The number of visitors to Thessaloniki edged higher to 1,115,097 from 1,085,595 in the first half of the year, with Israeli travelers boosting overnight stays by 113.16 percent compared to a year ago, the Thessaloniki Hotels Association (THA) said this week.
Indicatively, according to data on requests submitted to the Greek office of Economic and Commercial Affairs in Tel Aviv, investor interest by Israeli nationals has picked up with activity focusing on the real estate, F&B, construction and raw materials sectors. With regards to tourism, the number of arrivals in 2017 grew by 12.9 percent to 503,047 compared 445,572 in 2016.
More specifically, Israeli visitors took the lead (previously fourth) in terms of overnight stays elevating the figure to 64,205 from 30,121 in 2017, followed by visitors from Cyprus – stronger by 1.65 percent to 64,003 from 62,962 last year, and from Germany up by 9.33 percent to 39,351 from 35,992 a year ago.
Moving up on the list were travelers from France, the Netherlands, and Poland, with 12.67 percent, 18.55 percent, and 14.61 percent respectively.
Meanwhile, the number of domestic travelers to Thessaloniki increased by 1.38 percent, with overnight stays by Greeks coming to 574,507 against 566,687 in the first half of 2017.
On the down side, the northern port city welcomed fewer Russian holidaymakers, weaker by 11.12 percent to 23,569 from 26,519 and Spaniards, who marked a 13.16 percent decline in the first six months of 2018 to 7,554 from last year’s 8,699.
Meanwhile, according to a monthly survey carried out by GBR Consulting on behalf of the THA, average room rate (ARR) rose by 7.1 percent in the first half of 2018, as did RevPar (revenue per available room), by 9.0 percent to 49.56 euros.
However, compared to 10 rival European city destinations, Thessaloniki remains last in terms of occupancy levels, average room rate, and revenue per available room.