The 5 Best News Stories to come out of Rhodes in 2017

On the GWC today we have another special guest blog post by AutoRhodes – a car hire service in, you guessed it…Rhodes! 

The 5 best news stories to come out of Rhodes in 2017 

 By AutoRhodes – Rhodes car hire

We’re already a few weeks into 2018 and while it’s healthy to look forward to the year ahead with hope and optimism, it’s important to remember all the good things that happened in 2017.

It was a great year for Rhodes, as the stories below show. From the Danish visitor who racked up her 150th trip to the island, to the message in a bottle that travelled 500 miles from Rhodes to Palestine, it was a memorable 12 months for the Island of the Knights.

Recap the best stories to come out of Rhodes in 2017 here.

New species discovered

Rhodes made headlines in the scientific world in November when a new species of cricket was discovered at Petaloúdes, one of the island’s most popular attractions and known in English as the Butterfly Valley. The discovery was made during a night-time trip to Petaloúdes by Greek and Russian scientists, who named the new species Ovaliptila Rhodos in tribute to Rhodes.

Tourists flock to Rhodes

While the island has long been a popular destination with holidaymakers from all over the world, in 2017 even more tourists flocked to Rhodes than usual. Visitors increased by a whopping 35% in April 2017 compared to April 2016, and hotel occupancy rates over the summer season stood at over 90%.

This is great news for the island as it means more visitors get to experience Rhodes’ unique blend of history, culture and beauty, and of course provides a boost to the island’s economy.

Airport facelift gets lift-off

Equally exciting news for locals and tourists alike was the announcement in July that Rhodes’ airport is set for a major facelift over the next few years. Improvements include renovating the terminal building, the opening of two new restaurants as well as adding extra check-in areas, luggage conveyor belts and gates.

The effect of this development should be ensuring that Rhodes gives as good a first impression as possible to visitors arriving by plane. Combined with the news that two new 5-star hotels will be built on the island, it is clear that Rhodes is a destination on the up.

Message in a bottle

A travel cliche became reality in August when a British couple’s message in a bottle turned into one of 2017’s best feel-good stories. On holiday in Rhodes, the couple put a message containing their email address into a bottle and dropped it into the Aegean Sea.

They weren’t expecting it to get far: “We are currently on holiday in Rhodes, and we would love to know how far this bottle got, even if it’s just the next beach,” they wrote in their message.

To their astonishment, they eventually received an email from a fisherman in Gaza, Palestine, who had found the bottle over 500 miles away.

Pointing out that the bottle had somehow passed an Israeli naval blockade and fishing restrictions to wash ashore in Gaza, the fisherman added: “I hope one day we (the people of Gaza) will become as free as this bottle was.”

Fittingly, the story itself then travelled around the world.

Rhodes’ biggest fan honoured

2017 was a special year for Theresa Jette Enevoldsen, a Danish woman who was officially named an “Honorary Friend of the Island” by the Municipality of Rhodes after reaching her 150th visit to the island.  Last year also marked the 50th anniversary of Theresa’s first visit in 1967, when she felt a “thunderbolt” walking around the island for the first time.

Since that trip, she has visited between 2-4 times a year. “I’ve become addicted to the island and its people,” she said.

Many thanks to AutoRhodes for this article. You can follow them on twitter @AutoRhodes

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