Successful participation of the Region of Central Macedonia to the International Tourism exhibitions of Tel Aviv and Sofia

Two further tourism exhibitions were successfully attended by the Region of Central Macedonia (RCM), under the 2016 tourism promotion scheme of the regional government, namely the “IMTM” of Tel Aviv, which was held on the 9th and 10th of February, and the 33rd international tourism fair “Holiday and Spa Expo 2016” of Sofia that took place from the 11th to the 13th of February.


In Tel Aviv members of the RCM tourism group presented to the visitors of the Greek National Tourism Organization stand the competitive advantages of the regions touristic product based on thematic and geographic differentiations. 


A significant number of professionals and potential visitors expressed their interest and were supplied with the information they requested regarding the unique destinations of Central Macedonia and not only for the Thessaloniki, which as known has always been a favourite destination for Israelis. Information was supplied regarding the beaches of Halkidiki and Pieria, the reach history of the region, the climbing routes of Olympus, the cycling and hiking trails of Kilkis and Serres, the variety of available open door activities, the natural baths of Pozar, and the existing means of access for the different destinations.


In the meetings of the RCM staff with tour operators the development of alternative tourism was discussed, by means of creating thematic touristic packages encompassing new destinations and services, while extensive reference was made to the necessity of establishing a direct flight route between Thessaloniki and Tel Aviv.  The pavilion amongst others was visited by the Tourism Minister of Israel and its secretary general, Yariv Levin and Halevy Amir respectively, while constant was the presence of the Greek National Tourism Organization secretary general Dimitriou Trifonopoulos and staff members of the Greek Embassy.


During the 33rd international tourism fair “Holiday and Spa Expo 2016” in Sofia Bulgaria the members of the RCM tourism group met representatives of tourist agencies along with professionals and journalists of the field, promoting the region as a broad field of destinations and options, emphasizing, beyond the classic summer holydays, on thematic and alternative types of tourism such as religious, medical (sanative), convention, city tours etc.


The pavilion of the Central Macedonia Region hosted a number of representatives form the municipalities of Serres and Amphipoli, the Cave of Alistrati, the association of Katerini Beach Hoteliers, together with professionals operating on the field of tourism. The fair attended important business people of the tourism world from Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, Spain, Serbia, India, Turkey, Morocco, United States of America, Indonesia, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Cuba, Russia and Skopje.


Overall, the action plan of the Region of Central Macedonia includes participation in five international tourism fairs, within February 2016, out of which entries in Tel Aviv, Sofia, Milano and Stockholm are completed, whereas, until the 21st of February 2016 RCM will attend the international tourism exhibition “ITTFA” in Belgrade.

Successful participation for the Region of Central Macedonia to the International Tourism Fair GREKLAND PANORAMA in Stockholm

Successful was the participation of the Region of Central Macedonia to the international tourism exhibition of Stockholm “GREKLAND PANORAMA” that took place over a two day period between the 13th and 14th of February 2016.


The Region’s stand intrigued the visitors who had the opportunity to receive printed material and gather information regarding the high quality touristic services available in Central Macedonia and the tourist destinations that can be visited in all Regional Units. Guests discussed with the Region representatives and collected information with regards to the touristic product of the region.


Amongst others the Region’s stand was honored by the attendance of the Metropolitan of Sweden and all of Scandinavia Kleopas, the Director of the Greek National Tourism Organization in Sweden Stavroula Skaltsi and other officials form the Greek embassy in Stockholm.

27 Airlines interested in Thessaloniki Airport’s Potential
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The Region of Central Macedonia, the first Greek Region, to participate at Europe’s largest Route Development Conference, Routes 2014.


International scheduled flights to/from Thessaloniki International Airport “Macedonia” are demonstrating an impressive increase of 23% for the 2014 summer season (30.03.14-25.10.14) in comparison to the respective period in 2013. These figures we confirmed during Routes Europe – the European Route Development Conference – that took place in Marseille (April 6-8) and at which a Greek region participated for the first time.


During the conference, the largest in Europe, the delegation from the Region of Central Macedonia - which included also a representative from Marketing Greece - had the opportunity to meet with 27 airlines. During their discussions, the delegation promoted the Region’s tourism potential, and sought a closer cooperation with the airlines, aiming at:
1. Attracting new airlines
2. Increasing frequencies of existing routes
3. Connecting to new destinations
4. Prolonging the duration of routes during the summer season
5. Continuing routes during the winter season


The airlines welcomed the Region’s initiative, accepting meetings with the delegation. During the meetings, the delegation promoted the diversification and dynamics of Central Macedonia’s tourism product, as well as the attractiveness of the city of Thessaloniki. Moreover, the co-promotion of the region’s destinations and the design and implementation of marketing support programmes for airlines was also discussed.


