THESSALONIKI — Canceling the annual Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) because of a resurgence of COVID-19 will cost businesses in and around Greece's second-largest city at least 100 euros ($118.39 million) company owners said.
It's the first time the event – this year's would have been the 85th – was canceled since World War II, depriving Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of the traditional place where Greek leaders give their agenda.
Some say the total loss, including secondary benefits, could result in an earnings loss of 150 million euros ($177.59 million,) business owners said, with the fair a big drawing card.
These benefits include the accommodation and dining costs of the exhibitors and many of the visitors – there were 263,737 in 2019 – the cost of building and maintaining the pavilions, earnings from side events such as concerts and the earnings of support services, such as transport and logistics.
Despite no mass crowds of visitors, Mitsotakis will give the traditional keynote speech outlining economic policy priorities for the coming year on the grounds of TIF, in front of a restricted audience.