Impact of tourism on the island....

Impact of tourism on the island....

Leanne1976Leanne1976 Posts: 94Member
Hi Augie!
So I have just come back from a week in Zante. We noticed that the tourism there is having a huge impact on the island, especially the wildlife. Everything is aimed at their having turtles, but the boat tours and the public leaving rubbish on beaches is having a severe impact on their numbers. Not to mention some of the towns are FULL off pubs, clubs and young adults on a mission to drink as much as possible in the space of their holiday.

My visits to Thassos have been a completely different experience and I would hate for Thassos to become like zante, are there any kind of restrictions/Laws/plans in the place to avoid it being totally sucked up by holiday makers? I know I am one of those, and I know a lot of the locals rely on us to make a living but at what cost to the natural beauty and echo systems?

Comments

  • AugieAugie Posts: 430Administrator
    edited June 26
    Hey Leanne!

    I hope you enjoyed your holiday in Greece, and that you feel rested and recharged, even though it was a different kind of holiday experience from what you've experienced on Thassos. :)

    Tourism has an environmental impact in every corner of the world it touches, but you're right in asking if there are local restrictions/laws/plans in place to preserve the natural environment, because this can play a major role in the sustainability of a holiday destination, especially a sensitive one.

    Thassos is lucky because it's off the beaten track (not on any island-hopping routes) and hasn't experienced over-tourism like other islands have, which are finding their natural resources, public services, and infrastructure under a lot of stress.

    Cruise ships don't normally stop here because of the big distance Thassos is from the Cyclades, which in a way is good because they typically bring thousands of tourists to one place all at once, just for a few hours typically, who consume and create a lot of waste in short periods of time.

    However, Thassos isn't immune to the effects of tourism, and I'm not just talking about local tourism. For example, there's more and more plastic waste (bags, mainly) in the waters off the coast of Thassos. These bags can come from anywhere, other islands and other countries like Turkey. Sadly, it would be ignorant of us to assume this isn't having an impact on the local marine wildlife.

    Waste management on the island is a major challenge, especially in the height of the season when the sheer volume of people can overwhelm our small island communities. Unfortunately, there will always be people who carelessly throw garbage out of their cars or on the streets or even on the pristine beaches. Local authorities and residents try to keep up but sometimes they simply can't.

    There's actually been a lot of debate here recently, about the local authority's tourism and waste management efforts. It was a major topic in the local elections last month and people feel we must do a lot more. A new mayor was elected and one of his pledges was to put more focus on responsible tourism development. What will this mean in terms of restrictions/laws/plans, we shall see!
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