Greece launches ‘free’ holidays for tourists impacted by 2023 Rhodes wildfires

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A special initiative has this week been launched by Greece’s tourism officials to allow for up to 25,000 tourists who visited the island of Rhodes last year during the wildfires to receive ‘free’ holidays.

Under the programme, people who stayed in hotels on Rhodes that were evacuated because of the July fires will be able to redeem e-vouchers worth up to €500 to cover the accommodation charges of a week-long stay.

The initiative will be run in two phases: between now and 31 May and 1 October to 15 November.

It aims to both revive tourism following the 2023 wildfires and highlight Greece’s commitment to compensate those impacted by climate change-induced disasters.

“The scheme is up and running as the prime minister promised,” the Greek tourism ministry’s general secretary, Myron Flouris said.

“It’s been a very complicated process not least, I think, because we’re the first country in the world to do this.”

Flames engulf a hill on the Aegean Sea island of Rhodes, southeastern Greece, July 24, 2023. Photo: VOA News.

According to The Guardian, over 5,000 tourists have already registered to be a part of the scheme.

“Anyone who was staying in areas that were affected by the fires is eligible,” Yannis Papavasiliou, who heads the island’s union of hoteliers, said.

“The response has been very good, and we are told will be even stronger come the autumn.”

Mr Papavasiliou said the compensation would reflect the amount clients originally paid to tour operators.

“It will apply only to hotels, not Airbnb-style private accommodation,” he said.

“At the end of the day, Greece is making good on its promise to recompense all those who lost their holidays because of climate change.”

You can grab your voucher here.

Source: The Guardian.

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