Mitsotakis Says His Aim: Making Greece’s World Best Tourist Destination

ATHENS – A full-speed ahead tourism push even at the cost of popular islands buckling under too many visitors and their infrastructure strained hasn’t deterred Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis wanting more of them, and businesses too.

He told European Travel Commission President Luis Araujo at a forum on European tourism his goal is making Greece “the best tourist destination in the world in a 10-year period,” said Naftemporiki, over many islanders concerns.


They are upset that public beaches have been further taken over by businesses and luxury resorts in violation of the Greek Constitution which stipulates they are public, but many users are blocked from reaching them.

A 2023 crackdown on some businesses encroaching on their unlawful leases, granting them 50 percent of beaches for paid umbrellas and sunbed lounges didn’t touch 5-Star resorts of the type the government favors, seeking big spenders.

Tourism in 2023 saw more than 30 million arrivals – three times the country’s population, and brought in more than 20 billion euros ($21.71 billion,) the government showing no sign of slacking off reaching out for more despite the crunch put on islands.

Greek tourism businesses, especially restaurants and hotels, lost staff during the COVID-19 pandemic that locked them down, leading employees in the sector to look for work elsewhere, many returning when health restrictions were lifted.

Mitsotakis said one answer is raising wages for tourism workers, with waiters paid 7 euros ($7.60) per hour, below the new minimum wage of 10.58 euros ($11.49) and some restaurant owners notorious for evading taxes and gouging customers.

Greece tourism wasn’t set back in 2023 by record heat waves, nor deadly floods nor fires that saw visitors to the island of Rhodes fleeing for their lives when blazes struck and complaining they were largely left on their own.

The government promised those whose vacations were cut short by the fires on the island a free week’s holiday this year in a bid to keep people coming, although nothing deterred others who came in record numbers all year.

There’s worry that climate change and heat could keep people away but there’s not been any report on early bookings to see how much tourism will be affected and Mitsotakis noting how much residents on Rhodes helped foreigners during the fires.

“Essentially, they used this crisis as an opportunity, more or less, to change the image of Rhodes to that of a resilient island. I consider that this is a very, very important issue,” Mitsotakis said after the Tourism Minister last year downplayed the fires there.

He outlined the government’s measures in response to climate change, the paper said, as he added, “The Mediterranean as a whole is a hotspot for climate change,” which would bring a greater number of fires, floods and extreme phenomena.

“We know, of course, that these natural disasters will occur with ever greater frequency, which means that we must reinforce the civil protection mechanism as a whole. As a country, we are investing more than two billion euros on civil protection,” he said, stressing that the top priority was protecting human lives.


CHALKIDA, Greece - As Greece is pushing to rein in tax evaders - which no government has been able to do - the director and four employees at the Halkida tax office on the country’s second-biggest island of Evia, were arrested on bribery charges.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


Three Little Piggies at a Yoga Class = Maximum Happiness

SPENCER, Mass. (AP) — Three little piggies went to a yoga class.

WASHINGTON — The presidents of Northwestern and Rutgers universities defended their decisions to end pro-Palestinian encampments through negotiations rather than police force, telling a House committee on Thursday that they defused the danger without ceding ground to protesters.

SAN FRANCISCO  — Google is tried to confront the latest in a succession of legal attacks on its digital empire on Thursday as federal judge began to address anticompetitive practices in the app market for smartphones powered by its Android software.

WASHINGTON  — Get ready for what nearly all the experts think will be one of the busiest Atlantic hurricane seasons on record, thanks to unprecedented ocean heat and a brewing La Nina.

C. Dean Metropoulos has made what Babson College is calling a “transformational gift to launch the C.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.