Ecotourism in Rhodes Island, Greece - The Valley of Butterflies

Project information

Index: 1026R4
Acronym:Hybrid Parks
Priority:2: Environment and risk prevention
Sub Theme:Cultural heritage and landscape
Location ELLADA NISIA AIGAIOU, KRITI Rhodes Notio Aigaio Start/End date of the practice
Start: 1985

Topic of the practice

The development of a successful ecotourism project to protect a unique habitat and major tourism destination from the negative impacts of tourism in close cooperation with local people.

Good Practice Information

The Valley of Butterflies is one of Rhodes’ major tourist attractions. This popularity is due to the population density of one insect species, Panaxia. In the early 1980s, the population had dramatically decreased. Tourism was one of the causes (as climate, fires, agriculture), but at the same time the motivating agent for the population to demand remedial measures. In the first phase (1985),
measures included information to visitors, environmental education, guarding the area and upgrading the valley. In 1991, there were extensive landscaping works, new fencing, establishing of footpaths, as well as water control infrastructure works. These interventions resulted in less damage, increased vegetation, preserving moisture, and the steady rebound of butterfly populations.

Evidence of success

Measures have successfully enhanced the valley and its touristic use by using ecotourist parameters that are defined by three criteria: sustainability of the local environment, well-being of local people, and entertainment of tourists, along with providing information on environmental issues.

Contact details to obtain further information on the practice

Kostis Tsampanakis

Region of Soutrh Aegean and

Annex completed on: 03-10-2013

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