The Thessaloniki Hotels Association (THA) has expressed its resistance to a recent government proposal to set up a refugee center right next to a designated area in the Eastern Thessaloniki regional unit slated for tourist expansion.
Hotel owners and tourism professionals in the region believe the creation of a hotspot which will host hundreds of refugees, even if only temporary, will create havoc inevitably impacting tourism to the region as well as the daily operations of the local market.
The proposed shelter is set to be constructed in a TAIPED-owned plot between the municipalities of Thermi and Thermaikos.
The THA is calling on the government to reconsider plans as many of the proposals to address the refugee influx are “unrealistic and not feasible” due to lacking infrastructure. It additionally states that the timing — ahead of the summer season — may discourage travelers from visiting the northern port city.