The Greek Central Government’s responses
to the Covid-19 pandemic.
19th March 2020
Just around one month on
from the first cases in Europe of people testing positive for the Covid-19
virus, Greece is now in lockdown as a preventative response to halt the spread
of the pandemic across the country that has to date infected 418 people and
claimed 6 lives. As of today, the government has made it an offence, punishable
with a 1000 Euro fine, for more than 10 people to gather in public spaces. The
Civil Protection Ministry has also advised that all non-emergency or non-vital
travel outside of the home should be limited to an absolute minimum. The
majority of retail establishments are already closed, and many other measures
have been put in place at a national level to slow the spread of the virus. We
have also heard today that of Sunday 22nd May all international
passenger flights in and out of Greece are to be cancelled.
18th March 2020
The Patriarch of the
Greek Orthodox Church bows to Government pressure and announced the closure of
all churches and the cessation of all church services. The Government had
already earlier overruled the church’s Holy Synod to enforce the of church
services of all denominations, including Greek Orthodox, until the end of this
month, despite the Orthodox church’s earlier claims about the potential
efficacy of faith and prayer against the virus.
Parts of many town and city centres have almost begun to
resemble docklands in the sense that shipping containers – sometimes singly,
sometimes stacked in different permutations – have appeared in urban space. By
transplanting these metal boxes into a different context their use has changed
– from shipping to, primarily, shopping.
This repurposing has led to a neologism – ‘cargotecture’ – to describe
the resulting architectural adaptations into shopping venues (and in many
cases, peoples’ homes). It is one manifestation of a broader concept of ‘container
urbanism’, where repurposed shipping containers become, among other things,
part of broader place-making initiatives.
“This standardisation enables a far greater flexibility, both in its original use, through incorporation into intermodal supply chains, and also through adaptive architectural re-use.”
Using shipping containers in this way is explained in part
by their flexibility and design. In one way, their design is standardised and
inflexible – Martin describes the shipping container very simply as a ‘box’ for
transporting stuff: “its size, shape and form were agreed upon, made standard,
and applied on a near universal basis”.
However, this standardisation – now widely captured in the baseline
‘twenty-foot equivalent’ (or TEU) shipping container – enables a far greater
flexibility, both in its original use, through incorporation into intermodal
supply chains (being equally part of road-based and sea-borne transportation), and
also through adaptive architectural re-use.
Indeed, a search through Google Images reveals the ingenuity and effort
expended in modifying these structures to create new spaces in which to live
Skinner, H. and Soomers, P. (2019) ‘Spiritual tourism on the island of Corfu: Positive impacts of niche tourism versus the challenges of contested space’ International Journal of Tourism Anthropology, 7(10), pp. 21-39. DOI: 10.1504/IJTA.2019.098099
Corfu is a relatively
small island, only 64km in length and 32km at its widest point, with a
permanent resident population of around 120,000, 40% of which live in the main
town. The island, situated between the East of the boot of Italy, and West of
the border between Greece and Albania, has attracted tourists since the late
1960s and early 1970s. However, since the boom time of the 1980s and early
1990s there has been a decline in numbers of tourists visiting the island. Those
that do visit, especially those taking All-Inclusive packages, are spending less
time and money in local tourism-related businesses such as restaurants, tavernas,
bars and shops. The tourist season that used to see resorts all across the
island full of holidaymakers from April to October is now basically reduced to
the high season of July and August in many places.
While the term “responsible tourism” is widely used
these days, are we really sure we understand what the term means, and who is
actually “responsible”? This article will address both of these questions,
along with some related issues concerning tourism ethics and the concept of
sustainability. While it has been recognised that, for tourism businesses,
responsibility is seen to encompass ethics and sustainability, there remains
little written about these issues. It is also important to
note that many tourism businesses are Small and Medium Sized Tourism Enterprises
(SMTEs) whose business focus is not always on such matters, especially in a
highly competitive and crowded market, in times of continuing financial crisis
From a consumer or traveller perspective there are many answers, but it is not difficult for a traveller or holidaymaker to say why they are travelling. It could relate to business, leisure, adventure, pilgrimage, to visit family and friends, to play golf or to watch their team.
“Increasing numbers of destinations are addressing whether we’re going to use tourism, or if it’s going to use us.”
It’s much more difficult from a destination perspective. The industry often simply wants more, accommodation providers in particular. They look to city and national governments to attract more tourists, more overnight visitors. The industry looks to government, the public purse, for its marketing and to attract and stage events which bring them their clients.