VERIA, Greece – The annual photography competition that started in 2017 to help promote Veria’s annual peach blossom festival, has helped spread images of the enchanting sea of blossoms as far away as distant Japan, the country that first inspired the festival with its own cherry blossom orchards. Taking the next step, the Veria Tourism Association (TOB) is now organising an exhibition of the photographs in the city of Thessaloniki, to help further promote the region’s peach blossom season.
Talking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) radio station “Praktoreio 104.9 FM”, TOB President Zisis Patsikas said that the annual “Flowering Peach Trees” photography exhibition will be held in Thessaloniki between January 24 and February 16.
He also revealed that the images have made it to the front pages of newspapers outside Greece’s borders, such as Brussels’ ‘Metro’, and reached as far away as Japan, following a discussion at a tourism fair two years ago between a Veria hotelier and a travel agency that handles most Japanese tourist packages in Greece. The agency has now decided to include an overnight stay in Veria for one group of Japanese tourists each month, from April up to October, he said.
“Since 2017, we started some efforts to promote the peach tree blossom season, which covers a vast area in the plains of Veria, Imathia and Pella. When someone stands ‘on the balcony of Veria’, as we say, he or she looks over a pink sea of flowers and we managed to promote this spectacle through the photography competitions, through actions and collaboration with the media,” Patsikas said.
He explained that the competition was open to both amateurs and professionals, with the photographs “going viral” every March.
The exhibition in Thessaloniki will be a bolder step, bringing the photographs to the city of Thessaloniki as a “warm-up” for the blossom season and the new competition in March. He noted that this could come earlier in the current year due to the mild conditions “so quite possibly the blossoms and the impressive pink spectacle that lasts between two weeks and 20 days will come earlier, possibly even in early March.”