Plans of transforming Pieria, in the southern part of Central Macedonia, into a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) to boost tourism both locally and internationally are gaining momentum.

Pieria, with its 400 hotels and 900 rental accommodations can become a year-round tourist destination as it combines both mountain and sea attractions.
George Karalis, President of President of the Pieria Organization for Tourism Development and Promotion (P.O.T.A.P.), says Pieria, nestled under Mount Olympus and boasting a 77-kilometer coastline, is primed for year-round tourism.

During summer, Pieria sees a significant influx of tourists, both domestic and international. Locally, it appeals mostly to residents of Macedonia, Thessaly, and Northern Greece, with fewer visitors from the south.

Internationally, Serbians and North Macedonians make up about 70% of tourists. Pieria’s tourism industry targets visitors from other Balkan regions, particularly Northwestern Europe. Participation in international tourism fairs aims to attract Germans, Dutch, Poles, and Scandinavians, many of whom have established permanent residences in Pieria. Efforts are also directed towards enticing Israeli tourists.

INSETE‘s study on “Mount Olympus & Pieria’s Coastline” highlights the region’s international reputation, largely attributed to Mount Olympus’s global recognition. The study highlights the area’s focus on mass tourism, particularly Sun & Beach tourism, while also indicating potential for Cultural & Religious Tourism, Ecotourism, Agro-tourism, and Sports & Activities tourism.

Another endeavor of P.O.T.A.P. is to promote religious tourism. Visitors to Pieria can walk in the “Footsteps of Apostle Paul,” who, during his Second Missionary Journey, departed from the port of ancient Pydna, a village in Pieria, on his way to Athens.

So far, P.O.T.A.P. has managed to bring together almost all business entities, as well as local and regional authorities of Pieria, with the decisive contribution of the Church, led by Metropolitan Georgios of Kitros, Katerini, and Platamon. Together, they are developing a tourism promotion plan for the area, highlighting all forms of tourism.