Greek island of Samothrace to get port upgrade, stricter contracts for ferries

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Greek island of Samothrace to get port upgrade, stricter contracts for ferriesFollowing recent transportation breakdown

A ministerial meeting resolved to guarantee transportation between Samothrace and Alexandroupoli on the mainland immediately, to begin improvement works on the island's two outdated ports, and to push tourism on the island particularly in the market of Romania, on Monday afternoon, ANA reports.

An emergency meeting was called by State Minister Giorgos Gerapetritis at Maximos Mansion to try and resolve the issue of transportation when engine failure in both ships "Saos" and "Saonissos" left local authorities scrambling to get hundreds of tourists accommodated until replacements could show up, days later. Problems were further compounded by strong winds at the time that prevented replacements from reaching the island off the coast of northern Greece.

Decisions at the meeting include the following:

- Guaranteed short-term replacements for the two ships until the owner company's contract runs out on October 31.
- The immediate start of cleaning and upgrading the ports of Kamariotissa, the main one on Samothrace, and Thermes, including the dredging of debris and silt at the ports that could ground a ship. 
- Commencement of works to prevent flooding that had been proclaimed after severe damage in September 2017 that were never initiated, worth 4.5 million euros, added to works to maintain the road network, already ongoing and worth 3.5 million euros.
- Joint actions of the Ministry of Tourism with the Greek tourism agency's (EOT) office in Romania to encourage visitors from Romania, who account for nearly a third of all visitors to the island.
- Introduction of new shipping line connecting Samothrace, Alexandroupoli and Lemnos island.

The ministers also decided to upgrade the terms of contracts for ships of remote islands to include more modern ships and replacements in case of breakdowns.

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

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Adamantios

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