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Influx of migrants hurts tourism in Greek island of Kos

Thursday, August 13, 2015 - 01:36

Businesses on Greek island say thousands of migrants camping out by the beach are driving away tourists. Sean Carberry reports.

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STORY: As if Greece didn't have enough problems, Europe's migrant crisis is taking a bite out of tourism. On the popular resort island of Kos, officials estimate there are now 7,000 migrants out of a local population of around 30,000. Many migrants are camping out near beaches and other attractions. French tourist Romain who's visited Kos before, says it feels different this time. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FRENCH TOURIST, ROMAIN, SAYING: "You feel pity because you cannot really help them and at the same time you want to enjoy your holiday, so it's like kind of contradictory feeling. So I feel disturbed and not very comfortable for this." Photos of migrant camps and clashes this week at a migrant reception center at the sports stadium are driving many to cancel their reservations. That's punishing local businesses says waiter, Yannis. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WAITER AT LOCAL GREEK RESTAURANT, YANNIS, SAYING: "The tourists are not coming, they are going out of the hotels, coming in the city. August is the best month for the summer, and now it's catastrophic." Meanwhile, many migrants have little access to food, water, and proper toilets. Migrants like Imad, who fled Syria, say it's difficult to watch tourists go about their holidays on the island. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SYRIAN MIGRANT, IMAD, SAYING: "Why we're living like this? Why? What's the difference between me and them? No difference, we all are human beings, but because we came from bad situation that's why we're feeling just like that." The International Rescue Committee estimates 140,000 migrants have been trafficked into Greece so far this year.

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Influx of migrants hurts tourism in Greek island of Kos

Thursday, August 13, 2015 - 01:36