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Published on : Friday, September 1, 2017
On the one end, the Greek island is a place for honeymooners, families and friends who come to escape from humdrum city life. This version of Santorini is painted in gorgeous tangerine sunsets, whitewashed buildings with bright blue accents, and cliff-top restaurants buzzing with customers who are there for the pricey meals and panoramic views.
The other side of the island, however, is a source of struggle. Following the 2010 debt crisis, Santorini, along with the rest of Greece, suffered from economic turmoil. These days, many locals are still unable to pay basic utility bills.
Hence, this changing nature of Santorini is causing trouble in the travel sector. This year, almost two million travellers will cancel Santorini from their bucket list. In a country largely dependent on tourism — 23 per cent of the country’s population is unemployed — hence, this influx of visitors can be viewed as favourable.
Greece as a whole is set to welcome 30 million tourists in 2017 alone — a record-breaking high that will indeed help in boosting the economy of the country as well as decrease unemployment. Also, 141 hotels will stay open in Santorini later in the northern winter, extending the season so locals can make the most of the incoming profits.
In an attempt to control over tourism, Santorini’s mayor Nikolaos Zorzos is limiting visitor numbers this year. He’s already limited the number of cruise ship passengers disembarking every day.