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Some sorry sights of Greece

- by Dabs Banner

Tourism promotions of Greek Island holidays will naturally feature the most beautiful sights.

Pristine seas and golden beaches are the mainstays of holiday posters and videos

No wonder then that many visitors are left bewildered at the reality of lovely Greek beaches marred by crass tourist development.

Ugly signs for beach bars and tavernas spoil many a Greek view as locals have turned belly-up to mass tourism.

And it's not just private businesses who seem intent on plastering their crass logos on every tree.

Very often the local government itself is guilty of erecting ugly wire fencing, pouring concrete everywhere and lining streets with overflowing dustbins.

Now Greek photographer Marinos E. Tsagkarakis is highlighting some of the dire effects of mass tourism on his home country.

His photo series 'Paradise Inn' picks out just a few of the architectural eyesores that are blighting areas of Greek natural beauty.

He says: "These effects are reflected in the constructed landscape mostly through the unregulated and shoddy architecture, the kitsch and folklore decoration."

Some Greek islands are worse than others of course, with many of the smaller islands escaping the worst of the blight.

Islands such as Kos and Corfu, of course, are notorious for the ugly spread of neon. But smaller islands are slowly succumbing to the creep of advertising.

Government interference is howled down in the name of over-regulation. But sometimes we need rules to stall the spread of shoddy commercial development.

And tourist visitors can help by giving these places a wide berth despite offers of happy hours boozing and cheap takeaways.

Of course, there are some who maintain the bargain basement tourists are just a bad, with little respect or concern for the local culture.

They just want cheap booze and a good time. Perhaps the drop into downmarket kitsch is inevitable.

If so, then discerning travellers may need to look elsewhere and leave the Greeks to their fluorescent fixtures.