Thessaloniki in the favorite destinations of the Cypriots
Thessaloniki, along with Athens and Crete, is one of the most attractive destinations for Cypriots all year round.
The tourist traffic between Greece and Cyprus is now recovering after the pandemic and with it, Thessaloniki is also recovering as a destination for the Cypriots.
Now that the measures against her have receded covid-19, Thessaloniki and the tourist institutions of the city, see the Cypriot market warmer again. Thessaloniki, with its road and ferry connections - e.g. for the Sporades - follows the Athenian "example", to attract more Cypriot travelers and tourists.
"In Cyprus, the tourist season for this year has started very well, especially from March onwards, due to the reduction or elimination of the protocols of arrival at the destination" as pointed out by the Ministry of Tourism. "Of course, the loss of the Russian and Ukrainian markets is large, a gap that is not expected to be filled in its entirety, although we expect increases from all other markets - sources of inbound tourism, due to the availability of rooms this summer," he said. Undersecretary of State, George Minas.
It is recalled that due to the consequences of the war in Ukraine, Cypriot tourism is estimated to lose about 800.000 Russian and Ukrainian tourists this year, ie about 22% of the total expected arrivals.
Opening in target markets
Cyprus, trying to reduce the negative effects, has come out dynamically with promotions and campaigns, in markets of Central and Eastern Europe, Israel, but also the Middle East, while also addressing the tourist operators of Greece and the Greeks, in order to attract more visitors from our country.
Regarding the Greeks who visit Cyprus, the movement to Megalonisos seems to be recovering but the numerical contribution of the Greeks to the inbound tourism of Cyprus is, compared to citizens of other countries, limited.
The arrivals of tourists from Greece in the 4 months January - April 2022, compared to the corresponding period of 2019.
Thus, in April 2022 (s.s. latest available data), the arrivals of the Greeks were only 17.347 or 6% of the total arrivals during that month.
Thessaloniki-Larnaca with Cyprus Airways
The Ministry of Tourism of Cyprus, like Cyprus Airways, wants to stimulate traffic between Thessaloniki and Cyprus, connecting Larnaca directly with the "Macedonia" airport, with two flights a week which they will maintain during the winter season.
It should be noted that the airport "Macedonia" is connected with Cyprus and Aegean flights.
However, during the summer, the interest of Cypriots traveling for their holidays in Greece, is more focused on the islands, for the additional reason of launching many charter flights, as Mr. Minas said. Charter flights to Crete, Skiathos, Mykonos, Santorini and Rhodes have been included in their flight plans by Cyprus Airways, Ryanair, Olympic Air, Wizz Air.
Also, many Cypriots are accustomed to going to Athens for a short stay and then going by boat to one of the Greek islands.
H Thessaloniki as a combined destination
A corresponding combination, ie Thessaloniki with relatively close destinations of tourist interest and holidays, could be systematically displayed to Cypriots, either through the classic channels of advertising tourist destinations, or through social media, blogs, various influencers of life and travel.
The ways of attracting Cypriot visitors should concern the institutions of the city, as pointed out by tourism professionals in Thessaloniki. "Tourists and businessmen" as a relevant report of the GR Times writes, "should ask what has happened in recent years, the Cypriots, from the first purchase (between 2015-2017) in overnight stays in hotels in Thessaloniki, have reached is in fourth and fifth place. "
Of course there are explanations, such as e.g. that the overnight stays of other incoming visitors - tourists, such as Americans, Israelis and Western Europeans - have increased. Besides, the exclusions in numbers of Cypriots overnight stays in the hotels of Thessaloniki are not very big. In addition, it should not be forgotten that many Cypriot visits were also linked to the attendance of Cypriot students at the city's universities, something that has changed with the development of Universities in Cyprus.