Recent sustainable tourism experience

 The nearest experience I had close to a sustainable tourism experience was while I was camping in two Greek islands about one years ago.While camping in Koufonisia and Folegandros we used to live in camping tents (instead of concrete houses thus preserving the environment), we used water from a well, our waste was collected and thrown to island’s dump guard and the light at night was either from the fire or from sun collecting lamps. Being what we called “free camping” we didn’t have laundry, showers, bathrooms and kitchen, facilities that other camping sites provide(ex. Elafonissos, Foinikounta). To me, it was the best way possible to live close to nature.

 If the waste management is done properly (recycling facilities), and the energy comes from carbon neutral resources, in my opinion is one of the best ways to prevent environmental degradation and moreover to promote environmental renewal.The only doubt I have regarding this, is that from what I’ve witnessed when the demand for a destination like this rises, then stops to be sustainable. It’s like in a way development, brings an end to sustainability. The first two islands are still virgin because not many tourists know about them, but I can more or less say that if that changes, then probably easy profit will find it’s way and more and more apartments will start to pop out…

I guess that through a “green” govemert policy law restricting random building could fix this but as we know people vote the goverment. And when a goverment rejects in a way mass tourism is like saying No to ten times bigger job offerings and investment funds in the island. Finally it’s again a two sided coin with the need of  further research in order to end up in solid conclusions.





4 Responses to “Recent sustainable tourism experience”

  1. Lucia Loposova says:

    Spyros, I agree with your opinion on development issue. We have to ask if there is still sustainability if we develop the locality too much. Crucial factor is always politics and the will of people of each destination. I think we will have to change our attitudes towards what tourism means in order to reach for the real sustainability. In my opinion, there must be done many changes in education of people all around the world on this topic.

  2. Amare Nega says:

    yes, me too share your idea very much. Of course something better must be done in the area of waste management and recycling or reusing in order to make these islands neat, clean and aesthetic.
    As far as the free camping concerned in my opinion, it would be very nice if they are able to manage the balance between the needs of customers and nature. I mean, it might be possible to harmonize these conflicting scenarios if we plan the development of tourism on a sustainable ground. This is because; at the same time we have to take care of about the basic needs of our customers.

  3. ROCIO ARENADO says:

    Spyros, I agree with you that normally the mass tourism brings the end of sustainability, however, with good environmental policies, this should not happen.
    For instance, there are 3 islands in Spain called Cies (located in Galicia –north-) where the policies are so strong (they restrict the number of tourist per day keeping record of each one, water sports are completely forbidden, ect.) that mass tourism have not affected them.
    Obviously the only way to stay overnight is camping and maximum for two nights.

    I hope they do the same with Koufonisia and Folegandros !!!!!!

  4. Spyridon Doumenis says:

    Interesting approach Rocio. So, no interest conflicts with the locals?

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