2015 was a difficult year for Greece. The events were overwhelming, the political and economic pressures were hard-hitting and the influx of immigrants and refugees needed to be dealt with in a responsible manner. Within this hostile environment for growth and entrepreneurship, tourism managed to stay afloat once more proving that it remains a strong asset for the Greek economy thanks to its solid foundations and the preparations made in the past.
Thessaloniki is an important part of Greek tourism as it is included among the most popular destinations not only for domestic tourism but – for the last five years – for the foreign tourist market as well. The result of the city’s extroversion was for its particularly positive image to receive much publicity and its fame to exceed Greek borders. Thessaloniki’s image is based on the fourfold of history–culture-gastronomy-entertainment, which can be considered our competitive advantage over destinations in the Mediterranean, the Balkans and Europe.
This year’s International Tourism Exhibition “PHILOXENIA 2015” finds Thessaloniki standing strong after a period of intense turmoil and making an effort for a new dynamic start in the tourism sector. The city’s radiance and foundations motivate us all and guarantee that we will follow a common pace to achieve our ambitious goals. We are closely monitoring the new trends and are hoping for new business cooperations and agreements that will increase arrivals and improve the income of the destination, the country and the businesses.
This year as well, Thessaloniki will give a dynamic presence at one of the largest events abroad, the “World Travel Market” of London, with an aim to highlight its unique quality characteristics and high-quality hotel infrastructure, seeking to place the city on the list of the most popular European destinations.
At the same time, the Thessaloniki Hotels Association is planning new initiatives and is continuing its already successful presence in leading International Tourism Exhibitions, taking part in B2B Meetings and Events and supporting every effort that views tourism development.
We are planning our next steps with boldness and determination. We are uniting our powers and voice in order for our efforts to bring results soon: for the required reforms to take place, for investments to be created and for the competitiveness of Greek tourism to be supported 12 months a year.