The year 2019 marks many changes on the island. It was surprising to realize this year, the number of young people who left the island to certainly try to find work especially at ATHENS but perhaps even elsewhere.
In addition, the island’s population is changing. From 8,500 inhabitants a few years ago it has fallen below 8,000 inhabitants this year. This is complicated by the arrival of migrants usually young people fairly regularly by the coast guard. Every day. Even if the island is less talked about than LESBOS and CHIOS further north. As of October 2019, the number of migrants on the island was estimated at nearly 2,500 people. In the HOT-SPOT of TEMENIA , which will have to be expanded. Migrants have a limited presence on the island between TEMENIA, LAKKI and XEROCAMPOS. Their rather discreet presences (they only move on foot) however create tensions around the signs of religious differences and their evening outings at LAKKI especially. Obviously the island gets some compensation, but the locals blame their mayor re-elected in the spring of 2019 for getting only a garbage truck.
As always in such circumstances, the financial aspect of the presence of its refugees has stoked the lusts of food markets and other services necessary for their assistance on the island. The “pay” paid to each migrant by theEUROPEAN UNION of 300 euros per month makes talk and develops rivalries between those who benefit from it and those who miss out in a very bad ideological debate.
On a tourism front, the season has been in sharp decline on GREECE in general and in particular in LEROS. Major tourist centres such as KOS a few kilometers remained in the model of the week ALL-INCLUSIVE sour the impetus of TUI and airport development IPPOKRATIS. However, the model has its limits as several calls have emerged This year because the many tourists who come to KOS do not leave their hotels or at least on weekdays and this does not make the locals live !!! Generating many economic difficulties further exacerbated by the bankruptcy in September of THOMAS COOK.
At LEROS, the tourist season lasted about 3 weeks. Stays were limited to a few days three or four , between visiting other islands. Foreign and especially Turkish tourists have decreased further for the return of Athenian tourists often on ALL-INCLUSIVEstays. Restaurateurs have had the complexity of a July with peaks of customers and desert days. Yet in fairly similar positions tourism to PATMOS and LIPSI has held up well. Unfortunately, rather than welcoming those who visited LEROS,the opposite often happened by raising prices, offering minimum service in taverns and inventing scandalous new practices among some RENTAL CARS.
As far as prices in restaurants are always more expensive than in ATHENS , that in KRETA and often PATMOS (without having the overall quality of the island) . A feat, especially since in many taverns, freezers (there is even a refrigerated cupboard !!!) are running full … The whole thing is done without any shame!! In short, in 2019, we had to avoid the big tourist traps. Don’t let the 2019 tourists be the best ambassadors of the island….
Credit card payment is always frowned upon!! On the island have competed with ingenuity not to pay the least tax! Going up to the double payment terminal with an account abroad. You are good customers, you are expected to settle in cash. On the other hand you will never be given any gift not a coffee, not a rounded in most establishments.
The island was famous for its FILOXENIA (generous Greek hospitality) … That has changed a lot in 2019. To our great regret…