Greek Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni held an emergency meeting on Tuesday as wildfires continued to rage on the island of Rhodes.
“We have entered a new phase of challenges that need immediate answers,” said Kefalogianni, addressing the ministry’s new secretary general, Myron Flouris; the secretary general of the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO), Dimitris Fragakis; and the president of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, Alexandros Vassilikos.
“As a Mediterranean country we are facing the effects of climate change and must respond to all the new challenges ahead of us,” she added.
According to the minister, Greece and Greek tourism have shown that they can “effectively deal” with such large and complex crises.
“The attitude and reaction of the residents of Rhodes who stood as an example of solidarity and self-sacrifice, is admirable,” Kefalogianni underlined.
Moreover, the minister said that the tourism ministry’s crisis management team “worked effectively” and will be further strengthened as it “decisively contributed” to the immediate response to the crisis.
Although the crisis is ongoing and subject to the evaluation of all the effects in the affected areas, Kefalogianni said that the government will launch measures and support mechanisms that are to be announced in the near future.
According to Kefalogianni, the necessary actions are already being taken to immediately promote the island internationally, as a “uniquely beautiful and safe destination”.
At the same time actions are being planned for the next period and includes the upgraded showing of Rhodes in the international World Travel Market (WTM) 2023 tourism and travel expo that will take place in London in November.