Public event

Olga Kefalogianni speaks on Greece's Cultural Heritage at the Museum of Vancouver

April 16, 2019

On March 27, 2019, the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies welcomed Olga Kefalogianni, former Minister of Tourism and current member of the Greek Parliament for Nea Demokratia, who offered a public lecture at the Museum of Vancouver on Greece’s Cultural Heritage, sustainable development, and the economic promise of tourism.

The evening was opened by the Acting Director of the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies and Associate Professor of Byzantine History in the Hellenic Studies Program at Simon Fraser University, Dr. Dimitris Krallis, who began with an acknowledgement of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish Nations on whose traditional territories the Museum of Vancouver now rests. His remarks that followed explored the different experiences that Vancouver and Athens have had with tourism, noting the opportunities for sustainable and sustained growth that still remains for Athens, before introducing Ms. Kefalogianni to assembled guests.

Greece’s rich historical and cultural heritage has enticed and attracted visitors for generations. In 2018 alone, 33 million tourists visited the country’s eighteen UNESCO World Heritage sites (the most in Europe), its impressive coastline, islands and beaches. Tourism accounts for nearly one-fifth of Greece’s GDP and has been a key economic driver in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Ms. Kefalogianni’s talk highlighted the significant opportunities for all sectors of the Greek economy from further development of Greece’s dynamic tourist sector, as well as the possibilities offered by new digital technologies and the creative classes that support them.

The talk was followed by an informal discussion between Dr. Krallis and Ms. Kefalogianni where many of the issues raised in the talk were explored in greater detail; the audience was also given the opportunity to ask questions of the visiting MP. Following the question and answer session, which took place as the sun set over Vanier Park and the surrounding city, the assembled guests concluded with a reception, where the discussion continued.

The SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies was pleased to explore such an important economic and cultural issue as tourism with the Member of Parliament for Athens’ electoral District A, members of the local Greek-Canadian diaspora community, and philhellenes.

For more information about the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies, please visit our Media page.