Paros has many assets which, if promoted, could attract tourists seeking more than sun and sand and considerably extend its tourist season. Significant cultural activities are already part of Paros life, usually organised by community based societies. Parians as well as “new Parians”, i.e foreigners who have chosen to make Paros their home for all or most of the year, are very active in organising as well as actively participating in concerts, theatre, art exhibitions, cinema club, lectures etc. Participation in sports has increasingly become an attraction for locals as well as holiday makers.
What remains less well promoted is Paros’ cultural heritage and its landscape and villages. Paros has a large range of antiquities from prehistoric through the classical and post-classical times to the Byzantine and post-Byzantine period. Its museum, ancient cemetery and ancient marble quarries are possibly the best known. There are also several significant archaeological sites, spread all over the island. Its villages, as well as the countryside are full of little picturesque churches. There are beautiful old villages still unknown to the majority of the visitors. Several of the villages, the archaeological sites and the churches and monasteries are connected through footpaths in areas of outstanding natural beauty. Unfortunately, very few of these footpaths are properly maintained and signposted. As “walking holidays” are becoming ever more popular Paros’ footpaths could become a major out-of-season attraction.
Paros should, and could easily, promote tourism products that respect its identity and cultural and natural beauty for long term prosperity.