The tourist season on the island of Santorini begins in early March and ends just before Christmas. The number of tourists exceeds 2 million every year, while during the peak summer season 15,000 people get off the cruise ships every day. The mayor of the island Anastasios Nikolaos Zorzos spoke to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency about his efforts to curb the tourist saturation on the island and expressed his anxiety over the excessive construction that limits rural land.
Wednesday, November 16. Athens is in the heart of autumn and for most of the citizens of the capital summer is a lost memory.
On the same day, only 30 minutes by plane from the “Eleftherios Venizelos” international airport, on a small island of the Cyclades, the summer continues: Most shops are open as well as the boutiques with the latest fashion clothes that cannot be found even in Athens, stylish cafes and restaurants with Greek, Chinese and Indian cuisine, and jewelry shops that can be compared with those of the Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
The island of Santorini has won the bet of the tourist destination all-year-round, the mayor said stressing, however, the importance of taking measures in order to avoid any negative repercussions.
The services on the island have been upgraded offering from excursions to the volcano and the surrounding islands to helicopter flights over the caldera, renting luxurious vessels for a few hours, climbing, and diving to the seabed of Santorini.
Zorzos stressed the need to put a halt to the over-exploitation of the island due to tourism. “The building limits have already been surpassed at the expense of agricultural land,” he stated adding that safeguards should be set.
“Further construction will affect quality tourism. Our aim is to attract high income visitors all year round,” he said.
The mayor referred to the recent campaign promoting tourism throughout the year as well as the efforts made to promote Santorini as a thematic, alternative destination (cultural, gastronomic, architectural, educational etc).