According to the Bureau, almost all conferences and events scheduled for 2020, have been canceled or postponed, with only a limited number of events finally taking place in a hybrid form.
It also estimates that the recently announced restrictions including a 50-person limit for all conferences, will lead to the cancellation of any remaining events for this year.
Thessaloniki’s MICE and tourism professionals are trying to cover the losses caused by Covid-19 restrictions, as well as from the cancelation, earlier this month, of the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), one of the country’s largest and most influential fairs, the TCB said.
Last week, Thessaloniki’s Chamber of Commerce said that TIF’s cancellation would cost Thessaloniki up to 50 million euros in damages.
Meanwhile, enterprises active in the meetings and events industry were forced to remain closed during the Covid-19 lockdown in Greece, and are now struggling to cover the lost ground. The Bureau is now calling for the implementation of a strategy that will allow the meetings sector to immediately restart operations under new terms in the post-Covid-19 era.
“The health and safety of employers and employees, delegates and visitors, is of utmost importance and every government effort towards this direction is perfectly understandable. However, any attempt to fully restart the operation of tourism businesses must be made with terms that do not not put a stop to this effort,” the TCB said.
“It is necessary, now more than ever, to achieve a wider cooperation on a national level for the support and promotion of destinations and enterprises in a period strong international competition.”
The Thessaloniki Convention Bureau currently counts 52 active members offering a wide range of tourism services in Thessaloniki.