Following a strong summer in both Santorini and Mykonos, the Greek Tourism Ministry has announced that moving forward it will focus on achieving more sustainable tourism practices at Greece’s most popular summer destinations.
According to Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias, the government plans on conducting a special study that will help transform the country into a sustainable tourism destination.
During an interview with the Greek newspaper VIMA, Kikilias said, “This study is designed to capture the current situation on the two islands, regarding the incoming tourist flows, the offered tourism product, and their infrastructure. The aim is to transform them from ‘overcrowded peak season islands’ to ‘models of sustainable development.”
In mid-October this year, Kikilias spoke with Santorini’s Mayor Antonis Sigalas, where the two focused on sustainable tourism development and crowd management. They also discussed spatial planning, infrastructure development and integration, digital switchover, cruise management, as well as proposals in order to address the issue of parking and sustainable resource management.
Sigalas stressed his concerns of peak season in Santorini, as the island recorded 1.27 million arrivals from January to September this year, again being one of the top performers despite the pandemic.
During the meeting, they also brought up the possibility of alternative forms of tourism, cultural heritage protection, and the development of the primary sector.
“The fact that this is such a popular destination can and should act as a milestone of our strategic decision to make Greece a model of sustainable tourism development worldwide,” Minister Kikilias pointed out.
According to the Minister, the tourism ministry will be ready to present its short and long-term plan over the next few weeks.