Developing a tourism policy for Thessaloniki is among the municipality’s main priorities, Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris said on Tuesday, 4 December, while unveiling initiatives to reform the Greek Northern city.
During a media briefing to foreign press correspondents in Athens, Mr. Boutaris referred to actions currently under development by the municipality, such as restructuring the city’s finances and administration and developing a tourism policy.
In regards to the latter, Mayor Boutaris said the municipality’s key priority was to develop tourism through promotion. “Tourism can be a vehicle for new tourism markets (mainly Israel, Turkey and Russia),” he said.
Last year, Thessaloniki saw a 331 percent increase in tourists from Israel, a 286 percent increase from Egypt, a 96 percent increase from Russia, a 72 percent increase from Skopje and a 63 percent increase from Turkey.
The mayor also mentioned that the municipality would establish an annual cultural calendar, create thematic forms of tourism (gastronomy and religious) to extend the tourism season, reactivate the Thessaloniki Tourism Organization, increase air connections and organize prestigious European institutions, such as the Biennale of Young Artists.
In other news, Thessaloniki hoteliers agreed with the mayor’s recent proposal for the city’s shops to extend their opening hours in order to boost Thessaloniki as an attractive city break destination for Greek and foreign visitors. However, no further developments on the matter have been reported.