The Department of Tourism, Culture & Employment of Chersonissos has decided to honour its repeat, loyal visitors, as well as those who choose the Municipality of Chersonissos to marry, by offering them a "Local Passport", thus making them symbolic (unofficial) its citizens. However, this “passport” will also have a useful status for its holders as it is linked to a loyalty program that offers discounts, special offers and other benefits to its holders, in collaboration with local businesses and organizations. Businesses that support this initiative will refer to their website and, in a prominent place in the business itself, there will be a sticker with the words: "Chersonissos Municipality Partner Local Passport - Friends, welcome here." Already many businesses, hotels, transport companies, TAXI, Chersonissos Commercial Association, Heraklion County Apartments Association "FILOXENIA", Heraklion Hotel Association, etc. have declared their involvement as supporters of this new venture of the tourism mayoralty. Passport holders of the Municipality of Chersonissos will be informed by the website of the Tourism Department “landofexperiences.gr”, where a special section has already been created for the companies participating in the program with their contact details (address, telephone, e-mail), as well as details about the various offers by each business.
Chersonissos Mayor Yiannis Mastorakis said: "With this symbolic “Local Passport” the municipal authority shows its immense appreciation, gratitude and respect to those guests who have chosen the destination"Chersonissos Municipality ", from Amnissos to Malia, for their vacation over the years, and as the place to exchange an eternal promise of love and the beginning of their common life, by marrying here."
The deputy mayor of tourism, mr Efthimios Mountrakis, the originator of the idea, said: "This idea was born in our minds, since it had already been created in our hearts. And the reason that was created in our hearts was because all these wonderful people, they first, have put us in their hearts. It was their words that touched us and inspired us to offer them this minimal gesture of honour and appreciation. Phrase such like: "here we feel as our second home", "here we have another family", "we have very good friends, we come to weddings, christenings and every important family event", "we come to visit our Greek, Cretan relatives, "here is our second home", "here we have met the best people that now we consider as relatives" and so many other, moving expressions of love. Saying all that, what else would be more logical, than to consider all these couples who consciously choose our place, to promise "…life-long love and faith to each other, in good and bad times…" as natives? What else would make more sense than to consider the one who chooses our place among so many other beautiful places in the world to come for vacation over 10, 20 or even 30 years, also as a native! "
The purpose of the Tourism Department is to make all these loyal friends of our municipality holding this "passport" in their hands, with their photo and information, to feel that Chersonissos Municipality truly recognizes these feelings and appreciates their dedication. That they are considered equal to permanent residents of the area.
To the question of the mayor and the deputy mayors to the couples who marry in the municipality, why they chose our municipality, they reply: "For us Crete and Greece in general, is a special country, we learn from children at school about it… we know its history, its philosophers, its culture, its mythology, and so many other things, making us feel such a great admiration about your place. By marrying here, we wish to establish a relationship, a symbolic bond with Greece."
Concluding the Deputy Mayor of Tourism, Culture and Employment of the Municipality of Chersonissos said: "What a great honour for us and our country, people from all over the world among thousands of destinations, to choose our municipality over and over again. In the last five years we have rewarded approximately one thousand repeat visitors, and our excitement remains the same every single time. We know that these people are our best ambassadors, our supporters in difficult and our advertisers in bad times. It is our desire, all these wonderful, loyal fans, our friends, to feel good and welcome in our place. To feel at home, we want them to feel natives, “Gouviani, Cherssoniotes, Maliotes…” to feel Cretans. With this "Local Passport" we want to offer them what they also wish, to feel our Municipality as their second home country! With this passport in their hands, by showing it to their friends and relatives in their country, and also here, in their "new home", they will feel proud and honoured, as we do about them. Similar feelings of belonging we wish to have all these couples who marry here. They may visit us for the first time but certainly will not for the last! They will always remember and keep into their hearts the place they got married, and many will return here to renew their vows. »
We would like to thank our famous local artist, Mr. Roussetos Panagiotakis for offering his magnificent work "Port of Hersonissos, 4th century BC" - "Vritomartis and Filonides", to decorate the passport, as well as the person who did all the graphic design Mrs. Maria Christakis.
Procedure for obtaining a "Local Passport"
- The "Local Passport" is given automatically, if they wish so, to all couples who have a civil marriage in the Municipality of Chersonissos.
- The "Local Passport" is given after an official written proposal of a local businessman (hotelier, restaurateur, etc.) verifying that the guest is coming to our municipality, longer than ten years.
In order to obtain a Local Passport, the visitor must provide evidence of his / her visits to the Municipality of Chersonissos.
• Passport visas
• Hotel reservations
• Airplane boarding cards or transition tickets
• Travel insurance
• Any other document proving residence in the Municipality of Chersonissos
Repeat Visitor Ranks:
• Gold, over 20 times or 15 consecutive years
• Silver, over 15 times or 10 consecutive years
• Bronze, over 10 times or 7 consecutive years