The Greek island of Alonissos, an Aegean island from north to north of Evia, has been named one of the top destinations for ecotourism, according to greekreporter.com.
ABTA Magazine, the publication representing the UK’s largest travel association, recently published its top ecotourism destinations; in second position is the Greek island of Alonissos. As ecotourism – or green tourism – has become increasingly important to travelers, especially since COVID-19, ABTA and the tourism industry as a whole have started to focus on the resulting trends.
Popular hotel booking platform Booking.com noted that 81% of travelers say they want to stay in sustainable accommodation in the coming year – a noticeable increase from 62% in 2016, when Booking .com first conducted its research on sustainable travel, and up 7% from 74% in 2020, just before the pandemic.
It is not surprising to anyone who observes the ecological development of Alonissos over the decades, that the island is a leading tourist attraction thanks to its natural beauty and its state of mind of preservation. In 1986, the Prefecture of Magnesia, to which the island belongs, sought to protect the native monk seal of the Mediterranean with the signing of the first resolution to this effect. In 1992, the area was officially declared a National Marine Park, when commercial and recreational fishing was banned.
As in much of Greece, however, what should be preserved and considered natural extends to its ancient history and antiquities. In 2020, Alonissos Island innovates once again by opening the world’s first underwater museum, The Underwater Museum of Peristera. This underwater museum presented the wreck of the Peristera from the 5th century BC. AD and won a European prize in the winter of the same year.
It’s no surprise that ABTA magazine listed both the Marine Natural Park and the Underwater Museum as two of the three reasons Alonissos was selected as the second destination for ecotourism. The third reason is the island’s plastic bag ban, which was imposed in 2015. The island also offers a plethora of hiking trails and other less invasive activities, which appeal to eco-friendly tourists.
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Photo source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Giuliagi