The intervention area for the local Leader+ program includes the mountainous areas of Halkidiki, as well as selected less-favoured areas from Municipal areas adjacent to the aforementioned mountainous areas. From an administrative point of view, the area includes the boundaries of 6 Municipalities as well as 4 selected areas from other 4 Municipalities. The total surface area is 439,1 hectares and the population concerned is 42.731 inhabitants.The program’s actions are designed in a way that are situated in 4 Integrated Tourist Itineraries, which include a variety of themes and combine nature, tradition, history and craftsmanship. Furthermore, the itineraries offer not only hospitality infrastructure and traditional dining facilities but also recreational and educational facilities.
The program is constructed around a central theme, the Local Program Solidarity Theme, which is: “Showcasing of local resources, products and services and reinforcing interdisciplinary, inter-industry and interregional synergies aiming at facilitating access to the markets”.
The local Leader+ program’s motto is: “Halkidiki Rediscovered: Excellence in Quality”
The strategic goals of the local Leader+ program are:
To achieve spatial competitiveness by showcasing local capital in an innovative way and by increasing the added value of local produce
To improve tourist flows towards the area by showcasing its comparative advantages and by creating links and liaisons
It is apparent that a trans-national program like the European Territorial Quality Mark contributes significantly to the achievement of both the strategic goals of the local Leader+ program, since it involves the mobilisation of local businesses and institutions towards a more synergetic model of operations and attitude with the core theme of Quality as a guide for all efforts.