Addressing the 6th Thessaloniki Development Conference, Kikilias said talks were currently underway to boost the number of international flights to the city’s airport as part of tourism ministry efforts to develop the northern port city and the wider Macedonia region into an established tourist destination.
Other actions planned include fam trips for new markets including Saudi Arabia with the aim of attracting for the first time incoming flights this year. Additionally negotiations are ongoing with US airline companies for direct flights to Thessaloniki and attracting higher-spending visitors.
At the same time, he said the ministry was also taking initiatives to enhance local connectivity. In this direction he announced the increase in flights from Kavala to Athens. Lastly he referred to the expected increase in cruise ship port calls to Thessaloniki after a successful 2022.
Kikilias said tourism revenue in 2022 came to 18 billion euros and that he expected the strong dynamic to continue this year enhanced by important infrastructure projects funded by EU tools and new agreements with hospitality and tourism companies.
He said the ministry was utilizing all available financial tools and proceeding with important infrastructure projects such as ports and marinas; showcasing thematic products including snow resorts, mountain refuges, trails, wine tourism, and gastronomy as well as working on sustainability projects such as solid waste and water resources management.
Kikilias concluded that ministry and GNTO campaigns will continue throughout the year with the aim of establishing Greece as an ideal year-round destination.
Tasios: We must benefit from Thessaloniki’s high customer satisfaction scores
Speaking during the same event, Hellenic Hoteliers Federation President Grigoris Tasios said it was vital actions were accelerated to gain lost ground and benefit from Thessaloniki’s high customer satisfaction scores. Indicatively, Thessaloniki and Athens outdid rival cities in terms of satisfaction with a score of 85.7 percent and 83.9 percent, respectively, compared to Barcelona (83.2 percent), Bologna (81.1 percent) and Rome (81.0 percent).