With the island of Rhodes becoming fully operational once again for visitors, Greek government and tourism officials have reassured travelers who have booked – or are thinking about booking – that the South Aegean island is ready to welcome them.
Wildfires prompted the evacuation of more than 20,000 visitors and caused disruption to many on holiday on the island. But the Greek government have announced that the remaining villages that had been evacuated as a precaution are safe for residents and visitors to return to.
Tourism officials have stressed that Rhodes remains “more welcoming than ever”, and that only a very limited number of the hotels in the fire-affected south of the island remain closed.
A statement by the Hotels Association of Rhodes said: “Today, the island of Rhodes is fully operational, welcoming thousands of visitors daily and soon 100% of the island’s accommodations will be fully available.”
It also announced an initiative to return the personal effects of evacuated guests who returned home without their luggage, free of charge, if the hotel they were staying at is a member of the association.
Love and hospitality
“Rhodes is back! We are pleased to announce that the operational state of emergency has expired on the island of Rhodes. Life is now returning to normal for the entire island of Rhodes, including the few areas that were affected,” the Greek Tourism Ministry said.
The statement added: “The residents of Rhodes, who have been heroic and selfless throughout these difficult days, together with the Greek state, are looking forward to continuing to offer their care and unique hospitality to foreign visitors.”
Meanwhile, the Regional Governor of the South Aegean, George Hatzimarkos said:
“Rhodes is coming back stronger. Immediate restoration projects are currently underway in the limited number of affected areas and tourism activity has swiftly returned to ‘business as usual’. We fully reassure our visitors that they can reliably enjoy the exceptional travel experiences and the authentic hospitality that beautiful Rhodes offers as a top-notch global tourism destination.”
Thanks to “heroic” locals
Around 2.6 million people visited Rhodes last year. And with so many tourists already on the island, the evacuation process was widely reported in the international media and highlighted in social media posts of those affected.
The hospitality and generosity of locals during the evacuation process was widely praised.