The island of Kos will receive 1 million euros in emergency funding from the South Aegean Region in order to address problems arising from the influx of refugees and migrants and to address the impact on the local economy and tourism with the aim to restore the Greek island’s image as a leading tourist destination.
The Regional Council of the South Aegean met earlier this month in order to draw up an emergency plan ahead of the 2016 tourism season. A total of 200,000 euros have been set aside for the promotion of the island’s tourist potential in view of the primarily negative media coverage due to the ongoing refugee crisis.
“We were forced due to moral reasons to go past our scope of responsibilities… The Region bore the heavy burden of the economic and political cost which was not attributable to us,” South Aegean Prefect George Hadjimarkos said referring to the recent refugee crisis devastating the island.
“The problem is here to stay. We have a long road ahead… We have an obligation to our islands, to the country and to our nation to work together, setting aside all our differences,” he stressed.
In the meantime, restoring the image of Kos will be among the priorities of the local authorities, with activities including the island’s participation in the 20th East Mediterranean International Tourism and Travel Exhibition (Emitt) in Istanbul in January 28-31, 2016, and in the Β2Β Luxury & MICE show to take place in Baku, on April 12-14, 2016.