Abta has joined operators and hoteliers in calling on Greek tourism authorities to take swift action to clear up piles of dumped rubbish in Corfu.
The problem, which has led to unprecedented levels of uncollected refuse sacks across the popular Greek island, follows the closure of a full-up landfill site in Temploni in February.
One agent reported clients had cut their holiday short as a result of the crisis, while operators said they had not seen a refuse problem “on this scale” before in Corfu.
Licensing problems have meant a controversial new landfill site in Lefkimmi has not been able to operate. Problems with landfill sites in Greece reaching capacity and disputes over refuse collectors’ jobs have plagued Greece in recent years, with Zante also currently affected.
An Abta spokeswoman said: “We have been in contact with the Greek authorities to highlight the issue and request that a satisfactory solution is found.”
The Corfu Hoteliers’ Association and the Federation of Tourist Accommodation Owners have also written to tourism minister Elena Kountoura, fearing tourist numbers will be hit by negative visitor comments.
Sunvil managing director Chris Wright said clearing the rubbish was taking longer than expected and that some resorts had moved rubbish away from tourist areas to main roads (pictured).
“The situation is starting to resolve itself. We will continue to work with the tourist office in London and Athens to push for a long-term solution,” he said.
Olympic Holidays sales and revenue director Michael Vinales said bookings had not been affected. He added: “We continue to monitor the situation.”
Greek National Tourism Organisation UK director Emy Anagnostopoulou said the issue was being dealt with. “Waste management is complex, which can be a difficult case when islands are involved. Cleaning is under way and we may need 10 more days to complete this task,” she said.
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