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Lesvos Mayor Urges Cruise Companies to Include Island in Stopovers

Mytilini Port

Mytilini Port Photo © Koutrolm/Wikimedia Commons

The Mayor of Lesvos is telling cruise companies that there is no reason to cancel scheduled itineraries to the island after the mother company of the Azamara Journey decided to exclude Mytilini port from its route on June 21.

Lesvos has been in the spotlight in past weeks due to a massive influx of illegal migrants and refugees from neighboring shores.

“There is no reason to cancel your scheduled visits to Lesvos. If you have any question or doubt or second thoughts, please do not hesitate to contact us anytime. We are at your disposal for any clarification and communication,” Lesvos Mayor Spyros Galinos said in a letter to cruise company representatives, adding that “we are making a huge effort, and I believe we deserve your moral support in this. Support in practice means not canceling the approach of your ships to the port of Mytilini”.

In the meantime, the mayor lashed out at the media and certain reporters for “creating a false impression by publishing articles and photographs which in most cases do not reflect the overall picture but specific incidents”, thus creating a false sense of panic, insecurity and lack of safety policy, which may he said “serve newspaper sales and blog visits, but has the potential to negatively affect tourism on our island”.

The mayor went on to assure that order has been restored “and we are ready to welcome your customers and our guests at any time. I believe that minor incidents should not affect your judgment and deprive your customers of visiting one of the most beautiful islands of the Aegean”.

In response, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said that there has been no directive to companies to stop approaches to Greek islands facing the influx of migrants. The Lesvos cancellation was an isolated decision by the company.

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