It has been nearly 20 years since the residents of the Greek village Vamos in Crete made their first appearance in “Philoxenia,” the International Tourism Exhibition of Thessaloniki. Their presentation was limited to just a photo of a local tavern they had managed to make themselves.
According to Nikos Frantzeskakis, president of the Greek Rural Tourism Unions Association (SEAGE), in 1995 when the residents decided to make their village known through the International Tourism Exhibition they were constantly being asked: “What are you selling here?” The villagers then answered: “We are selling our dream!”
Much has changed for the village of Vamos and its residents since then. Their tenacity and passion helped take a major step in the field of rural tourism, not only in that specific region but also throughout Greece.
Vamos is located only half an hour outside the popular tourist destination of Chania and has a spectacular view of the mountain range Lefka Ori. Today the village hosts 50 guestrooms, 15 of which are part of the rural tourism program. The area has come a long way since 1995 when it only had 20 visitors per year. Nowadays, Vamos welcomes at least 30,000 tourists per year.
Nikos Frantzeskakis said: “Vamos has really grasped the meaning of rural Tourism. Our success comes from the fact that we love what we are doing and our decision to join forces and knowledge in order to make our village known to the world.”