ATHENS – Tourists are stepping over each other in Greece’s most popular spots, particularly islands, in what looks to be a record-breaker year even during the COVID-19 pandemic but so many that the infrastructure can’t keep up.
In a review on the dilemma – Greece was eager to get tourists to return but is promoting lesser-visited islands and destinations, the usual favorites are overwhelmed – Kathimerini said there’s not enough parking, uncontrolled numbers of private vehicles on islands and no strategic planning.
The worry is that there will be a backlash against turning those spots into Disneyland or Las Vegas-like versions of what a Greek island or area is supposed to be, eventually driving people away.
“This means the level of visitor satisfaction will begin to drop, eventually damaging Greece’s reputation. A case in point is the third-world images of overcrowded buses on Paros currently doing the rounds on social media,” the report said.
Other problems include the super-rich taking over areas reserved for them in luxury resorts, cutting off access to others, public beaches consumed by private businesses, a growing demand for VIP services and summer residences in areas where there aren’t sewers or other infrastructure.
Officials on Santorini already have limited cruise ship arrivals and are anxious th the island’s systems just can’t keep pace in the summer and popular months with the arriving hordes.