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GNTO Joins Forces With Thessaloniki

Destination Thessaloniki is preparing a dynamic promotion and marketing campaign for 2012 with a new business plan and brand strategy, according to the northern city’s mayor and president of the Thessaloniki Tourism Organization, Yiannis Boutaris.

In late January, the organization signed a memorandum of understanding with the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) aiming to promote Thessaloniki as a city break destination, a four-season destination and a “unique cultural experience” destination.

During the press conference, held on the sidelines of the memorandum signing, the Thessaloniki mayor said the city’s promotion actions would not be wasteful, but targeted.

Basically, according to Mr. Boutaris, the organization would host fam trips for foreign travel journalists and opinion leaders from target markets Turkey, Russia and the Balkans.

“Cultural, religious and gay tourism will be included in Thessaloniki’s tourism package this year,” the mayor announced.

Mayor Boutaris said the city has many events planned this year for the celebration of 100 years from Thessaloniki’s liberation from the Turkish occupation.

The memorandum of understanding signed between the GNTO and the Thessaloniki Tourism Organization includes the hosting of the city’s tourism organization and the distribution of its promotional material from the stands of all exhibitions the GNTO will participate in this year.

According to recent data provided by GBR Consulting on the performance of Greek hotels in the fourth quarter of 2011, Thessaloniki airport showed a considerable increase of 11.3 percent as it benefited from the low cost carriers that started operations there and from the opening of the new markets of Israel and Turkey.

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