According to Greece’s tourism board, in 2018 there were 32 million overseas visitors to the country. That’s more than double the amount from 2010. It seems tourism is the one area of the nation’s economy that’s bucked the trend of financial decline. Though the amazing thing is, the majority of visitors head to just a small amount of Greece’s hundreds of islands. There are pros and cons to this. On the one hand, the islands that get all the tourists typically have better infrastructure, like airports, resorts, restaurants and other services. It also means that there are plenty of lesser-known destinations where you can escape the masses and have a more authentic experience. Plus by concentrating all the attention to a select few places it’s often easier to manage, and it means environmentally or culturally sensitive locations away from these areas can be protected.
On the downside, many of these popular islands weren’t built to handle huge numbers of people, so you’ve got strain on the local transport, power and sewerage systems, and the cost of living for locals goes up to match the high price of real estate and big spending tourists in these popular locales. There’s also the issue of sharing the wealth. If all the money from outsiders goes to just a handful of islands, there will become a widening gap that will see the other places not get the necessary financial injection they need to survive during these economically challenging times. Regardless, it’s wonderful to know that so many people are heading to Greece to experience a taste of this magnificent country. Lets hope we can spread the word about how great the off-the-beaten-path islands are so that a bit of pressure comes off the big five and the little guys get some tourism dollars too.
The 5 Most Visited Islands:
5 Lesser-known Gems: