The picturesque islands of Cyclades were once isolated and residents would deal mostly with fishing. However, today, they are among the most popular holiday destinations of Europe and attract an increasing flow of tourists, mostly in summer. The narrow paths are becoming busier and the night bars noisier and restless.
Cyclades, though, apart from the economical benefits of tourism, also face many problems. According to a study by XRTC, about 5 million passengers travel every year to Eastern Cyclades, which includes Syros, Tinos and Myconos. About 80 percent of them are tourists. The influx of tourists has put a heavy burden on the basic tourist amenities and natural resources of the islands. The excessive demand for water causes the wells to dry out much earlier than expected. No significant efforts have been made to collect rainwater available, though. The sewerage systems and water treatment plants need immediate attention to prevent them from choking and polluting the island.
The increased flow of tourists does not necessarily mean a boom in the related industries, especially the accommodation. It has been observed that in the past few years, many tourists preferred camping sites to hotels. This has resulted in the reduction of hotel rooms available for tourists. The uncontrolled increase in the hotel prices and the slowing economy forced many of them to opt for the camping sites.
Unless the authorities take immediate steps to conserve the natural surroundings and the purity of the island, the Cyclades will soon be converted into another “endangered” tourist spot in the world.