Mountains, rich natural beauty, and biodiversity
Grevena, Greece is a destination of just under 27,000 inhabitants in the Western Macedonia region, boasting mountains, rich natural beauty, and biodiversity. By embracing eco-friendly initiatives, the municipality has not only improved its environmental condition but also enhanced its attractiveness as a tourist destination.
Green City of Geothermal Energy
Despite being a small municipality, Grevena claims the title as the Green City of Geothermal Energy and carries out large-scale geothermal projects that rank among the best in Europe. Since 2015, the region has carried out projects in buildings and facilities within the municipality to implement geothermal energy. Within five years, all municipal buildings in the city, such as the Indoor Sport Center and Swimming Pool, Cultural Center, and some schools were equipped with a heating and cooling system through shallow geothermal energy.
Grevena seeks to reach climate neutrality by 2050 and is well underway to achieving the EU target of reducing emissions by 55% by 2030. The region’s next goal is to implement improvement and renovation projects that combat energy poverty in the mountainous communities. The overall vision of the municipality is to transform the place of Grevena into a modern and sustainable region that can serve as a role model for energy efficiency and climate neutrality for other destinations.
The local community has experienced several tangible benefits from the green practices implemented in the region. Technology has improved transportation and other aspects of society. With an economy heavily reliant on the tertiary sector, the tourism industry plays a crucial role in providing employment opportunities for approximately 5,000 people. The emphasis on sustainable tourism practices has created additional job prospects in the emerging sectors of alternative sports tourism, such as swimming and winter sports. The introduction of cultural routes and the utilisation of new technologies have not only enriched tourists' experiences but have also allowed locals to connect with and preserve their cultural heritage.
Making cultural heritage digital and accessible
Grevena also takes care to promote and protect the cultural heritage of the destination. Four cultural routes were created to promote the cultural heritage of the destination. An electronic platform was created to promote public information about tourist and cultural attractions. Additionally, the municipality placed signs with QR codes in central parts of the region and important tourist destinations, which can be accessed by free Wifi in ten key points throughout the city.