The Deputy Minister for Macedonia and Thrace, Theodoros Karaoglou, proposed that a world pilgrimage tourism conference should take place in Ouranoupoli, Chalkidiki, every year starting from 2021, while the Mayor of Aristotelis, Stelios Valianos, proposed the revival the Aristoteleia festival after years in honor of the great philosopher Aristotle.
The proposals were made during the presentation of the Center for Inter-Balkan Cooperation for Tourism and Culture that took place at the Cultural Center of Ouranoupolis, with the participation of delegations from Greece, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Croatia (the Serbian delegation did not attend due to COVID-19 transport restrictions).
Ouranoupoli is not far from Mount Athos and is the most suitable place to hold this world conference of pilgrimage tourism, with the participation of the Patriarchates, Theodoros Karaoglou stressed. He pointed out that religious tourism was a challenge with many parameters and a strong pole of attraction for a significant number of tourists from neighboring Balkan countries, such as Bulgaria and Serbia.
“The Center for Inter-Balkan Cooperation for Tourism and Culture is intended to be a dynamic tool for overcoming the current unfavorable situation and investing in the opportunities that open up for the near and distant future”, noted the mayor Aristotelis, “The Municipality of Aristotelis is coming to this joint effort with two important legacies of universal radiance: on the one hand, the ancient Macedonian philosopher Aristotle, who to this day worthily represents the Greek spirit and Greek culture all over the world; on the other hand, Mount Athos, the living echo of Byzantium and the Ark of the Orthodox Christian Faith, which has always attracted the interest of millions of visitors.”