Thessaloniki Cruise Ship Arrivals Rise Tenfold from 2019
The port of the Greek city of Thessaloniki is expected to close this year with a total of 60 cruise ship arrivals compared to just six calls in 2019, a tenfold increase, according to official data by the Hellenic Ports Association (ELIME).
Speaking during an event of the Thessaloniki Port Authority (ThPA S.A.) on Friday, Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias said that the tenfold increase of cruise ship arrivals to the city this year follows a series of upgrades made at the port.
According to Kikilias, half of the cruise ship arrivals are attributed to homeporting, which adds even more value to the Greek destination.
“This reflects an upgrade of the city’s tourism product and creates a boost to the local economy,” he said.
During ThPA’s event, it was announced that Thessaloniki for the first time will be the host destination of the 2023 Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum (PSTF), a premier cruising and yachting conference organized by Posidonia Exhibitions S.A..
“The Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum 2023 will be held in Thessaloniki, a destination which deserves and should enjoy a high-ranking position in sea tourism,” Kikilias said, adding that the ministry is receiving encouraging signs that Thessaloniki will see an even greater increase next year in cruise ship arrivals.
PSTF moves from Athens to Thessaloniki
Posidonia Exhibitions decided to relocate the 7th edition of PSTF to Thessaloniki as the city is emerging as a major homeporting hub in the eastern Mediterranean and Balkan regions, following significant investments and sea and airport infrastructure upgrades.
It will be the first time the biennial event will move away from Athens since its inception 11 years ago.
Thessaloniki Port Authority investment plan
As highlighted by the Thessaloniki Port Authority (ThPA) chairman, Athanasios Liagkos, Thessaloniki is also home to the main gateway port to the Balkans and Southeast Europe, which is strategically located close to the major Trans-European motorway and railway networks.
“We aspire to act as a gateway to growth, delivering added value to the city, the economy and society,” Liagkos said during the event.
ThPA S.A. is implementing a multi-million investment plan aiming to contribute to turning Thessaloniki into a major transportation, commerce, tourism and logistics hub for Southeastern Europe. Ongoing investments include the project for the expansion of Pier 6, which will provide the ability to directly serve main liner container vessels and the upgrading of the existing cruise terminal.
The 7th Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum (PSTF) will take place at Thessaloniki’s Makedonia Palace Hotel during 25-26 April and is expected to attract influential decision makers of the international cruising and sea tourism sector.
“During their stay here, they will have a first-hand experience of Thessaloniki’s exciting, highly vibrant and constantly evolving tourism product,” Liagkos said.