Thessaloniki should work on bringing cruiseships back to the city, Hellenic Chamber of Shipping President Georgios Pateras said, adding that it would be best if the second largest port of Greece became a home port for them.
Speaking at the 7th Export Summit held by the Association of Exporters of Greece (SEVE) in Thessaloniki on Thursday, Pateras said that "although the port's size does not allow large cruiseships - carrying 4,000 passengers - to dock, but it's easy to start with smaller boats, building a niche market."
Quoting tourist revenue, he said that a cruiseship stopping over in Thessaloniki leaves the city a revenue of 80 euros per day per passenger, an amount which would rise to 170 dollars per passenger per day if the city were a home port.
"We all need to work hard on bringing cruiseships back to Thessaloniki, which has a lot of strong points," he said, "like Vergina, Mt. Olympus, Mt. Athos, the Old Synagogue and the Museum (in the city)," Pateras said, quoting archaeological sites and museums, and recreation and pilgrimage areas.
He also said that in container trade, it would be best to use local workers instead of importing them from Piraeus, and to turn port facilities into loading and unloading docks instead of into cafes. "For a 40-foot container weighing about 26 tons," he noted, "shipping charges from Shanghai come to 1,150 US dollars and transit time is 20-25 days. So you can understand how much and how long an incoming cargo takes. As a port user, I demand certain services (...) such as storing ship fixtures and spare parts at a space within the port, and being able to turn over ship waste for management."