Rhodes fires still burning but holidays continue

Rhodes fires still burning but holidays continue

31 July 2008

published by cordis.europa.eu

Greece — A huge forest fire that has been raging for seven days on the Greek island of Rhodes has caused widespread damage and evacuations but holiday operators claim tourism is business as usual.

Firefighters have now gained partial control of the fire, which has blazed across the interior of the island burning thousands of hectares of land.

Over 380 fire fighters and army personnel are still battling the flames, assisted by water-dropping aircraft from Greece, Cyprus, France and Italy.

Around 3,000 holidaymakers were evacuated from their hotels in the south of the island last week but have since been allowed to return.

Tourist chiefs are reassuring UK holidaymakers that none of the island’s resort areas have been damaged and all hotels are operating normally.

“We are thankful that last week’s fire did not encroach on tourist resort areas and that no lives were ever at any risk,” said Vassilis Minaides, president of the Rhodes Hotel Association.

“While some locations in the south-east of island were affected by smoke, the impact on visitors on the island was temporary. It is now business as usual,” he continued.

The Hotel Association claims that no major tour operators have reported cancellations and clients with bookings are travelling as scheduled.

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