World Centre of Excellence for Destinations and Island of Samos, Greece sign agreement


The World Centre of Excellence for Destinations (CED) announced today the signing of an important agreement with the prefecture of Samos, in Greece, with the goal of implementing its System of Measures for Excellence in Destinations (SMED) in this renowned Aegean Sea destination located in the Southern Sporades. It will be the first SMED destination in the Mediterranean region.

This agreement was officially confirmed today by Ms. Brigitta Papastavrou, CEO and managing director of ELAGRO (Greek Sustainable Tourism Organization), Mr. Emmanuel Karlas, head of Prefecture of the Samos province, and the president of the CED, Mr. André Vallerand, in the presence of Mr. Taleb Rifai, secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, Mr. Manolis Psarros, head of Sustainable Tourism Development Department, and Dr. César Castañeda Vázquez del Mercado, director of operations of the CED.

This agreement aims to establish a tourism profile of the Island of Samos and assist it in gauging itself to face international competition, while facilitating the attainment of its objectives in sustainable development. The SMED also aims to improve the quality of the experience offered to tourists and to strengthen the geographical character of a tourist destination (environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, well-being of the residents, etc.) while strategically identifying major issues facing tourist destinations around the world.

“This important agreement with the Island of Samos is the first destination in Greece and marks the beginning of a partnership relationship with Elagro, which will allow the signing of more Greek destinations for the next two years to come,” noted Mr. André Vallerand, president of the CED. To date, ten destinations around the world have been evaluated by the SMED. Several others have expressed their interest in the SMED and new agreements will be announced shortly.

With its headquarters located in Montréal, the CED began operations in February 2007. The CED has signed partnership agreements with Canada Economic Development for the Quebec regions, the Ministère du Tourisme du Québec, and the Ministère des Affaires Municipales et des Régions du Québec.