In the wake of a third financial bailout for Greece, one small Greek island is going to what might be described as extreme lengths to put itself back on the tourist map. Piloting Blockchain and digital currency at the end of summer, Agistri island is now being touted as a TV location for Greece’s next Top Model with winners receiving cryptocurrency.
Dubbed ‘Athena’, the latest initiative forms part of a larger project being hosted and tested out on the Island of Agistri, which has a population of a little over a thousand, with the support of the local Mayor and Vice Mayor and some players in the crytocurrency world.
The ambitious goal is to provide new business opportunities, awareness and marketing to the island and its 70-plus businesses that depend heavily on tourism. Far-fetched or does the initiative have any legs in terms of promoting the island internationally?
Whatever else they certainly need to revive their financial fortunes. During the days before the country’s referendum on staying in the Eurozone (5 July 2015), the one ATM on the island ran out money for days and locals had to hop on a ferry to Athens to stand in line in the Greek capital to try and obtain cash.
So why Agistri? Well, being located being less than hour from the port of Piraeus and ten minutes from local Aegina, an island in the Saronic Gulf some 27 kilometres (c.17 miles) from Athens. Agistri is considered one of the few remaining unspoilt Greek islands and a tourist’s heaven with the typical Greek island feel.
The bad news though is that due to the Greek financial crisis and the main tour operators divert...