The Thessalonians’ interest in traveling to celebrate Epiphany (Epiphany) has dropped to a disappointing level: after a slew of incidents with the coronavirus, uncertainty and spending in case travelers find themselves infected with the virus while away from home.
A typical example, as Byron Theologis, President of the Association of Macedonian-Thrace Tourist Offices, mentioned in a conversation with ThessToday.gr, is religious tours to Constantinople for Epiphany.
January 6 in previous years was the ideal day for excursions for those who wanted to spend Christmas and New Year with their relatives living in Turkey. But this year the situation is critical compared to previous years.
“The interest in traveling on the day of Epiphany in previous years, starting from 2019, was very active, and even everyone who wanted to get to Turkey had to be divided into 3 parts. In the first group there was a departure on December 22-29, in the second – on January 29-30-3, and in the third – on January 4-5-7-8.
Baptism this year generally takes place in the shadow of the Omicron covid strain, with 50,000 cases reported in Greece. We were very upset that today the bus went to Istanbul, and before there were 50! ”, Says Mr. Theologis.
The holiday period “was bad”, he said, as the Thessalonians making excursions were a sizable minority, and everyone chose to stay at home due to the pandemic.
“Christmas was bad. Travel traffic has dropped significantly compared to 2019, by 70%,” adds the President of the Association of Macedonia-Thrace Tourist Offices.
In terms of destinations, those from Thessaloniki who traveled opted for organized tours and went to London, Paris, Rome and Vienna. And on the ground route, some of the tourists went to Constantinople, Sofia, Plovdiv, Bucharest.
Domestic tourism destinations such as mountainous Nafpaktos, Arachova, Trikala Corinthias, Karpenisi and other ski resorts have shown some signs of “revitalization”.