Athens: The interest of Irish tourists in visiting areas with sun, sea, culture, good food and entertainment was established during the Holiday World Show 2024 exhibition, held in Dublin and jointly participated by the Thessaloniki and Halkidiki Tourism Organization.
It is one of Ireland’s largest tourism fairs, with over 40,000 visitors. With the cooperation of the United Kingdom foreign office and its head, Mr. Eleni Skarvelis, the two organisations presented their destinations at the Hellenic Tourism Organization’s stand and piqued the interest of the informed Irish public.
Ryanair’s direct air connection from the end of March to the end of October reinforces the upward trajectory of the Irish tourism market, which is also confirmed by the increase in arrivals at Macedonia Airport in Thessaloniki by 4% for 2023.
Also, according to Air Lingus’ research on Irish airlines, Irish people rank Greece among the top destinations they want to visit.
In the contacts that the executives of the two organisations had, they received positive comments from the Tour Operator’s product manager, Carmel Cassidy (who this year was named the best Tour Operator in Ireland), stating that she was delighted with last year’s course of bookings, while the executives of Click & Go, Abbey travel and Best4Travel confirmed the very good performance of Halkidiki and Thessaloniki for 2023.
In the context of future joint actions, officials of the Thessaloniki Tourism Organization and the Halkidiki Tourism Organization agreed with the Managing Director of Travel Counselor, Cathy Burke, to organise a joint family trip next September with 6 Irish travel agents. The Greek stand was visited by the Minister of Tourism of Ireland, Geo Varadkar, the Ambassador of Greece to Ireland, Magdalini Nicolaou and the Ambassador of Cyprus, Louis Telemachou.
The Vice-Regional Governor of the Metropolitan Unity of Thessaloniki and President of the Thessaloniki Tourism Organization, Mrs Voula Patoulidou, emphasised: “The excellent cooperation with the United Kingdom EOT and the Halkidiki Tourism Organization for the promotion of the common destination in Ireland is built on solid foundations. It is our pleasure to collaborate with high-level executives in actions that increase traffic, quantitatively and qualitatively. Ireland has a growing economy, and there is disposable income for tourism. The Irish want to travel, and as their financial situation improves, they want to travel more, especially in countries like Greece, as they seek sun, sea, good atmosphere, culture and countryside. Thessaloniki and Halkidiki create an extremely attractive mix for the Irish tourist.”
The president of the Tourist Organization of Halkidiki, Mr Grigoris Tassios, said: “I am very satisfied that the cooperation of the two organisations and the -joint- effort brings us tangible positive results. Ireland is a relatively small and new but emerging market with quality characteristics, in which we started systematic and targeted promotion from 2020 in collaboration with the Organization of Thessaloniki and we continue consistently. For us in Halkidiki, the spread and development of new markets in the Prefecture is important, which will also help to extend the tourist season.”