Tourism drops in Greece after 5 record years Everything you want to ask, read or write about Sfakia, southwest Crete, or Crete island in general.

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Re: Tourism drops in Greece after 5 record years

by Betsy » 24 Jul 2019, 14:02

davidsiorns wrote:The incessant drive for growth is at the route of the worlds problems. Why do we always want more? When you have enough, more is just greed.

So true....but ‘enough’ is never enough for many people.

There is a difference between enough to sustain a small family, or a growing one. - Erno has a point when he states that families have grown over the years, so now need bigger incomes to support them. However there is also another issue here. I make a comparison with the area I live in in the U.K. - It is a National Park. At the end of our single track lane (two miles long) there is a campsite on a working hill farm. -The campsite has always been the major ‘earner’ for the family.

When created, it was for 60 tents and the family that owned it were a couple with three young children. These children grew up and one of them and his wife took over the business.....but by now he also had three children. The parents were still there, so the campsite now had to support nine people, not five. The family has now grown to 14 people. The farm has not grown in size, but the campsite has expanded to six static homes, over 200 tents, motorhomes and campervans. It still legally only has planning permission and a license for 60 tents, (plus the static caravans), yet the owner has applied for a Lawful Development Certificate to allow him to expand the campsite in this way. The claim is that he has been using it as such for more than 10 years, and without the expansion he cannot support his family.

Locals have objected, as this amount of traffic, and the increase in tourism, is changing the nature of the area. The National Park however, in an effort to encourage more money brought in to the area, (their remit is not to protect a special one would expect......but to promote it as accessible to everyone), is considering granting the application!

This is an excellent example of a business no longer being able to financially sustain an ‘expanding’ family.,
It is also an example of a beautiful area being spoilt by overdevelopment for financial gain......even by a National Park! I have spoken to some campers over the last few years though that have said they would not return again......even though they have been visiting for many the nature of the campsite has changed, and it is too busy for them now.

Sfakia needs to learn from such examples. - Venice, as well as ‘The Beach’ is another location which has now suffered from too much tourism.....including cruise liners! These ships are ‘the death’ of beautiful places. I think Hania is already finding out that cruise passengers don’t spend money on shore. They eat and drink on the ship....where everything is free. They might buy a postcard or two, but that does not make up for the chaos 2000 people causes to a town when they all descend in one group. The crowds are so ‘off putting’ it will just stop the right sort of tourist, (those who will spend, plus enjoy and appreciate the beauty of the town), visiting Hania! Thank goodness there are no cruise liners (yet!) in Chora Sfakia!

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Re: Tourism drops in Greece after 5 record years

by deadeggs » 24 Jul 2019, 16:29

Totally agreed. "More" can reach the point where it is simply greed. Let's hope that the limited space (land surface/sea frontage etc) available in Sfakia will keep things more or less as they are today. Let's hope ..... let's hope, but greed can be a very powerful force.

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Re: Tourism drops in Greece after 5 record years

by Erno » 24 Jul 2019, 22:16

The number of beds available in Chora Sfakion has not expanded a lot over the years. So there are not much more people able to stay at a given moment.

But please also consider this: the occupancy rate.

With the introduction of and Airbnb also in Sfakia, the race to the top exploded. Note that both these services cut 15% or more per day from the hotel owners income as their commission.

The greed is there, with and airbnb. "Working for the Yankee dollar" :roll: And the tourist is paying extra, for them.

Add to this increased tax burden, increased fiscal ethics, and daily rates go up considerably, without a raise in service level. Only the latter will increase the local business owners' income, to support their expanding families, given the limited number of beds.
All the best,


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Re: Tourism drops in Greece after 5 record years

by Betsy » 25 Jul 2019, 22:02

Airbnb is causing problems all over Greece....and other parts of Europe. I have a friend in Rethymno, and also one in Athens, whose landlords have evicted them from their apartments, as they can get more money renting them through Airbnb. I feel sorry for the hotel owners in Sfakia, and the poor people who are finding it difficult to get places to live in!

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