In the wake of the devastating fires that have been sweeping through Rhodes Island for the past seven days, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis confirmed on Monday that approximately 10% of the island’s hotel capacity has been severely affected.

The ongoing blazes have resulted in the evacuation of thousands of people and widespread damage to hotels and accommodation facilities, dealing a significant blow to the island’s tourism industry.

PM Mitsotakis: rebuilding and compensation assured

During a parliamentary session on Monday, Prime Minister Mitsotakis expressed the severity of the situation, stating that the country is in a state of war against the fires.

He assured the affected citizens that everything lost in the blazes would be rebuilt and those impacted by the disaster would be duly compensated for their losses.

The Prime Minister commended the organised and timely evacuation efforts that ensured no lives were lost during the crisis and highlighted the importance of restoring Rhodes – a flagship destination for Greek tourism – to normality.

Rhodes’ tourism hit hard

The fires struck at the peak of the tourist season, causing chaos for travellers and tour operators alike.

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By GlobalData

The South Aegean Regional Governor Giorgos Hadjimarkos described the situation as a “tragedy.” It disclosed that one of Greece’s largest emergency evacuation operations, involving more than 25,000 people, was carried out during this crisis.

In total, nearly 75 hotels in the south and eastern parts of the island had to be evacuated due to the raging fires.

Assessment and recovery efforts await

As the fires continue to burn, Greek authorities are preparing to assess the extent of the damage in the coming days.

Although the affected areas represent less than 10% of the total tourist capacity of Rhodes, the impact on the island’s tourism industry is significant.

The South Aegean Region and the Civil Protection Ministry are closely monitoring the situation and providing updates on social media platforms.

Adapting to the climate crisis

In his address, Prime Minister Mitsotakis acknowledged the effects of the climate crisis and emphasised the need for the government to adapt its plans to these changing conditions swiftly.

He also stressed the importance of taking initiatives at the EU level to address and mitigate the increasing risks posed by climate-related disasters.

Rhodes Island, known for its historical significance and stunning landscapes, is grappling with the aftermath of these wildfires. As recovery efforts begin, the determination to rebuild and compensate those affected remains steadfast, with hopes that the island’s tourism industry will soon return to its former glory.