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Wildfires fumes for a long time, and more tourists are predicted to return to their countries

July 26, 2023: On Tuesday, Greece battled to prevent wildfires on the island of Rhodes for a seventh day, as hundreds of tourists who had been forced to evacuate in previous days were anticipated to fly back to their countries.

Over the weekend, 20,000 people had to flee homes and hotels in Rhodes as the inferno that started a week ago applied and reached coastal resorts on the verdant island’s southeast after charring swathes of land and damaging buildings.

On Tuesday, over 2,000 holidaymakers built home by plane on Monday, and more repatriation flights were expected. Tour operators also canceled forthcoming trips.

Wildfires often hit Greece during the summer, but climate change has led to more extreme heatwaves across southern Europe, raising concerns that tourists will stay away.

Hundreds of firefighters, helped by forces from Turkey and Slovakia, battled to tame the blazes close to the towns of Gennadi and Vati in the southeast of Rhodes as the wildfires resurged in hot, windy conditions.

Wildfires also ranted on the island of Corfu, off the west coast of Greece, and Evia island, near the capital of Athens.

“The fires have rekindled across the nation, but no settlements are being threatened for now,” a fire brigade official told Reuters.

The Greek islands are popular with summer sun-seeking holidaymakers from Europe, particularly Britons and Germans.

TUI, one of the earth’s largest tour operators, said it was canceling trips to Rhodes and offering complimentary cancellations or rebookings to other destinations. It stated that it had 39,000 customers on Rhodes as of Sunday evening.

The Dutch foreign ministry published a travel warning for Rhodes and the islands of Corfu and Evia.

Greece has seen very high temperatures in the previous weeks, and the mercury was forecast to increase again through Wednesday, exceeding 44 Celsius in some areas.

On Tuesday, civil protection authorities warned of the extreme risk of wildfires in Rhodes and on the isle of Crete.

Tourism accounts for 18% of Greece’s work and one in five jobs. On Rhodes and many other Greek islands, dependence on tourism is even greater.

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Wildfires fumes for a long time, and more tourists are predicted to return to their countries