Greece Extends Olive Branch to Tourists Affected by Wildfires on Rhodes
Photo Credit: Photo credit: Erik Karits

Photo Credit: Photo credit: Erik Karits

Greece Extends Olive Branch to Tourists Affected by Wildfires on Rhodes

Rafael Peña
Rafael Peña Aug 7, 2023

Greece is taking a compassionate approach to support tourists whose vacations were marred by the devastating wildfires that raged on the beautiful island of Rhodes in July. The Greek government announced on Wednesday that it will offer a week-long complimentary stay in Rhodes in 2024.

The fires, which erupted on July 18 in central Rhodes and spread due to strong winds, wreaked havoc on the eastern and southern coast. This caused extensive damage to homes and hotels, and forced an evacuation of more than 20,000 people.

Tourism plays a pivotal role in Greece’s economic resurgence, since it emerged from a crippling debt crisis in 2018. Rhodes is a beloved destination for those seeking solace in its sun-kissed shores.

Prime Minister Assures Safety

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis acknowledged the severity of the wildfire’s impact during an interview with Britain’s ITV. He stated that approximately 15 percent of Rhodes was affected by the disaster. However, he assured the public that the situation was under control and life on the island has returned to normal.

To alleviate the inconvenience experienced by tourists, the Greek government aims to entice them back to Rhodes. Prime Minister Mitsotakis announced that travelers can redeem a complimentary week-long holiday on the island. Those trips can be during the spring or fall of 2024. This gesture expresses Greece’s commitment to preserving its allure as a cherished destination. It also ensures that visitors can once again relish the island’s natural beauty.

In light of the recent wildfires and the broader context of climate change, Prime Minister Mitsotakis acknowledged that such blazes have become more intense and frequent in the Mediterranean region. This pressing concern underscores the need for greater environmental awareness and initiatives to safeguard the landscapes that draw visitors from across the globe.

The Damage

According to Greek authorities’ initial assessment, the Rhodes wildfires caused damage to 45 buildings on the island. As the nation grapples with the aftermath, the resilience of its people and their determination to protect their landmarks shines through.

In extending this generous offer of free stays, Greece demonstrates its commitment to standing with its tourists during challenging times. While also showcasing the indomitable spirit that defines this iconic destination. As the world faces an increasingly uncertain climate, Greece’s response serves as a beacon of hope. It is also a reminder of the power of empathy and unity in times of crisis.

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