Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum heading north

Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum heading north

The 2023 Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum will be held in Thessaloniki next spring, as the organizers of Greece’s premier cruising and yachting conference have decided to move the biennial event away from Athens for the first time since its inception 11 years ago.

The 7th Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum (PSTF) will take place at Thessaloniki’s Makedonia Palace Hotel, on April 25-26, as Greece’s second biggest port is emerging as a major homeporting hub in the Eastern Mediterranean and Balkan regions, thanks to significant investments and sea and airport infrastructure upgrades.

According to official statistics by the Hellenic Ports Association (ELIME), the port of Thessaloniki is expected to finish 2022 with a total of 60 cruise ship arrivals compared to just six calls in 2019, a tenfold increase. A total of 30 of those are attributed to homeporting, according to the Ministry of Tourism.

Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias said: “In September 2021, a few days after I assumed the leadership at the Ministry of Tourism, the first trip I made was here, to Thessaloniki. At that time, I placed a bet on cruise tourism. With a lot of hard and coordinated work by all stakeholders, the city’s port was upgraded and increased cruise ship calls tenfold compared to 2019. Half of them involve homeporting activity, which adds more value. This reflects an upgrade of the city’s tourism product and creates a boost to the local economy.”

Thessaloniki Port Authority (OLTH) Executive Chairman Athanasios Liagkos said: “At OLTH, we aspire to act as a gateway to growth, delivering added value to the city, the economy and society. Therefore, we look forward to hosting the 2023 PSTF and welcome some of the most influential decision makers in the international cruising and sea tourism sector.”

“During their stay here, [delegates] will have first-hand experience of Thessaloniki’s exciting, highly vibrant and constantly evolving tourism product, which comprises unfettered air, rail and road accessibility from all parts of Greece and Europe, the rapidly improving state-of-the-art transportation infrastructure, and the strategic location of a city known as a crossroads of culture and culinary excellence steeped in Byzantine history,” he pledged.

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