Greece has announced that people who were evacuated will be able to visit the island for free in 2024
Following the forest fires that forced more than 20,000 people to flee Rhodes last month, Greece has announced a measure to support affected tourists. It was declared that all visitors whose vacations were interrupted by the fires will be entitled to a week-long stay on the island in 2024.
Tourism plays a crucial role in Greece’s economy, and the July fires had a significant impact, compelling thousands of holidaymakers to evacuate popular destinations like Rhodes and Corfu. In an effort to entice people back to the island, Greece has pledged to collaborate with local authorities to accommodate those who were forced to leave.
However, there’s a catch to this offer; it won’t apply during the high season. The free week in Rhodes can only be availed during either the spring or autumn seasons, excluding the summer period.
It was also reported that only 15 percent of Rhodes was affected by the fires, but the evacuation efforts marked the largest coordination Greece has ever undertaken. Numerous well-known beach resorts suffered damage, and many airlines had to cancel their flights.
Climate change has exacerbated forest fires in the Mediterranean, making them more intense and destructive. The combination of the Cerberus heatwave, exceptionally dry land conditions, and strong winds contributed to the rapid spread of the fires from the center of Rhodes to the eastern and southern coasts. Across Greece, more than 120,000 acres of land were scorched, and tragically, five people lost their lives in the blaze.
Read our explainer on the Greece wildfires
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