The port of Thessaloniki will become both a home port and a hub for vessels involved in cruise tourism and, by functioning as such, will furnish the cruise industry throughout northern Greece with new tools. This was the message of the Minister of Tourism Vasilis Kikilias, speaking after a meeting he had with Governor of the Regional Unit of Central Macedonia Apostolos Tzitzikostas on September 10 in Thessaloniki. Secretary General of Tourism Policy and Development Vicky Loizou was also in attendance at the meeting.
In his statements following the meeting, Minister Kikilias emphasized that he had chosen to start his official visits as Minister of Tourism in Central Macedonia, and thanked the governor for his very close cooperation as they worked to update the tourist product and the tourist experience in Macedonia.
Kikilias pointed out that, thanks to a stronger cruise industry presence, more tourists would be able to visit the region’s excellent hotels and enjoy its unique food and drink, and that special forms of tourism, including religious tourism, thermal tourism (focusing on the medical benefits of thermal springs), wine tourism and gastronomic tourism, would gain support; he also expressed his strong belief that, through this, Thessaloniki and the rest of northern Greece would benefit.
The Minister also announced that the Greek Tourism Organisation (GTO), in cooperation with the Regional Unit of Central Macedonia, would focus on promoting the natural beauty of Macedonia and the great tourism services that it can provide; this effort would be targeted at the last three months of the year, which is always harder for the tourism industry. The goal of these efforts is to encourage those who seek to travel during this period to choose Macedonia over other destinations, thus strengthening the local economy, and the local communities, and helping the area’s residents.
“I’m sure that tourism will continue to grow, not only in quantity, but even more in quality and revenue, and that it will create more jobs. Obviously, we’re not just talking about purely summer destinations or those 50 or 60 days where we all enjoy the sea, the sun and the natural blessings our country has to offer,” the Minister remarked in closing.
Governor Tzitzikostas added that: “With Vasilis Kikilias, we discussed being properly prepared so that we’ll be able, at all the main international fairs, to promote Greece, and of course, Central Macedonia, as a main tourist destination for 2022, and to boost different kinds of tourism which have not been adequately exploited so far, such as cruise tourism, medical tourism and thermal tourism.”
This article was previously published in Greek at moneyreview.gr.