Calamos Supports Greece
GreekReporter.comGreek NewsWho Is Eligible for Free Holiday on Rhodes After the 2023 Fires?

Who Is Eligible for Free Holiday on Rhodes After the 2023 Fires?

Holidays Rhodes Greece
Aerial view of Elli Beach and Akti Miaouli Beach, Rhodes, Greece. Credit:  dronepicr,  CC BY 2.0.

Greece has released details of the free holiday it promised thousands of tourists that were evacuated during last July’s fires in Rhodes.

Under its Rodos Week program, the Greek Ministry of Tourism will issue vouchers for stays of six nights from April 4th to May 31st of 2024 and from October 1st to November 15th of the same year.

Guests who were evacuated should have received an email informing them they’ve been registered for an e-voucher under the Rodos Week program by their tour operator, travel agency, or hotel. Those who haven’t received an email must apply here before April 4th.

Thousands of tourists were evacuated from local resorts, as a devasting wildfire brought chaos to the Greek island.

“The Greek government, in cooperation with the local authorities, will offer a week’s free holiday in Rhodes next spring or autumn” for all those who missed it due to the fires, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis promised last year.

Conditions for a free holiday on Rhodes

Only visitors who were evacuated from hotels on Rhodes during the wildfires are eligible for the vouchers. Those who fled from self-catering apartments or Airbnbs are not included in the program. Each eligible adult will receive a voucher for free accommodation.

As a condition of the e-voucher, the Greek Ministry of Tourism said: “A prerequisite is for the beneficiaries to complete seven overnight stays [on] Rhodes – six consecutive nights in a hotel of their choice, which, however, is registered in the Hospitality Hotels Registry created for this purpose.”

Further information can be found from the Ministry of Tourism in English here.

There has been some confusion on social media since details of the scheme were announced, with some people believing the vouchers are for a maximum of €500, but UK Director of the for Greek National Tourism Organisation Eleni Skarveli confirmed the limits stated in the official announcement refer to the amount of compensation issued to hotels, not guests.

“Guests should not worry about the cost,” she said, adding that they will be accommodated in hotels with prices similar or even higher to their original visit, depending on availability.

The devasting Rhodes fires

The island of Rhodes was plagued by multiple wildfires, which resulted in an estimated 19,000 people being evacuated by land and sea. The fires burned 13,500 hectares of forest. Emergency alerts were sent to residents on the island to warn them of the wildfires and the need to evacuate.

The fire department fn Rhodes stated the fires there prompted the “largest evacuation operation” ever on the island with the fire department using 10 firefighting airplanes, eight firefighting helicopters, over 260 firefighters, 49 fire trucks, and hundreds of volunteers, among others, to tackle the blaze on the island.

Authorities declared a state of emergency on July 20, 2023 in three municipalities of Rhodes, including Lindos, which is home to many tourist villages.

On July 21st, the Civil Protection ordered the evacuation of the village of Laerma, which is about ten kilometers  from the coastal tourist resorts.

On July 23, 2023, it was announced that 1,200 extra people would be evacuated from the villages of Pefki, Lindos, and Kalathos. Flights to Rhodes from British package holiday company were canceled until July 30, 2023 and from TUI until July 26, 2023.

On August 2nd, the Ministry of Tourism lifted the state of emergency on Rhodes and offered complimentary travel accommodations to tourists who were evacuated from the island in the previous month.

See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!

Related Posts