Greece tourism at stake as fire engulfs

 Tuesday, July 25, 2023

The terrible flames that ravaged the Greek island of Corfu are being blamed on arsonists.

After investigating three areas where the flames broke out on Mount Pantokratoras, Corfu Mayor Yorgos Mahimaris decided that the fires were purposefully caused. Theofanis Skembris, the deputy mayor of North Corfu, agreed, claiming that four fires started at the same time, prompting investigators to suspect arson.

The fires in Corfu forced large evacuations, and firefighting operations, including the evacuation of tourists were stepped up to put out the flames. The situation has subsequently improved, with the majority of the flames now under control, although officials remain on high alert. Chariton Koutscouris, Corfu’s deputy mayor for tourism and building, voiced his dismay, criticising those who gain joy from causing harm to others.

The Corfu fires were part of a larger wildfire outbreak in Greece, which saw 82 fires registered across the nation. Approximately 19,000 people were evacuated from various sites on the island of Rhodes alone as the fires persisted for a sixth day.

TUI provides information on the current situation

TUI has reassessed the current situation due to the ongoing challenging situation caused by the forest fires on Rhodes. In order to ensure the safety of the guests and to be able to offer them a trouble-free vacation time, the following measures have been taken:

All TUI Reisen bookings to Rhodes will be canceled up to and including Friday 28 July 2023. No guests will be brought to the island up to and including Friday. All scheduled flights to Rhodes take place without holiday passengers in order to bring guests back to their home countries. Guests with bookings whose vacation begins in the coming days up to and including Sunday, July 30, 2023 can rebook to other destinations free of charge or cancel their trip. TUI recommends all travelers to Rhodes who plan to start their vacation in the coming days to switch to other destinations.

All TUI Reisen bookings to the south-eastern part of the island will also be canceled up to and including Sunday, July 30, 2023 (see list of affected hotels).

For further information, the holidaymakers concerned are asked to contact TUI. The group is in contact with the local authorities in Rhodes, the South Aegean region and with the Greek government in Athens. On Monday morning, TUI deployed six additional aircraft to bring holidaymakers from Germany and the UK back to their home countries.

The group had around 39,000 guests on the island, of whom 7,800 were affected by the situation. They have been transferred to other locations on the island and are staying in hotels or in accommodation designated by the local authorities. More than 300 service employees in the southeast of Rhodes ensure the safety of TUI guests and provide them with alternative accommodation, food and drinks. The situation on site is constantly evolving and changing and is regularly reassessed by the travel group.

List of affected hotels in the southeast of the island:


Absolute Kiotari Resort

Boutique 5 Hotel & Spa

Gono’s mansion

LABRANDA Kiotari Miraluna

Lindian Village

Lindos Imperial Resort & Spa

Mayia Exclusive Resort & Spa

Mitsis Hotel Rodos Village

Mitsis Rodos Maris Resort and Spa

Princess Andriana Resort & Spa

Princess Sun Hotel

Rodos Princess Beach Hotel


Atlantica Dreams Resort

Ambelia Hotel (ex. Zenith Seaside Hotel)

Gennady Grand


Magic Life

Atrium Prestige


Amaryllis Hotel Lardos

Lindos Princess

Cosmos Maris


Aqua Grand of Lindos exclusive deluxe resort

Elena Studios

Raphael Studios

Lindos View

Mitsis Lindos Memories Hotel


Amfitriti Hotel and Studios

Evi Studios

Finas Hotel and Apartments

Hotel Ziakis

Island Blue Hotel

Lindia Thalassa Resort

Pefki Islands

Pefkos Village Resort


White Olive Premium Lindos


Lindos Blu

Lindos Grand Resort & Spa

Lindos Mare

Lindos Royal

Lindos Village Resort & Spa

Lindos White Hotel & Suites

TUI BLUE Lindos Bay

An ABTA spokesperson said: “ABTA is continuing to work with members to support customers affected by the wildfires in Rhodes. We understand that some of the resorts have had their evacuation order removed by the Greek authorities and people have been advised that they can return to the resorts of Lindos and Pefkos. Travel companies will be liaising with their accommodation providers to ensure that they are ready to receive customers and customers will be notified accordingly.”

The flames not only wreaked havoc on the environment, but they also had a substantial impact on the mainly tourist-dependent economy of Greece’s islands. Tourism accounts for 18% of Greece’s production and employs one in every five people, with specific islands, such as Rhodes, relying substantially on the industry. The tourism industry is set to suffer significant consequences as thousands of visitors return home after their vacations were disrupted.

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