Some topics come back like a boomerang from time to time. One of them is limiting the number of tourists on the two most crowded Cretan beaches: Balos and Elafonissi. Of course, this is not a groundless idea, because these places have been struggling with a strong phenomenon of overtourism for several years. This time, the introduction of paid tickets to these places was proposed by the Association of Hotel Owners of Chania Prefecture. They decided that in this way it would be possible to control the number of people visiting these two places.
The Association argues its support for this solution by caring for the natural environment of these beaches and maintaining efforts for the sustainable development of tourism in this area of Crete. Both beaches are at the top of the preferences of people visiting Crete and at the same time appear in high places in various rankings of the best beaches in the world and in Europe. Unfortunately, this results in the fact that every year Balos and Elafonissi attract more and more people, which was certainly noticed by everyone who has been there in recent years during "normal" seasons.
Hoteliers want to control the flow of tourists thanks to the introduction of paid tickets. Determining the maximum number of people per day that could benefit from these beaches would help to avoid further degeneration of the unique natural environment. The money obtained from the sale of such tickets could be used for protection and modernization, daily garbage collection, regular cleaning and the creation of legal eateries. Thanks to such actions and raising standards, the tourists themselves, who currently often criticize precisely such aspects of the functioning of these beaches, would also benefit.
Some people will probably mention the € 1 administration fee, which is currently charged to every person entering Balos. It was introduced in 2011 and was also originally intended to be used for the care of this area and its cleaning of rubbish. Nevertheless, this is only a symbolic amount at present, which is certainly not enough to cover the most basic costs.
Of course, local entrepreneurs realize that the introduction of such fees is a very sensitive topic, in a way contradicting the promotion of these areas of Crete. However, failure to take any action to protect these unique places will result in the loss of their unique character in the long run. And yet everyone, not only the inhabitants of the island, should care that also future generations could enjoy the natural beauty of Balos and Elafonissi.
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