Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, is still struggling to attract and keep travelers in town recording a total of 531,806 overnight stays at hotels in the first eight months of the year down by 0.04 percent over the same period in 2020 and 532,016 stays, according to data released this week by the Thessaloniki Hotels Association (THA).
Indicatively, in pre-Covid-19 2019, the northern port city recorded a total of 1,587,666 overnight stays.
Romania, Germany and Israel topped the list of source markets in the January-August 2021 period. Analysts attribute the rise in Romanian travelers to smoother border crossing procedures bringing the number to 33,893 overnights in the eight-month period up by 121.18 percent compared to 15,324 a year ago but down by 32.43 percent at 50,159 in 2019.
German visitors were second in line marking a 39.20 percent rise compared to the same eight-month period in 2020 but down by 62.56 percent over 2019.
Third were Israeli tourists who increased the number of overnight stays to 20,927 in 2021 but still down by 83.73 percent compared to 2019 when travelers from Israel made 128,620 overnight stays in the city.
Overall in the January-August 2021 period, the number of international overnight stays at Thessaloniki hotels increased mainly in July and August to 256,446 compared to 2020 and 189,605 stays and to 893,660 in 2019, or a 71.30 percent drop.
Thessaloniki attracts lesser Greeks
Meanwhile, the number of Greek travelers staying overnight dropped to 275,357 in the January-August 2021 period or down by 19.58 percent against the same period in 2020 and by 60.32 percent over pre-pandemic 2019.
Other markets showing a preference for Thessaloniki this year were Serbia and Cyprus.
At the same time, according to research conducted by GBR Consulting for the THA, the average room rate (ARR) for the January-August 2021 period increased by 8.4 percent generating 26.91 euros revenue per available room (RevPar), down for a second consecutive year in the given period by 6.9 percent over 2020 and by 48.6 percent over 2019.