While few tourists from neighboring countries opted to visit northern Greece over Christmas – as evidenced by the low occupancy rates at hotels in Thessaloniki – it was hard to find a room in the center of the northern port city over New Year.
On Tuesday and Wednesday this week the average occupancy rate at Thessaloniki hotels came to almost 85 percent, with most guests having traveled from outside Greece, according to Andreas Mandrinos, the president of the Thessaloniki Hoteliers Association.
In contrast, the rate did not exceed 65 percent over Christmas, “as people from the Balkans did not come,” he added.
“The gap created could not be covered by domestic tourism as purchasing power in Greece is still not particularly good,” Mandrinos said.
The fact that the Hanukkah holidays coincided with this festive season also led to an increase in Jewish visitors to Thessaloniki.