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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 2 February 2019
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 2 FEBRUARY 2019 19 TRAVEL Santorini is being plagued by overtourism. E ven though tourism is ven though tourism is the Greek economy's main pillar, helping the Greek economy's main pillar, helping the country out of the crisis, the country out of the crisis, a European Parliament eport carried out by the ommittee on Transport a European Parliament report carried out by the Committee on T ansport and Tourism (TRAN) has Greece - and especially Santor ni - cou d suffer.ould sufferl Since 2011, the Cycladic Since 2011, the Cycladic island has had an overflow ofisland has had an overflow of visitors due to its burgeoning popularity which has led o strained infrastructure visitors due to its burgeoning popularity which has led tto strained infrastructur and severe overcrowding and severe overcrowding at popular sites. The at popular sites. The phenomenon has subsequently esulted in some negative eviews on several platforms phenomenon has subsequently resulted in some negative reviews on several platforms and publications, describing and publications, describing the "Santorini experiencthe "Santorini experience" as highly unpleasant and non- e" as highly unpleasant and nonrecommendable. Meanwhile,ommendable. Meanwhile, a large portion of visitors' emains a large portion of visitors' flow on Santorini rflow on Santorini remains unregulated with many unregulated with many arrivals being unrecorded. The number of overnight arrivals being unrecorded. The number of overnight stays on Santorinistays on Santorini in 2017 in 2017 and Tourism (TRAN) has just issued a warning thatjust issued a warning that Greece - and especially Santorini - ci reached 5.5 million, compared The survey, titled 'Overtourism: Impact and PImpact and Possible Policy Responses' shows that arrivals Responses' shows that arrivals on the island reach 18,000 a day including cruise travelers; his means there are more on the island reach 18,000 a day including cruise travelers; tthis means there are mor visivisitors than actual rtors than actual residents on the island per day ton he island per day. Ac esidents According to the data, overtourism has caused ding to the data, overtourism has caused environmental issues, tourist omplaints about other environmental issues, tourist complaints about other tourists, trtourists, trafaffic and publicfic and public trtransport congestion, as well poor implementation and enfor ement of policies… and the failure of policies and caps to be effective n limiting the number eptablet eached 5.5 million, compared to 3.3 million in 2012.to 3.3 million in 2012.The survey, titled 'Overtourism: ossible Policy ansport congestion, as well as uncivilised behavior."The as uncivilised behavior."The lack of suclack of success of governmentess of government interventions, including theinterventions, including the poor implementation and enforcement of policies… and the failure of policies and caps to be effective iin limiting the number visitors to an aciv sitors to an accep able llevel," the report continues, evel," the report continues, while TRAN pushes for the policies aimed at managing and regulating visitors' flow while TRAN pushes for the implementation of effectiveimplementation of effective policies aimed at managing and regulating visitors' flow. Athens - Thessaloniki in three hours and 20 minutes Much awaited high-speed train line to open on Tuesday G reeks have waiting for this project to become operational for years, as it will connect its two main cities, Athens and Thessaloniki cutting down travel time to three hours and 20 minutes. The ERGOSE railway operator has just announced the train line is now open following the completion of the Lianokladi-Domokos segment near Lamia, and will be fully operational by February. Among a series of large scale infrastructure works completed this year the 21km Lianokladi-Domokos electrified line that has been opened to the public will be replacing one of the most problematic arteries of the country. As of now, diesel trains will be running along this segment until full electric operation and signage Greek tourism notes record highs for 2018 Little Venice quay flooded with tourists. T Athens to Thessaloniki travel time cut down. are in place."With these works, Ergose completes a significant railway project: the construction of the new railway line serving the main 'Piraeus – Athens – Thessaloniki' railway axis with a modern, fully interoperable dual electrified line," a spokesperson for the train operator company said. ourism Minister Elena Kountoura announced the tourism figures for Greece showing a new historical record for the year 2018. There were 33 million international arrivals, bringing with them revenues that surpassed 16 billion euros. Ms Kountoura underlined the enormous contribution that the tourism sector makes to the Greek economy, affecting trade, construction and real estate. She stated that she will continue to veer towards success in 2019 so as to maintain the double-digit increase, however estimated that the year would be difficult with challenges such as Brexit due to influence the European economy. Other challenges include successive elections in Europe, greater competition from non-EU countries with "subsidisation" policies and the shortfalls of the Greek economy that put expensive advertising campaigns out of reach. To offset the risks, Ms Kountoura stressed that she would have meetings with tourism industry operators in the UK and the rest of Europe so that tourism could continue its upward trend.
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