The town of Sitia is widely believed to have taken its name from the ancient hellenistic settlement of Itia, Itida or Sitea, hometown of Misona (one of the seven renowned ancient philosophers) and of Vitzenzos Kornaros,the poet who wrote Erotokritos.
The economy of the area has traditionally been based on agriculture although produce is often sparse due to the stony and mountainous terrain.
Nowadays, thanks to the government subsidies, the economy is growing in many directions.
Tourism has expanded rapidly in the last few years with a range of hotels from economy to luxury. Important future sources of wealth for the area could be the archealogical sites which are constantly being unearthed, the well-organized and environmentally-friendly use of many sites of natural beauty such as Gorges, gaves and many beaches like Vai, Kato Zakros and many other places that surround the city of Sitia.