Economist: Instagram overload overwhelms Greek island of Santorini

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Economist: Instagram overload overwhelms Greek island of SantoriniA postcard perfect Greek island of blue sea and skies and white cliffside homes

In a feature in The Economist titled The Worrying Future of Greece’s Most Instagrammable Island, writer Jessica Bateman wrote of the dilemma of trying to find the heart of a near-perfect place such as Santorini without bumping into someone next to you snaking through narrow, meandering pathways on the cliffs adorned by luxury boutique hotels with pools.

According to the article, so overrun with tourists it’s a caricature of what once was a less-spoiled postcard perfect Greek island of blue sea and skies and white cliffside homes, and a blue-topped church becoming an iconic image, Instagram is putting Santorini out of focus for many.

Voted the World’s Best Island in 2014 by the magazine Travel + Leisure for its instant charm and spectacular views of a dormant volcano and sunsets to die for, it is on the Bucket List for just about everyone it seems, and they can’t wait to send selfies and snapshots and videos on the social network sharing service Instagram, ruining the party by inviting more.

Its beauty is now in the eye of the cell phone that sends instant images around the planet , an electronic siren call to come, bringing a financial bonanza but also worry that its popularity will be its undoing, with cruise ships visits already being limited.

The figures included in the report showed the number of overnight stays on the Cycladic island grew 66 percent in five years, rising from 3.3 million in 2012 to 5.5 million in 2017. Cruise passengers exceed 2,000 per day, reaching 18,000 at peak season.

During the past five years, the number of overnight stays in Santorini has risen by 66%, the magazine added, and many people can’t wait to ride donkeys up 600 steps from the port to the top, but the strain, especially from the overweight, is wearing out the animals.

The demand is so strong the cost of hotels has risen and now with short-term rentals like Airbnb taking over apartments, workers on the island are finding it difficult to find a place to rent, and developments are popping up like tourists in the spring here.

With no Master Plan and the country’s notoriously slow and inefficient bureaucracy and land registries only now underway, managing the use of land and space has added to the labyrinth of its numerous problems.

Read more at thenationalherald.com

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Rennett Stowe

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