Greece is fighting to strike a balance between sustainable and over tourism

Published on : Thursday, June 7, 2018

Germans prefer Greece and Turkey as summer destinationGreece is the latest in a string of European countries who are fighting to maintain the fine balance between sustainable tourism and “over tourism” – but the country is indeed feeling the damage.

This year, the country expects to welcome 32 million foreign travellers, which is almost 100 per cent increase from the 15 million visitors in 2010.

The tiny island of Santorini has felt the strain more than any other place. At just 76 square kilometres, Santorini has reportedly struggled with traffic jams and overcrowding, alongside rising water and energy consumption. This has led to a limit on cruise passengers to the island in an attempt to restrict the number of visitors.

For a country that has recently been on the brink of bankruptcy, the tourist inflow has arguably been an evil in keeping its economy buoyant.

Nikos Chrysogelos, the Greek politician and environmentalist said, “We can’t keep having more and more tourists. We can’t have small islands, with small communities, hosting one million tourists over a few months. There’s a danger of the infrastructure not being prepared, of it all becoming a huge boomerang if we only focus on numbers and don’t look at developing a more sustainable model of tourism.”

With one in five Greek people working in the tourism sector, achieving a balance that benefits residents and tourists will be a delicate business.


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