THESSALONIKI: Thessaloniki hoteliers are troubled over a slight decline in the number of Greek and international travelers to the city in 2018 as revealed by a study released this week.
According to a survey carried out by the Thessaloniki Hotels Association (THA) on 80 hotels, the number of overnight stays in the northern port city in 2018 decreased by 17,300, reaching 2,400,655 nights compared to 2,417,935 in 2017.
However, despite the drop in overnight stays, the survey – carried out monthly by GBR Consulting on behalf of the THA – found that in 2018, revenue per available room (RevPar) increased by 6.1 percent against 2017, amounting to 52.93 euros. Thessaloniki continues, however, to be last in terms of RevPar and ARR among 10 European cities of the same size, namely Antwerp, Birmingham, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Budapest, Hamburg, Manchester, and Salzburg.
In terms of tourist figures, the number of visitors from Israel increased significantly in 2018, Greek and Cypriot travelers declined, as did tourists from Skopje, Turkey, Spain and Russia, while holidaymakers from Italy, the UK, Germany, Holland, France, Belgium and Australia rose.
More specifically, Israeli travelers are in the lead in terms of overnight stays at Thessaloniki hotels, moving up from 4th spot in 2017 with 151,608 overnight stays in 2018, a 77.74 percent rise against 85,296 a year earlier.
The number of Greeks, meanwhile, staying overnight in the northern city dropped by 1.12 percent in 2018 to 1,159,033 nights against 1,172,208 in 2017.
Cypriots also visited less in 2018, marking a 7.2 percent drop to 133,528 overnights against 143,895 a year before.
American travelers hold third spot among the top 20 source markets for Thessaloniki, showing a marginal decline of 1.66 percent in 2018 to 87,238 compared to 88,711 in 2017.
Germany follows in 4th position, recording a slight 1.73 percent rise to 86,028 overnight stays versus 84,567 in 2017.
Italian vacationers had a soft spot for Thessaloniki in 2018 marking a considerable 17.28 percent rise to 69,764 stays against from 59,483 in 2017, and moving up to fifth spot from seventh in 2017.
On the downside, the number of overnight stays by Turkey nationals dropped by a significant 30.19 percent in 2018, tumbling from 2nd place in 2017 to 7th with 63,386 stays against 90,792.
The number of Russian travelers also declined by 12.54 percent, now in the 10th spot from 9th among the top 20.
The top 20 source markets for Thessaloniki in terms of overnight stays according to the THA are as follows (in order): Israel, Cyprus, US, Germany, Italy, Romania, Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, Russia, UK, Albanian, France, Holland, Poland, Australia, Sweden, Spain, Skopje and Belgium.