The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, established by the World Travel and Tourism Council, recognise the most effective sustainable tourism efforts across the world, with the win acknowledging Costa Navarino as the global leader in the field.
Costa Navarino was selected amongst entries from 56 countries. Following an extensive evaluation process and on-site visit, the awards were announced yesterday during a high-profile ceremony in Hainan, China, part of the WTTC’s Global Summit. The annual summit’s keynote speaker was former Secretary-General of the UN, Mr. Kofi Annan, and it is attended by government representatives and more than 700 leading figures, addressing current issues of the tourism industry.
Achilles V. Constantakopoulos, Chairman of TEMES - Developers of Costa Navarino, commented on the achievement: “It is an honour for Costa Navarino to be recognised with this accolade, which highlights the vision of my father, Captain Vassilis Constantakopoulos, founder of Costa Navarino, and the philosophy that motivates all of our actions – including protecting the environment, working with local communities and enhancing the local economy. It is also a great responsibility, to continuously raise the high standards we have set and exceed the expectations”.
Costa Navarino began as a vision of the late Captain Vassilis Constantakopoulos, whose aim was to create a high end, sustainable tourism destination. Today, this vision has been realised and the core values of the destination which have been recognised by the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are respect for Messinia’s pristine natural surroundings and rich cultural heritage, as well as protecting and enhancing the local communities, and highlighting its rich traditions. As the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards commented during the selection of the finalists, “In order to have a vision, it helps to have a captain at the helm, and Costa Navarino had just that. Messinia, in the Peloponnese region of Greece, was the home of Captain Vassilis Constantakopoulos who, following his business prowess in the shipping industry, sought to invest in protecting the land he loved. Although he passed away in 2011, this early environmentalist’s aim to create high end, sustainable tourism facilities in Messinia, lives on today through the company he created, TEMES S.A. (…) it has proved itself to be a vastly important investment in Mediterranean’s sustainable tourism”.
Costa Navarino offers a unique and authentic travelling experience in the Peloponnese region, combining the region’s untouched landscape and millennia-long heritage, with cultural, educational and sporting activities. Alongside the extensive facilities for guests, Costa Navarino adheres to strict environmental protection guidelines and principles, as well as vitally contributing to the local area.
The sustainable efforts of Costa Navarino cover all aspects of environmental protection, including water and energy management practices such as the recent photovoltaic facilities among the largest in Greece, integrated waste management and a number of environmental programmes for the preservation of nearby ecologically important habitats and species.
The destination’s practices include two water reservoirs which were inputted pre-construction to cover irrigation needs, including the two signature golf courses; the largest olive-tree transplanting programme in Europe, the photovoltaic park and the biggest geothermal system. Local wildlife is also looked after, with monitoring and protection programmes in cooperation with environmental NGOs. Costa Navarino is home to several other pioneering developments, including the Navarino Environmental Observatory, home to the study of climate change in the Mediterranean, fruit of the collaboration between Stockholm University, the Academy of Athens and TEMES. Also to the Navarino Natura Hall, an interactive centre which educates guests and local schoolchildren on the region’s natural environment.
Guests are also encouraged to have a truly authentic Messinian experience, engaging in traditional activities ranging from olive-oil and wine-making to mingling with the local community and learning traditional cookery or dance. This ensures visitors return home having truly become part of an age-old heritage.