Greece’s Hospitality Sector Starting Point for Partnerships in Tourism
Greece’s hospitality sector could evolve into the ideal starting point for partnerships and synergies in tourism, said Deputy Tourism Minister Sofia Zacharaki during the “The Role of Information in the New Balkan Reality” conference organized by the ANA-MPA in Thessaloniki this week.
Speaking during a panel discussion, Zacharaki said that Thessaloniki’s hospitality sector could serve as a driving force in the Balkans, connecting people, cultures and nations, which together could overcome crises.
Among others, the minister referred to a series of actions and collaborations with the aim to promote Thessaloniki as an ideal theme tourism destination. She added that the northern port city was already establishing itself as a city-break destination and a cruise hub, adding that the tourism season ahead looked promising.
“Tourism is the best field for the development of cooperation on every level,” said Zacharaki, adding that partnerships create added value and benefit local communalities and economies as well as the national economy.
Zacharaki went on to add that Thessaloniki’s membership in UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network, its leading position as a conference-MICE tourism destination and its high-level tourism education options all contributed to its stronger presence on the tourism map.
“Thessaloniki is one of the most important educational centers for the Balkan region. This is confirmed by the number of students who study in the city’s educational institutions, public and private, every year; institutions offering education with excellent employment prospects,” she said.
Boosting tourism to the region is a top ministry priority. Addressing the 6th Thessaloniki Development Conference earlier this year, Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias said talks were underway to increase the number of international flights to the city’s airport as part of efforts to develop the northern port city and the wider Macedonia region into an established tourist destination.