Extending Chalkidiki’s tourism season to 150 days from 120 days is the Chalkidiki Tourism Organization’s goal for 2013, the organization’s president, Grigoris Tasios, said during a press conference during the 28th International Tourism Exhibition Philoxenia in Thessaloniki (22-25 November).
Mr. Tasios presented the organization’s plans to promote Chalkidiki to the international market for the 2013 tourism season and screened a series of videos that are to be used in an online campaign.
Four videos of Chalkidiki have been produced to promote the destination through youtube that focus on scenes of Chalkidiki (Halkidiki Inside Your Dreams and Halkidiki Promo Video), the destination’s Tradition and History and Gastronomy.
In addition, the organization’s website www.visit-halkidiki.gr is expected to launch by the end of the year in English and Greek.
During the press conference, Mr. Tasios referred to the cooperation agreement signed with the Hellenic Chef’s Association of Northern Greece in regards to the Greek Breakfast program following the “local quality pact” signed between the region of Chalkidiki and the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels in May.
Chalkidiki’s five-star hotels initially adopted the Greek Breakfast program and are now followed by the region’s three- and four- star units.
The cooperation agreement signed between the organization and the chef’s association will include participation in international exhibitions at least six to 10 times a year, which is expected to play a positive role in the region’s promotion to international markets.
In addition, the organization announced it would strengthen its cooperation with Turkish Airlines. In 2012, 500 Turkish tourists visited Chalkidiki individually or through organized travel packages.
According to the airline’s director for Northern Greece, Utku Yazan, in 2013 Turkish Airlines intends to promote Chalkidiki beyond Turkey to other Asian countries (India, China, etc.) where there is a large interest for new holiday destinations.
It should be noted that Turkish Airlines will launch a daily Thessaloniki-Istanbul flight as of 6 December (seven flights a week).
The Chalkidiki Tourism Organization also signed a cooperation agreement with the International Hellenic University in Thessaloniki that aims to develop a strategy and promote actions to bring together the region’s business and student communities so graduates will be absorbed in the tourism market.
The cooperation will also include a masters degree program for the training and education of tourism professionals.
As mentioned at the press conference, the Chalkidiki Tourism Organization maintains two offices in Turkey and Italy and is planning to set up a third in Germany.
In 2012 the majority of foreign arrivals to Chalkidiki were German tourists, followed by Russians and Ukrainians. Tourists from all Balkan countries to Chalkidiki reached 250.000 in 2012. On the other hand, domestic tourism to Chalkidiki dropped some 50 percent.