The threat of overtourism

The threat of overtourism

Overtourism is becoming an increasingly worrisome reality for Greece. A country that, to a large extent, depends on the tourist industry does not have the luxury of turning a blind eye and continuing down the slippery slope we are witnessing.

Mykonos and Santorini, for decades the country’s top destinations, described as the “crown jewels” of Greek tourism, are at the center of the deteriorating situation.

The widespread building activity and the overcrowding have a very negative impact on both the local population as well as on the visitors themselves.

None of the two can support the worsening situation and to the extent they try to, the quality of the services they provide is not what it used to be, falling victim to the lack of long-term planning.

Too many cruise ships bring too many tourists that, at the end of the day, do not contribute that much to local economies. They have rather become a burden.

The inability of the infrastructure – built to serve only a small percentage of the present volume of tourists – to adequately cover the needs of the island, especially during the summer high season, is another problem.

In the same spirit the unexpectedly heavy traffic, an awkward reality for islands that project natural beauty and relaxation, along with delays in garbage collection and disposal, don’t help either.

Add to the mix the corruption that Kathimerini has taken the lead in revealing, especially on Mykonos, and the situation becomes explosive.

With the reputation of these islands being threatened, the central government, local authorities, civic society, but also private businesses, have to act soon and jointly come up with viable and forward-looking solutions.

Time is not on our side.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.