Thessaloniki eyes closer tourism, trade ties with Israel

Efforts to boost tourist arrivals from Israel are being launched by the Central Macedonia regional government and the municipality of Thessaloniki.

Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris on Tuesday told the ANA-MPA that the target set is to attract more tourists and highlight the city’s medieval Jewish history, while forging closer relations with the state of Israel on the economic and business levels. He also underlined that relevant issues will be discussed in a meeting scheduled for Wednesday with representatives of the city’s historic Jewish community.

Boutaris, who is also the president of the city’s tourism promotion organization, announced that he will visit the 17th International Mediterranean Tourism Market in Tel Aviv next week and meet with the city's mayor, noting that Thessaloniki and Tel Aviv are twinned cities.

The Central Macedonia Regional authority will participate in the exhibition to promote local ski resorts, as well as traditional summer destinations and alternative tourism sites.

Tourism sector-related issues were touched in the meetings that Israeli ambassador to Athens Arye Mekel had with Boutaris and the governor of the Central Macedonia Region on Monday.

In statements made after the meetings, Mekel pointed out that the atmosphere in Greece’s cooperation with Israel has improved while there is interest in forging new relations in sectors of common interest such as tourism, culture and economy.

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