The Municipality of Naoussa in Greece’s Central Macedonia region recently launched a peculiar but clever tourist campaign, literally trolling itself in order to attract more tourists.
Knowing that close proximity to the seashore is an important factor for many tourists’ decisions on where to go on vacation, Naoussa’s authorities decided to “apologize,” in a tongue-in-cheek way, for the city’s geography and for not being able to offer this type of vacation.
The city’s new motto is ”Sorry… No Beaches! But you won’t miss them in Naoussa,” making a direct claim that the visitors will not miss the sea, since the region has much more to offer than a beach.
The official launch of the new tourist campaign took place in Athens earlier this month and attracted media attention from across the country, as it is the first time that a city or region has used one of its disadvantages to promote its tourist product.
Speaking during the presentation of the new campaign, the city’s mayor Nikolaos Koutsogiannis noted that Naoussa meets every requirement that would allow it to become a major center of alternative tourism. He believes this to be true despite being situated in a country which is dominated by summer and sea- related tourist development.
Naoussa is a municipality of approximately thirty-three thousand inhabitants, making it Greece’s biggest mountainous city.
It is located in the foothills of the Vermio mountain range at an altitude between 350 and 500 meters (1150-1650 feet), on the natural border between the regions of Central and West Macedonia.
An industrial center since the nineteenth century, for most of the twentieth century the history of Naoussa was closely connected with the textile industry. Its mountainous geography facilitated the creation of industries which took advantage of the hydropower created by the numerous waterfalls which occur along many sections of the city’s Arapitsa River.
In the 1990s and the 2000s most of the industries were forced to shut down, with the city now trying to re-calibrate its economy.
Since Naoussa is surrounded by vast grasslands and dense forests, snow-covered mountain peaks, rivers and waterfalls, the tourism authorities are now trying to promote this rare (for a country like Greece) destination.