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Greek Islands

Greek islands threatened by tourism, a warning for our coastline

Greek islands threatened by tourism, a warning for Brazil‘s coas

Tourism in Greece multiplies the population and exposes critical flaws in healthcare, leading to accidents and tragedies, as well as environmental problems. Exponential population growth during the holidays also affects the Brazilian coast, especially in São Paulo, where cities such as Ubatuba, Ilhabela, São Sebastião and Bertioga face threats from uncontrolled tourism. Check Irelandnewsheadlines For More

Greek Islands

This situation caused the decline of places like Guarujá . It is crucial that authorities take urgent action to prevent the destruction of these sites. Tourism, if done poorly, turns from a solution to a problem. Let’s remember that there are 8 billion people on the planet. And, according to ecobnb.com , more than 1.4 billion people move around the world every year and are growing at an exponential rate. The World Tourism Organization predicts that by 2030 the international flow of tourists will exceed 2 billion.

Greece’s problems can help us prevent and avoid the decline of Brazil’s coastline

In June, three elderly people died in Greece due to a lack of medical transport, as reported by Le Monde . On the island of Kos, a 63-year-old woman died before reaching the hospital, transported in a trailer by residents, as there was no ambulance available. The only ambulance on the island was busy with another accident. Days later, a 76-year-old man died in Evia, due to similar circumstances. On the island of Lesbos, a 78-year-old woman lost consciousness while swimming and paramedics took more than two hours to arrive, only to find that she had no vital signs.

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Know that, if we take 2019 as a standard, a year before the pandemic, Greece was in ninth place in the ranking of countries that receive the most tourists, with 31.3 million visitors, according to www.statista.com . In the same year, 4.847 million foreign tourists arrived in the country, according to the federal government website .

Greek Islands

Brazil does not even appear among the ten countries that received the most tourists, despite its beauty and biodiversity

Therefore, it is unacceptable that Brazil’s coastline suffers the same problems that plague Greece. This just demonstrates how far behind we are in terms of public policies that preserve and guarantee the integrity of one of the most beautiful and biodiverse parts of the country, the coastal zone.

Lack of planning and excess people in fragile coastal areas without adequate infrastructure are recurring problems. Therefore, when a beach becomes popular, a horde of tourists and second-home owners overcrowds the region. This leads to the collapse of the already insufficient infrastructure, resulting in garbage everywhere, polluted rivers, chaotic traffic, air and sea pollution, etc. We have repeatedly warned that mass tourism destroys natural beauty, makes cities impassable, damages crucial ecosystems such as mangroves, restingas and dunes, and takes residents’ quality of life to unbearable levels. However, to the national media it appears that the problem does not exist. The issue almost never makes headlines.

Unlike the Brazilian media, Al Jazeera also protected the chaos on the Greek islands. George Sarelakos, founder and president of Aegean Rebreath, an employer that works to guard the marine environment, stated the excessive quantity of site visitors offers a developing environmental risk to Santorini, specially given the island’s lack of sparkling water.

 

“You can imagine all these thousands of tourists being on the islands, buying one or two bottles of water a day. We are talking about an unimaginable amount of plastic ending up at the bottom of the sea,” he said.

The overcrowding of tourism on the Greek islands: completely unsustainable. Image, www.greekreporter.com.

The irritation of the population of the island of Paros

Al Jazeera also commented on the irritation of the population on the island of Paros. This summer, residents protested swarms of privately owned sun loungers and umbrellas, taking up large stretches of sand and charging around 100 euros ($107) for a set, leaving no room for others to use the beach.

About cruise ships, so beloved by unprepared mayors of Brazilian coastal municipalities, says Al Jazeera : Georgios Hatzimanolis, head of global communications at Kpler, said that this summer Mykonos had an average of two cruise ships per day with peaks of six.

“This means that potentially 14,000 passengers could flood the small island in just one day,” he said, warning that the island’s “already strained” infrastructure could buckle under the pressure.

Tourism hotspot Venice has banned cruise ships

It was because of these problems that in 2021 Venice banned cruise ships from entering the city’s canals. In other words, there are ways to organize tourism so that it is not a threat to the environment and the quality of life of residents. However, it takes vision and determination to impose rules and thus make it sustainable.

Al Jazeera ends the article by highlighting that ‘authorities have said that combating overtourism is a “top priority”. The problem of mass tourism is being discussed throughout Greece, not just on the islands.

It is important to define the capacity of each location

The Irish Times , reports that Athens has reached its tourism limit, especially given the 500% increase in Airbnb listings over the past seven years. A study highlighted the overcoming of the “tourist transport capacity” in Athens, which measures the limit of visitors without harm to the environment and society. In many places, this limit has already been exceeded.

The article continues to explain that, despite tourism representing more than 25% of Greek GDP, it threatens the country’s social and cultural structure. The question arises: How to guarantee the quality of life of Greece’s permanent residents in the face of the growing wave of tourists?

 

For Cyclades Open , “Environmental resources are under pressure. Residents can no longer tolerate the way in which the real estate market threatens to spoil the landscape and beauty of tourist destinations…It seems that tourism beyond a certain growth threshold does not improve the quality of life of inhabitants, but worsens it, transforming the destination of a paradise in a hell.

Another source that joined in is greekreporter.com : Among the main impacts of excess tourism in Santorini are overexploitation, environmental impoverishment and the volume of waste generated.

First of all, all these criticisms would serve as a glove for the seaside resorts of São Paulo, in addition to more popular destinations such as Trancoso and Arraial da Ajuda, in Bahia; Arraial do Cabo, in Rio de Janeiro, and countless other destinations.

The example of the coast of Spain

What is happening to many destinations on the Brazilian or Greek coast was the same uncontrolled process that destroyed the coast of Spain. In 2009, the Guardian published the article The destruction of Spain ‘s coastline , with almost no text, just a series of images that make even a cobblestone tremble. It’s worth seeing what the Spanish coast has become due to lack of action.

This process continues to accelerate on the coast of Brazil and is now threatening Greece. However, there are ways to control tourism and make it less destructive and, possibly, sustainable.

Some measures to avoid chaos

We have selected some measures already taken by countries that have found themselves invaded by predatory tourism. However, the most important thing is to discuss the subject, put it in the media, promote discussion. Ignoring the problem as is happening in Brazil is definitely not the solution.

According to www.travelinglifestyle.net , France is considering a campaign to “discourage” travelers from going to some already crowded places, according to Olivia Grégoire, Minister of Commerce, Crafts and Tourism. It states that only 20% of the country’s total area is visited by 80% of all visitors.

The identical source reports that Venice, Amsterdam and Edinburgh have been recently added to the list of places that fee a charge. While a few web site site visitors oppose the modern price, others understand the good judgment at the back of the program, that is supposed to assist community economies and fight overtourism.

Another obvious way is to limit entries, this way destinations can directly control the number of tourists entering a region or city at a time.

According to pinatravels.org , many countries around the world, such as Bhutan and Spain, have implemented tourist taxes as a solution. Taxes are often added to hotel bills or are paid as an exit fee at the airport. They generate budgets that can be allocated to protecting natural resources and maintaining tourist facilities.

Another tactic is to restriction the amount of time a traveller can stay in one region in order that there may be much less overcrowding. This is already carried out at famous sites like Machu Picchu and Taj Mahal.

So, let’s learn from others and discuss our problem on the coast?

 

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