Though this year looks set to break all records both in visitor arrivals and in tourism revenue, there may be problems for local islanders looking to book a room for a holiday.
Tourist agents are having difficulty finding vacancies at Cyprus hotels due to the practice of overbooking. This, in combination with the high number of tourists arriving this year, will make it particularly difficult for locals to find a room this summer.
The General Manager of the Hoteliers Association (PASYXE) Zacharias Ioannides confirmed that there would be difficulties in finding rooms this summer, especially during mid-August.
“Hoteliers are obligated to satisfy their contractual obligations, so when they supply tourist agents with whom they cooperate with rooms, they will act accordingly and make rooms available to Cypriots”, said Ioannides.
The deputy General Manager of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation Annita Demetriadou called on locals to make their reservations on time.
“Just as foreign tourist agents make their reservations on time, so must locals also schedule their holidays on time”, said Demetriadou.
She also stressed that there used to be a stipulation in the law that required hotels to save rooms for locals, however, after Cyprus joined the EU, this stipulation was abandoned.
The drop in the number of available rooms will likely lead to price increases, making it more difficult to find a room within a budget.
Experts in the tourism sector have said that prices will be slightly up this year compared to previous seasons, mainly for two reasons: First, many hotels have increased the quality of their services, and increased their prices accordingly; and second, the increase in demand for rooms seen this year.
Research conducted on the largest booking site on June 2 2016, for an arrival date of August 9 and departure date of August 16, shows that prices for a family of four with two children under 12 start up €830 with breakfast for hotel apartments in the Protaras area, and €1190 for a four-star hotel.
In Ayia Napa the corresponding prices for hotel apartments are €735 and €1659 for four-star hotels. Prices in Paphos are slightly lower, starting at €615 for hotel apartments and €924 for four-star hotels.