Greek Tourism Ministry Looks to Support Samothrace After Ferry Trouble
Greek Tourism Minister Haris Theocharis next week will meet with professionals of Samothrace to explore ways to support the island, following the recent problems that occurred with the island’s ferry connection.
Access to and from Samothrace was cut off since August 6 due to bad weather and the breakdown of the main ferry that connects the island to Alexandroupolis on the mainland. As a result, hundreds of visitors were stranded on the island for nine days.
Although ferry services were restored on Thursday, August 15, mass hotel cancellations took place with the island’s professionals referring to an “economic disaster”.
On Thursday, Minister Theocharis wrote on Twitter: “The situation on Samothrace is beginning to normalize,” adding that the ministry has been in contact with the island’s municipal authorities and professionals, and the ambassadors of the countries whose citizens were trapped on the island in order for embassies to be informed on the situation.
“We have scheduled a meeting next week with the professionals of Samothrace to decide on measures to support the island. The situation is difficult and we will also request for the Shipping Ministry to make a provision for “on call” ships so that a solution can be given faster in such cases,” the minister tweeted.
In statements to the press, Samothrace Mayor Athanasios Vitsas said that the island’s tourism industry has suffered serious damage due to the mass hotel cancellations that took place while the island’s ferry service was cut off.
Government meeting on Monday
The government on Monday will hold a meeting, aiming to launch a final solution to the problem posed by Samothrace’s ferry service.
The meeting will be chaired by Greek Minister of State George Gerapetritis and attended by Shipping Minister Yiannis Plakiotakis, Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Kostas A. Karamanlis and Interior Minister Takis Theodorikakos, among others.
For information regarding the current ferry schedules for Samothrace, passengers are advised to contact their travel agents.