Halkidiki in Northern Greece has been recording a significant rise in bookings by European tour operators for the 2014 tourism season following five years of reduced interest in the region, according to an announcement by the Halkidiki Hotel Association.
The association said that bookings to Halkidiki were reaching very satisfying levels after actions were launched on its part that included a “highly targeted strategy” to approach European airlines, tour operators and professionals for business deals. These actions included the hosting of foreign journalists/tour operators in Halkidiki (fam trips) and the region’s participation in international tourism exhibitions abroad.
According to the hotel association, German tour operators expanded the allotments in hotels in Halkidiki and arrivals grew by 11.70 percent (54,700 arrivals) in May 2014 compared to the same month last year. (Allotments are used to designate a certain block of pre-negotiated hotel rooms that have been bought out and held by a tour operator to resell to travel partners and final customers around the globe.)
Arrivals from the UK market, supported by scheduled low cost and charter flights, increased by 30.5 percent last month. The association said that the UK market shows a great interest in Halkidiki and that already hoteliers are in contact with British tour operators for the 2015 season.
In regards to the Dutch market, the hotel association said that thanks to Transavia’s three weekly direct flights from Amsterdam to Thessaloniki, Halkidiki is welcoming Dutch visitors for the first time after 15 years. It was estimated that over 2,500 tourists from the Netherlands visited Halkidiki in May.
On arrivals from Belgium last month, the association underlined that the daily Ryanair flight from Charleroi Airport was one of the main factors that brought 4,700 Belgian visitors to the region, a 206 percent increase in comparison with May 2013.
Italy is gradually showing its potential as a tourism market for Halkidiki, following cooperation actions between the Jambo Group tour operator and the Greek National Tourism Organization branch in Italy.
The hotel association added that Turkey has also evolved into one of the major markets for Northern Greece as increased arrivals are recorded from the country by air and road. More than 25 hotels and lodges in Halkidiki expect to accommodate Turkish guests this season.