Known for its glamorous nightlife and serene beaches, the Mykonos local government is taking steps to protect the island’s unique reputation.
EARLIER this month, Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias presented a study to Mykonos Mayor Konstantinos Koukas which outlined a plan for sustainable tourism development on the vibrant Greek island.
The report highlights 15 key areas where action needs to be taken if the island is to move towards more sustainable development, protecting the island’s distinctive characteristics and stellar reputation amongst tourists looking for a high-end experience.
As reported by Greek Travel Pages, the Mykonos Mayor outlined the importance of funding for the completion of an island spatial plan, infrastructure upgrades, water and waste management, controls on cruise tourism, and addressing traffic on the island.
“Our common goal is to implement a successful sustainable tourism development model on Mykonos, focused on the comparative advantages of the island,” said Kikilias.
“Mykonos is a very popular destination worldwide and is at the core of our strategic decision to make Greece a model of sustainable tourism development,” he added.
The number of tourists visiting Greece has been growing steadily since 2006 and peaked in 2019 when 34.2 million arrivals were recorded at travel accommodation throughout the country.
In Mykonos alone, a record of 144,426 foreign visitors arrived by air between January and June in 2019, representing a 17.6% rise in one year. Considering the island has a population of just over 10,000, this is a sizeable influx of people.
Tourism is essential to the Greek economy and provided a much-needed lifeline to the government amid the debt crisis that sparked a recession in 2009.
The pandemic has unsurprisingly seen those numbers dip, but the burgeoning tourism industry in Greece and particularly in the Cyclades where Mykonos can be found has put a strain on the island’s infrastructure and natural environment.
Koukas went on to say that it was time to implement a “holistic sustainability plan for the island with actions and not words”.
“I am sure that with the help of the state, but also with the support of the local community, policies and actions will be encouraged to address issues that have existed for decades, upgrade existing infrastructure, protect the environment, and create a better quality of life for residents and visitors.”
The sustainability plan for tourism comes as hospitality service providers in Greece saw turnover rise by 118.3 per cent in 2021 over the previous year, with Mykonos leading the way.
Mykonos recorded the largest increase in 2021 where turnover was up by 277.4 per cent, according to an annual report released by the Hellenic Statistical Authority.
All of this points toward positive signs for Mykonos in 2022. Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias has said that the first signs are hopeful after talks were held with airline companies and tour operators at recent international tourism events in Paris and London.
Tourism in Mykonos runs at its peak between June and September when the weather is hot and the water is warm, attracting visitors from all over the world. The best time to experience the dynamic nightlife scene in Mykonos Town is from May to early October.