BRIDGING RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN EDUCATION, REFUGEE CRISIS AND TOURISM

R. Krasteva, E. Pantelis

South West University "Neofit Rilski", Blagoevgrad (BULGARIA)
The movement of multiple groups of refugees into countries from the tourist macro region of Europe became a basic phenomenon of the new century. In particular, the refugee stream in recent years has a specific impact on the demand of both educational and tourist services provided at the Greek islands (Northern Aegean Sea). The island of Lesvos became a bridge to Western Europe for large numbers of refugees because of its favorable location near the coast of Turkey. In this context, this study aims to reveal the local impact of the refugee crisis on tourism development of the island of Lesvos, as well as to observe the process of integration of refugees, through the education structures.
For this purpose a case study research was conducted based on a representative sample, which includes a survey of hotel managers and schools directors. Tourism is a crucial sector for the local economy of the island of Lesvos. Intervention through the stable flow of new incomers changes the social structure and the educational environment. This is a new challenge for the local community and in this manner a necessity for establishing of bridging relationships between education, refugee crises and tourism is created.