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Local Committee Calls for Protection of Crete’s Chryssi Islet from Mass Tourism

Photo source: apdkritis.gov.gr

Protecting Chryssi, a small island located near Ierapetra, Crete, from overtourism this summer topped the agenda last week of meeting addressing the implementation of an action plan finalized last year.

The committee overseeing the implementation of the action plan for the protection of the island unanimously voted in favor of a series of immediate actions until at least 2023 which are aimed at safeguarding the island’s rare ecosystem which is under threat due to overtourism.

The committee, made up of local stakeholders, representatives from the archaeological ephorate, the consumer protection organization, police and fire brigade, focused on expanding the protection of the islet and putting a cap on the number of daily visitors.

Photo source: apdkritis.gov.gr

More specifically, under the action plan for the protection of the island which should be implemented over the 2022-23 period, the committee proposed:

– banning for at least for a year the uncontrolled number of visitors to the island

– allowing tourist or recreation boats to tour the island and make stops for swimming at beaches but prohibiting access to the rest of the island and to its ecosystem of juniper trees

– visitors who remain on the island will have to have a permit issued by authorities. 

Among others, the committee admitted that protection of the island’s natural habitat was poor and lacking threatening not only the juniper tree ecosystem but also leaving leeway for criminal activity.

Lack of accessibility is making it near to impossible to protect the island as well as to control the number of visitors daily via illegal boats rides which stop at illicit makeshift piers, the committee said.

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  1. E. Beck Reply

    Not only this island must be protected. BOAK is also building a new highway with many bridges and tunnels from Rethymnon to Georgioupolis, although the really wide main road on the coast is perfectly adequate. Maybe the holes in the road should be closed for once. The cars drive the most in July and August, there are tourists. Because of the few cars in the high season, the whole landscape is cut up, at Dramia the highway is to be deepened so that the rolling traffic can be heard even more. One can only describe this environmental destruction as insane. Nobody can really want that except for a few hoteliers who expect more quietness on the main street. But the top thing is: Foreigners should pay tolls for this road, locals shouldn’t. This clearly violates EU law, as the ECJ ruling against Germany proves. Any ideas to stop this madness? Maybe even a local committee?

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