The Women’s Cultural Association of Tholaria, Amorgos, and Aegialis Hotel & Spa are pleased to announce that the 14th International Convention on Tourism and Culture YPERIA 2016 took place successfully on Amorgos Island, Greece, from Wednesday October 12th to Monday October 17th 2016, under the auspices of the Municipality of Amorgos, the Ministry of Culture and FedHATTA and sponsored by the Greek National Tourism Organization and the General Secretariat of the Aegean and Mercantile.
Over 100 participants from 15 different countries came to Amorgos in order to discover the island and promote it through newspapers, blogs, documentaries, TV programmes and other means.
Within the frame of YPERIA 2016, the 7th International Short Tourism Film Festival of Amorgos was organized, with a special tribute to “The challenge of tourism for the social economy”. The tribute was implemented through the Operational Program “Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning” and was co-financed by the European Union (European Social Fund) and Greek national funds.
The main scope of discussion of YPERIA 2016 was “ECOLOGY AND TRADITION: Prospects for the future” and the speeches presented were related to the improvement and promotion of hiking trails and tourism, as discussed by Mrs Liane Jordan and Mrs Christina Kontaxi; the enhancement of the land and sea scenery with the use of sculptures, as suggested by Mrs Ute Kohlmann; the local products and their cultural dimension, through the speech of Mr Evangelos Karamanes; the values of UNESCO as a reference point in the inclusion process of the Monastery of Panagia Chozoviotissa in the tentative list of World Heritage Monuments, presented by Mrs Margarita Thoma and Mr Alexandros Eleftheriades Tamoglou; tourism as a development lever, discussed by Mrs Katerina Marinaki; and the importance of cinema as a tool of touristic promotion, presented by Mr Antonis Kioukas.
As every year, guided excursions were organized to the most important monuments of Amorgos, as well as locations of special interest.
On the first day, participants were guided in the area of Aegiali, starting from the village of Langada and the area of Panagia Epanochoriani. In continuation, they had an introduction to the wealth of the Amorgian nature by Mr Vangelis Vassalos, in his distillery of essential oils extracted from local herbs and the shop Iamata. After a coffee break offered by café-barPergalidi and the pastry shop Tratarisma, participants continued to the village of Tholaria, where they visited the church of Agioi Anargyri and enjoyed lunch and a traditional dance show at Santouraki restaurant. The day concluded with the opening night of the Convention and the 7th International Short Tourism Film Festival of Amorgos, which took place atAegialis Hotel & Spa, and dinner at the hotel’s Ambrosia Gallery Restaurant.
On the second day, participants were introduced to Kato Meria, the rural area of Amorgos, where they had the chance to walk along the path from Vroutsi village to the Hellenistic Tower of Agia Triada, continuing to the settlement of Arkesini, where lunch was offered atMarouso restaurant. In continuation, participants visited the Monastery of Agios Georgios Valsamitis, where sister Irini presented the history of the ancient water oracle that was located on the site and the condition of the Monastery today. In the evening, the screenings and lectures of the second day of the Convention and Festival took place at Aegialis Hotel & Spa and in continuation the participants enjoyed dinner at To Limani Tis Kira Katinasrestaurant in Aegiali.
On the third day, participants were guided to the Byzantine Monastery of Panagia Chozoviotissa, where they admired the architecture of this important monument, before continuing to a walk through the picturesque alleys of the capital Chora and the archaeological museum. In continuation, participants walked in Katapola and were offered lunch at Mythos restaurant, before departing for Aegialis Hotel & Spa, for the screenings and lectures of the third day of the Convention and Festival. Parallel to the evening program, an art exhibition took place with participating artists active on Amorgos, such as Anna Synodinou, Pilar Mayorga, Stella Spanou, Pothiti Mendrinou, and others, such as Nikos Karpouzis and Luda Zach. In continuation, dinner accompanied by live traditional music was offered at Panorama restaurant in Tholaria.
The fourth and last day of the Convention began with hiking from Asfontylitis, an abandoned rural settlement, to the Bay of Aegiali and Nissi Bar-Restaurant, where participants had the opportunity to see and taste local products presented by Maria Theologitou and local producers such as the winery Amorgion of Antonis Vekris and the organic shop Kelari of Maria Synodinou. In the evening, the last screenings of the Festival and final lecture of the Convention were followed by a discussion on the topic of the Festival’s special tribute to the challenge of tourism for social economy, in which participants engaged with great interest. The evening concluded with the announcement of the Festival winners, presented by the President of the Jury, Mrs Argiro Mesimeri, on behalf of the members Mr John Driedonks, Mr Bosko Savkovic, Mrs Sofia Katsoura and Mr Panagiotis Milas.
The prizes, created by the artist Nikos Karpouzis, were awarded to the following films:
- The 1st Prize was awarded to “Benares – The Unexplored Attachments” from India, directed by Amartya Bhattacharyya, for its inspired direction and originality of script.
- The 2nd Prize was awarded to “Nomads of Mongolia” from the USA, directed by Brandon Li, for the several layers at its story-line, spectacular photography and pioneer editing.
- The 3rd Prize was awarded to “Sitia – So Hard to Say Goodbye!” from Greece, directed by Theo Papadoulakis, for its emotional approach to the city.
The People’s Choice Prize was awarded to “Amazing Egypt”, directed by Siri Sri Peddapalli.
The Jury further awarded three Special Jury Prizes to the films “Moving Cities – Prague, Athens, London” from the UK, directed by Jevan Chowdhury; “Red Dream Project” from Canada, directed by Kyle Sandilands; and “My Stuffed Granny” from Greece, directed by Effie Pappa.
The topics discussed, already presented and continuing being presented in publications made by the participants, are expected to spark great interest in Greece and abroad and attract more visitors that look for quality destinations and alternative activities.