Airline route developers are closely monitoring the consistently growing international traffic at Thessaloniki airport during the past 3 years, together with the increasing tourism inflows to Greece in order to investigate the potential of adding new flights to Thessaloniki, as well as developing seasonal routes to year-around routes. The results from the discussions were constructive, accompanied by significant announcements with regards to the 2014 summer season: including the resumption of the Zurich route by Swiss and the Amsterdam route by Transavia, new routes to Rome by easyJet, to Milan-Linate by Alitalia, to Dusseldorf and Hamburg by Germanwings, to Berlin, Brussels, Kefallinia and Rostov by Aegean, to Athens, Pisa and Warsaw by Ryanair, and the new destinations to Ukraine and Russia by Ellinair. Furthermore, existing carriers have added frequencies to destinations they are currently serving.


Referring to the successful presence of the Region of Central Macedonia at the European Route Development Conference, the Head of the Region Mr Apostolos Tzitzikostas stated: “We are proud that the Region of Central Macedonia is the first Greek Region to participate in such an important conference. Air transport is undoubtedly one of the basic components of the tourism product and an integral part of our strategy. The development of Thessaloniki Airport depends on the attractiveness of the destination, it is therefore our responsibility to communicate to the airlines the tourism potential of our region”.


Mr Tzitzikostas added: “Based on our estimations, Thessaloniki International Airport will have a record year in passenger throughput. The tourism promotional efforts of Region of Central Macedonia have also contributed to this positive outcome. We commit in building an effective and close partnership with all the airlines, supporting their developmental plans out of Thessaloniki Airport”.


Summer Season Statistics (30.03.14-25.10.14)
During the summer season, 24 airlines will be operating 496 weekly scheduled flights to 56 international destinations (63 airports), in 23 countries. A significant increase of 25% is also apparent at the international charter services, while the domestic scheduled flights will remain at the same levels as 2013, serving 15 destinations.


For summer 2014, the top international destinations with regards to weekly scheduled flights are London, Moscow and Dusseldorf, followed by Munich, Stuttgart, Istanbul, Belgrade, Paphos and Larnaca. The most popular domestic destinations are Athens and Iraklion, followed Hania, Rhodes, Limnos and Mytiline.


 The Top Ten Routes out of Thessaloniki Airport


Weekly Variation %





















Source: IATA/INNOVATA SRS Analyser based on offered seats.

Source: IATA/INNOVATA SRS Analyser based on weekly offered seats



Region of Central Macedonia was present in the “Holidays and Spa Expo” in Sofia (13- 15/2) and “ITTFA” in Belgrade (26/2 – 2/3).


These exhibitions were great opportunities to present the various types of tourism and the amenities the area has to offer.


Region of Central Macedonia staff met journalists and tourist operators who showed great interest in the area particularly for sea vacations, archeological and religious tours, city breaks, spa-well being and conference tourism.


The fairs were attended by important business representatives of the tourist world. Particularly rigorous was also the presence of Greek tourist operators in the fair who had the chance to promote their tourist suggestions and packages.


Our region is one of the main touristic destinations for both Serbians and Bulgarians and arrivals seem to be even more promising this year.

Region of central Macedonia participated in Tourism exhibition, Berlin ITB
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Region of central Macedonia participated in the greatest International Tourism exhibition, Berlin ITB that took place from the 5th the 9th of March
With a central position in the pavilion of the Greek National Tourism Organization our region presented all the touristic thematic unities and provided information to numerous professionals and travelers.


Great interest was expressed mainly about the beaches of Halkidiki and Pieria and mountain Olympus. However there were many questions about festivals, visits to museums and archaeological sites, Mount Athos and to other religious destinations, about cycling and mountain climbing as well as the ways to access Central Macedonia.
At the exhibition stand of the Region of central Macedonia constructive meetings took place among Pieria and Halkidiki professionals and tour operators and journalists specializing on tourism and gastronomy.


Region of central Macedonia was represented by the Vice Governor of Halkidiki responsible for Tourism issues Mr Ioannis Yiorgos, Regional Councilor from Thessaloniki Vasilios Kanakas and Regional Councilor from Pieria and President of the Olympus Festival Mr Grigoris Papachristos who at a specially scheduled event presented the festival’s activities.
On the opening day the pavilion was visited by the Minister of Tourism Mrs Olga Kefalogianni accompanied by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Mr Hans-Joachim Fuchtel who had the chance to taste dishes and wines of our region.