We are in late October and the tourist period in the Aegean islands is over, but on Santorini the tourists are flooding the alleys of the island as they did in mid-August.
The charter flights from all over the world continue to land and take off from the island’s airport many times each day while the cruiseships will continue to bring up to 3,000 visitors every day until the end of November.
The summer continues on Santorini: ‘It is a very good tourist year,’ Santorini mayor Anastassios-Nikolaos Zorzos stated to the Athens Macedonian News Agency, noting that Santorini is now an all-year-round destination.
“We invest and support this initiative because the island is a destination that is not exclusively based on the sea and the sun. Its cultural heritage, antiquities, architecture, environment, the volcano and gastronomy constitute the island’s main and exceptional characteristics. In the last three years we had a significant rise in the businesses that remained open throughout the year, either hotels or restaurants. In the first year of this initiative over 35 hotels remained open, 100 the following year, while in 2016 we reached 150,” said Zorzos.
“Santorini is a very popular destination, however, we have reached point zero for this effort to boomerang. We are talking about a very small island, only 77 square kilometres, and 11 percent of it was already built in 2015. We must put a halt to this, to examine what we can do to protect our uniqueness. We are facing a number of urban-style problems: increased traffic, inadequate water and energy supply, pollution and accomodation issues,” underlined Zorzos and urged the central government to set up a legal framework enabling island authorities to protect, safeguard and develop the island’s characteristics. “Otherwise, I am afraid that the uncontrolled ‘growth’ will continue and we will lead the island to a state that is irreversible.”