TTO: Vaccinations, Bilateral Agreements Vital for Greek Tourism Recovery
The recovery of Greek tourism depends on the course of vaccinations on a European level and the bilateral agreements that Greece is expected to sign with other countries, Thessaloniki Tourism Organization (TTO) President Voula Patoulidou said on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters during an online press conference, Patoulidou referred to the recent bilateral agreement that was signed between Greece and Israel, enabling restriction-free admission and paving the way for return to travel.
It is reminded that Israel is among Greece’s top 10 source markets. According to data published by the Greek Tourism Ministry, in 2019 the country received more than 700,000 Israeli travelers.
TTO promotes Thessaloniki through digital media
During the press conference, Voula Patoulidou also referred to the efforts of the TTO to promote the northern port city to potential travelers around the globe.
“We remain active. Our aim is for Thessaloniki to be among the top choices of international travelers when vaccinations cover a large part of the global population… People want to travel to Greece, however it is difficult to make any predictions for 2021,” she said.
According to Patoulidou, during 2020, the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic highlighted the significance of digital apps and contributed to the acceleration of the organization’s digital transformation.
To maintain the interest of potential travelers for Thessaloniki, the TTO last year proceeded with a number of promotional actions on digital media.
Among them were the following:
– Thessaloniki’s main attractions were presented to travelers as well as to journalists and tour operators, through digital applications, photos and virtual reality videos. The digital material was also promoted on social media with the hashtag #visitthessaloniki
– The organization ran online tourism campaigns targeting Balkan countries,- Thessaloniki’s main source markets for winter tourism. The TTO also launched its official thessaloniki.travel portal in the Serbian language
– Aiming to attract domestic travelers, the TTO promoted Thessaloniki through online and printed features and advertisements
– The organization launched a partnership with low-cost airline Transavia, with the aim to promote Thessaloniki to the Dutch market
– The organization continued to run digital campaigns on social media platforms, attracting even more followers on Instagram, Printerest and Twitter. Its Facebook followers exceeded 35,000 in 2020
– Approximately 5,000 tour operators and travel agents throughout the world received the organization’s newsletter on a monthly basis
– The TTO updated its blog and ran new social media campaigns that attracted thousands of views in many countries around the world
– It organized webinars, workshops and other online events. The TTO also hosted the FVW Workshop Greece 2020, that took place in accordance with the latest health and safety protocols against Covid-19
– Furthermore, the TTO, in 2020 held a number of fam and press trips, and participated in numerous international trade shows and exhibitions including WTM Virtual and ASTA Global Live 2020.
Through the internet, people, search, find and ultimately choose the destinations the wish to visit, Patoulidou reiterated.
The organization will continue to promote Thessaloniki with digital campaigns and activities throughout 2021.