Google Tourism SME Agreement
The Tourism Ministry and Google on Friday announced a new partnership to accelerate the sustainable transformation of the Greek tourism industry, as part of the Delphi Economic Forum. It includes a new training program for small and medium tourism enterprises, in collaboration with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).
The program begins this month and will be free. Its objective is to support tourism SMEs on the path to sustainable growth.
The main features of the program which forms the new pillar of Google’s initiative, “Grow Greece with Google”, are effective communication by companies of their environmental action, the development of a sustainability strategy, obtaining sustainability certification, exploring financing for SMEs in the sector, and adopting best practices for energy and water saving and rational wastewater management.
“Sustainable tourism has never been more important than it is today, both for travelers and for the planet. This transition, especially for SMBs, is complicated, which is why we actively support it through our products, initiatives and the financing we provide,” said Matt Brittin, Google President for Europe, Middle East. and Africa: “Our cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism is based on our broader commitment to supporting sustainable development in Greece.
Minister Vassilis Kikilias added that “this program will allow tourism professionals to join efforts to achieve sustainability goals”.
Google also announced $1 million in funding from Google.org to support organizations helping social enterprises in Greece, with a focus on sustainability and ecotourism. Transitioning the Greek tourism industry to a more sustainable growth model is a key priority to address the inevitable consequences of the climate crisis.
According to a new survey conducted by the Institute of Tourism Research and Forecasting (ITEP) on behalf of Google and the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, three out of four hotel owners consider the implementation of sustainable development practices to be critical to their business, with 79% saying they are interested in achieving sustainability certification. However, only 41% say they have a satisfactory knowledge of sustainability.