Greece is giving a free week-long hotel stay to travelers who had to leave their hotels because of wildfires last summer on the island of Rhodes. The Greek Ministry of Tourism announced that guests who were evacuated during the July 2023 fires can apply for this offer. They can choose to stay at certain hotels from now until May 31 or from Oct. 1 to Nov. 15.

Greece Offers Free Hotel Stays to Travelers Affected by Rhodes Wildfires
Rhodes, Greece
(Photo : Chris Unger on Unsplash)

Free Hotel Stays to Tourists Affected by Last Year's Wildfires

The offer is a way for Greece to welcome back tourists who faced hardships during their previous visits. Myron Flouris, the General Secretary of the Greek Tourism Ministry, said that this effort is unique and complicated, but they are proud to be the first country to provide such a program.

To be eligible, according to Travel and Leisure, travelers must fill out an online form with details about their previous stay, including where they stayed, the type of room they booked, their reservation number, and how long they were supposed to stay. 

They will then receive an e-voucher that they can use at a hotel similar to the one they stayed at during the fires. 

The voucher amount varies: €300 for stays in one to three-star hotels with up to triple rooms, €400 for more than three people in the same room categories, and €500 for larger rooms in four or five-star hotels.

The wildfires in Rhodes last year were part of a severe heatwave that hit many parts of Europe, causing massive evacuations. Despite the damage, the island's scenic beaches, boating, and historic sites, like the cobblestoned streets of the Jewish Quarter, still attract tourists. 

This program by Greece invites tourists to experience the beauty of Rhodes again.

Related Article: Here Are the 5 Destinations in Greece You Need to See Beyond the Beaches

Greece Aims for Year-Round Tourism to Boost Economy

Harry Kyrillou, director of Planet Holidays, announced his company's readiness to offer travel and weddings in Greece throughout the year. This initiative supports the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis's recent statements at an EU tourism summit. 

Mitsotakis emphasized the benefits of extending the tourism season beyond the popular summer months. As per TTG, he argued that this would reduce overcrowding and allow for a more sustainable distribution of tourists, potentially enhancing economic and environmental outcomes.

Greece, which annually attracts between 30 and 32 million visitors, could shift its focus from quantity to quality, according to Mitsotakis. He envisions welcoming fewer tourists who spend more money, thus offering a more substantial economic benefit.

Kyrillou highlighted that his business has already been promoting Athens as a year-round destination and has expanded these offerings to Thessaloniki, Crete, and Rhodes over the past decade. Additionally, they provide unique travel packages like fly-drive holidays to places with hotels open in winter.

He suggested that areas with rich cultural heritage and activities like gastronomy tours and hiking could extend their tourist seasons. This shift, Kyrillou noted, would require cooperation between the tourism industry and the Greek government, involving hotels, restaurants, and other local services.

Read Also: Greece Introduces New Climate Tax on Tourist Stays for Environmental Recovery