Over tourism concerns on Santorini, Rhodes prompt action
With Greece's tourist season heading into its busiest time of year, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced that it will look at ways at making sure the sector keeps growing well into the future.
The London based lender said that it will launch a program to promote sustainable tourism in two of the country's most popular holiday destinations – Rhodes and Santorini.
Greece's strong tourism industry has helped prop up the country's economy as it recovers from a ten year crisis but booming visitor numbers have created concerns of overtourism.
Last year, 33 million people visited Greece - a country with a population of around ten million people.
In places such as Santorini, there have been growing complaints of the island being unbearingly overcrowded, particularly during the peak month of August.
Initially on these two island, EBRD will launch what it calls its destination management program.
By teaming up with local government, EBRD will highlight the benefits and the challenges of tourism development and will provide a long-term strategy for each of the destinations, identifying the necessary initiatives to continue tourism on sustainable terms and defining the roles of different stakeholders.
In addition, a training guide will lay the foundations for extending relevant practices around the country.
The aim is to ensure that the destinations are developed, managed and promoted successfully, in a sustainable, long term, integrated way, with a clear focus on the needs not only of tourists but of businesses and residents as well.
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