Greece issues stern warning to UK tourists – Travel And Tour World

The government of Greece has issued a firm warning to tourists from the UK, effectively saying “no more tourism” as the historic city of Athens struggles under the pressure of overtourism. This declaration comes in response to the rising tensions and disruptions caused by the influx of British holidaymakers.

Rising Anti-Tourist Sentiment in Athens

In Athens, the discontent with the overwhelming number of tourists has led to several manifestations of anti-tourist sentiment. This includes graffiti targeting foreigners, protests lamenting the transformation of local neighborhoods, and even acts of vandalism and arson. A recent protest witnessed demonstrators voicing their frustrations loudly, accusing tourists of occupying local housing while enjoying luxurious stays elsewhere, like in the Maldives.

Local Residents’ Plight

Anna Theodorakis, a resident affected by these changes, shared with France24 her ordeal of being forced out of her home in the Metaxourgio area of Athens. She argued that direct action in the streets was necessary to halt the activities displacing locals. Theodorakis highlighted the particular issue with the proliferation of Airbnb properties, which she claimed were erasing the character of traditional neighborhoods and made her feel alienated in her own country.

Concerns from Within the Tourism Industry

Even those within the tourism sector, like Dimitri, a property developer in Athens, acknowledge the adverse effects of overtourism. He noted that the conversion of properties into Airbnb accommodations has reached a point where the local culture is being significantly diluted, posing a threat to the appeal of Athens as a tourist destination that values its Greek culture.

Greece’s Counteroffer to Affected British Tourists

Despite the issues in Athens, the Greek tourism authorities are trying to mitigate the impact of last year’s Rhodes wildfires on tourism. They are offering a complimentary week’s stay on the island of Rhodes to British tourists who had their holidays disrupted by the fires. This initiative, known as ‘Rodos Week,’ aims to rejuvenate interest in the area by providing e-vouchers for hotel stays, with values ranging between €300 and €500, depending on the hotel’s category.

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