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Greek Island That Banned Swimming Pools Reaches 100% Occupancy

The Greek island of Lipsi, that banned swimming pools. Credit: Athanasios Agorastos/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

The tiny Greek island of Lipsi that banned the creation of swimming pools due to their environmental impact, is expected to reach 100 percent occupancy in August.

Loyal to the mission of offering an unspoiled natural paradise to its visitors, Lipsi recently made headlines for making the case against artificial swimming pools, whose construction on the island is rejected and discouraged by the local authorities and tourism professionals, in favor of a more environmentally-aware approach to sea and sun vacations.

And holiday-goers seem to be appreciating the effort, judging by the latest data.

“The response of tourists to our call for sustainability is great and bookings for Lipsi are on the rise, with occupancy estimated to reach 100% percent in August. Interest for September is also being very lively,” the island’s mayor Fotis Maggos told AMNA.

Tiny Greek island warns of environmental footprint of swimming pools

Lipsi is part of the Dodecanese group of islands, in the southeastern Aegean, and is not just one island, but actually a cluster of islets. The collective name comes from the largest island of all, Lipsi, which is formed by land masses joined by a narrow isthmus.

In recent years, Lipsi has been pioneering sustainability through a series of initiatives promoted on the island.

An innovative process of planting underwater gardens of an important seagrass species took place in Lipsi in June, organised by the Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation, while it was also recently announced that Lipsi are becoming a model destination for water autonomy with zero water waste.

The decision to ban swimming pools on the island is a “no” to wasting natural resources, the local Municipality says.

It is true that experts have often warned that the high water and energy use of artificial swimming pools, as well as the harmful chemicals involved in their sanitization and maintenance, have their own toll on the environment, although new techniques to minimise their footprint continue to emerge -including self sustaining systems.

However, this is rarely the case within the tourism sector.

Greek islands reaching high occupancy

In terms of high occupancy in August, Lipsi is followed closely by another eleven Greek islands, according to AMNA.

Samos, Lesvos, Ios, Skopelos, Astypalaia, Andros, Kalymnos, Sifnos, Karpathos, Paros, and Naxos, all are estimated to exceed 90 percent occupancy in August, at the peak of the tourist season.

Mykonos and Santorini remain consistently high in popularity worldwide, according to MTC GROUP surveys, and Crete is again the leading force in the Greek tourism sector.

The president of the Union of Hotel Owners of Crete, Manolis Tsakalakis, is expecting approximately 6 million arrivals, 10% up compared to last year.

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