help the culture ministry restore them and promote them,” Diazoma’s program manager, Evdokimos Fregoglou, said while presenting the cultural route project to foreign journalists and travel professionals on the sidelines of the WTM London 2019 exhibition.
Now, Diazoma has turned to synergies to help design an entrepreneurship cluster in order to successfully promote and market the “Cultural Route of the Ancient Theaters of Epirus” product.
“We have made cooperation agreements with 62 businesses in Epirus in order to offer visitors a quality stay in terms of accommodation, dining and transfers when they come to Epirus to follow the cultural route,” Fregoglou said.
The “Cultural Route of the Ancient Theaters of Epirus” is managed by a Destination Management Office (DMO) of the region’s Epirus SA development company.
On her part, Georgia Kitsaki, the project manager of the “Cultural Route of the Ancient Theatres of Epirus” underlined the involvement of the region’s local business, through new forms of action.
“These include the Enterprise Cluster and the Local Quality Pact, which aims to connect the agricultural-food sector with the region’s environmental and cultural heritage,” Kitsaki underlined.