The Region of Central Macedonia in northern Greece is looking to redefine its brand strategy for 2021 to deal with the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and prepare for next year’s tourism season.
According to Central Macedonia Vice Governor for Tourism Alexandros Thanos, the Region will conduct qualitative and quantitative research to identify the problems and develop a new branding strategy with emphasis on digital marketing. The Region will also call on the area’s tourism bodies to participate in the process.
Speaking during the Thessaloniki Helexpo Forum last week, Thanos said that the Region’s tourism performance for 2020 was far behind the 2019 levels.
In 2019, Central Macedonia was first among Greece’s 13 regions in terms of tourism arrivals as it attracted around 8 million tourists – a share of 25 percent nationwide.
Furthermore, tourism contributed to the area’s GDP with approximately 2.5 million euros.
Despite focusing on road tourism that accounts for 70 percent of arrivals, as well as on the Balkan countries, one of the region’s main source markets, Central Macedonia did not manage to meet its goals for tourism in the summer of 2020.
“The western Balkan market closed very early for us, while many areas such as Halkidiki and Pieria suffered a major blow due to local restrictions,” Thanos said.
Meanwhile, Bulgaria and Romania experienced a surge in coronavirus cases, reducing the flow of tourists to Greece.
“We tried to find opportunities to promote Central Macedonia’s competitive advantages during the summer season but the further spread of the coronavirus in local communities did not help,” Thanos said.
However, he added that “local tourism professionals including hoteliers, showed exemplar behavior by fully implementing the health protocols announced by Greek authorities.”