The Greek Tourism Ministry is planning to promote Thessaloniki as a destination ideal for a city break in Europe. Located 520 kilometers north of Athens, Thessaloniki is the second largest city of Greece. A modern metropolis, Thessaloniki stands near the sea, at the back of the Thermaikos Gulf.
The announcement was made on Friday by Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis on the opening day of the Philoxenia 2019 international tourism exhibition in Thessaloniki.
Minister Theoharis also announced that a relevant campaign would launch next week.
According to the minister, Thessaloniki is a city with many benefits, from gastronomy and culture to its beautiful tourist hot spots, and it can become a strong attraction for tourists.
The Greek tourism minister also referred to city break tourism in general, during his speech at the Philoxenia 2019 opening ceremony.
Underlining the need for Greece to focus more on alternative tourism forms, the minister referred to diving tourism, congress tourism, health tourism and city break tourism.
“This is a rapidly expanding sector and our cities have to enter this market as much as possible,” he said during his speech.
Citing official data, the minister said that during the 2007-2017 period, city breaks quadrupled in size on a global level. In 2017 alone, some 170 million city break trips were made all over the world.
“Last year, this market saw 8 percent growth worldwide and the average spending per night reached 170 euros. Europe has the largest share of this market, which reaches 60 percent,” Minister Theoharis said.
The minister added that city breaks are among the main preferences of British holidaymakers, with one in two travelers preferring such trips.
“Millennials are also fans of city break tourism. One third of their holidays each year are made in cities,” he said.
While in Thessaloniki, Minister Theoharis also met with Greek Deputy Minister of Interior (Macedonia-Thrace) Theodoros Karaoglou and discussed the prospects and ways of extending the tourism season in Northern Greece.
According to Deputy Minister Karaoglou, tourism is a development priority for the Greek Ministry of the Interior.
“Tourism in Northern Greece is not only the sun and the sea, but we are looking to promote all the natural and cultural resources we have,” Karaoglou said, underlining that Northern Greece is ideal to attract visitors interested in thematic tourism forms that focus on gastronomy, culture, conferences and religion.
Moreover, Karaoglou said that the ministry is planning to participate in international tourism fairs in Sofia, Belgrade and Bucharest to highlight the northern Greece as an attractive tourism destination.
“We want to show everywhere that Macedonia and Thrace, and Greece in general, are fascinating places for millions of tourists to visit, explore and love,” the deputy minister said.