Ermis Hotel representative accepting an award from the Mayor of Rethymno

On November 29, World Olive Day celebrations continued in Crete with a screening of the documentary "Cretan Olive Oil: The Secret of Longevity," remarks by local dignitaries, a lecture about the cooperation between the olive oil sector and tourism in Crete, a theatrical presentation by schoolchildren, and awards for hotels that promote Cretan olive oil.


The Importance of Cooperation of the Tourism and Olive Sectors

According to the Haniotika Nea newspaper, the event at the House of Culture in Rethymno included a presentation by Dr. Nikos Michelakis, scientific adviser to the Association of Cretan Olive Municipalities (ACOM or SEDIK) and former director of the Chania Olive Institute. In his lecture, "The Utilization of Olives and Olive Oil to Improve Tourism Quality and Expand the Tourist Season in Crete," Michelakis emphasized that olive growing and tourism, the two main economic resources of Crete, can and must cooperate.

The olive industry can help extend the tourist season and improve the quality of tourism in Crete, while tourism can help highlight and promote olive oil. But to achieve this, it is necessary to bolster the olive museums, monumental olive trees, and archaeological monuments related to olives, and to support the operation of restaurants and hotels that celebrate the local culture of the olive, as well as olive growing estates and other elements that already exist or can be developed in Crete.


Children’s Theatrical Presentation, "The Olive Fly and Its Controllers"

First grade students performing in a play

Haniotika Nea reported that the event in Rethymno was enriched by the youthful vitality of local first grade students’ enactment of the original play "The Olive Fly and Its Controllers,” which was written by Angela Mamou, a SEDIK collaborator and former school director. With their elaborate costumes and props, the young students impressively represented the life of the fruit fly whose treatment has played such an important part in the history of olive cultivation in Crete.


Awards to Cretan Hotels for Their Promotion of Olive Oil

Local and regional dignitaries including George Marinakis, mayor of Rethymno and president of SEDIK, presented gold, silver, and green awards to the Cretan hotels that a committee of academics judged most notable for the following accomplishments, as SEDIK explained to Greek Liquid Gold:

  • Using olive oil in breakfasts, salads, lunches, and dinners at the hotel
  • Offering informative material about olives and olive oil to tourists
  • Participating in surveys of tourists with questionnaires about olive oil
  • Offering packaged oil as a gift to hotel guests
  • Exhibiting branded olive oils on stands in the hotel
  • Organizing informative and cultural events related to olive oil

(Below, each winning hotel’s name is followed by the owner and location of the hotel. “Elea,” or “Ελιά,” means “Olive” or “Olive Tree” in Greek.)

Gold Minoan Elea Awards

Ermis Hotel, Omilos Mamidaki, Agios Nikolaos, Agios Nikolaos
Grecotel Creta Palace, N. Daskalantonakis, Missiria, Rethymno

Silver Minoan Elea Awards

Anemos Luxury Grand Resort, Panemar A.E., Georgioupoli, Chania
Pilot Hotel, Georgios Papadakis, Georgioupoli, Chania
Candia Park Village, T.E.I.M. Bluegr, Agios Nikolaos, Agios Nikolaos
Aquila Rithymna Beach, T. Daskalantonakis, Adelianos Kampos, Rethymno

Green Minoan Elea Awards

Ionia Suites, Afon Delimpasi Sons, Rethymno, Rethymno
Cactus Hotels, T. Halkiadakis A.E., Stalida, Hersonisos
Maleme Mare, Georgios Karmpadakis, Maleme, Platanias
Creta Royal, Kritikos Astir, Arkadiou, Rethymno


Findings and Conclusions

In addition to festive celebration, the World Olive Day events in Crete provided the opportunity for significant conclusions, for example regarding the importance of the olive and tourism sectors’ cooperation and the government’s support of such cooperation. In addition, teachers should work with the government to help increase young people’s awareness of the cultural and health values of olive oil.

Thanks to SEDIK for providing the photos that illustrate this article and its introduction. Additional photos are available in the sources for this article: on SEDIK’s website and in the Haniotika Nea newspaper.

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