Cap on cruise ship visits proposed to tackle overtourism in Greek islands

Cap on cruise ship visits proposed to tackle overtourism in Greek islands

Santorini and Mykonos "clearly suffering", says Greek prime minister

Cruise lines could face restrictions on the number of ship calls to popular Greek islands in a bid to combat overtourism.

A proposal to cap the number of visits could be introduced as early 2025.

Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis reportedly suggested that the number of berths could be reduced or the governing bodies may establish a bidding process for cruise lines to gain anchoring slots.

Mitsotakis highlighted Mykonos and Santorini as the islands that are “clearly suffering” the most.

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Almost 750 calls were made by ships into Mykonos last year, a rise of 23% over 2022. The number of calls into Santorini reached 800, delivering almost 1.3 million visitors, making the island the most popular cruise ship destination in Greece.

The high volume of vessels calling into Santorini, home to just 15,000 residents, may not bring commensurate economic benefit despite receiving 5.5 million tourists a year.

“There are people spending a lot of money to be on Santorini and they don’t want the island to be swamped. Plus the island can’t afford it, even in terms of security,” Mitsotakis said.

His comments, reported by the Telegraph, come amid fears that tourists will be dissuaded from visiting Greece’s more popular islands because the experience will be ruined if they become too overcrowded.


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