Tourist arrivals in Cyprus for summer 2019 are expected to record a slight decrease, remaining however around the same levels as last year, according to the President of the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (ACTA).
Vasilis Stamataris told CNA that the decrease is attributed to the competition with neighboring countries, the uncertainty over Brexit, the closure of GERMANIA airline and the fact that many Russian tourists choose Turkey for their holidays.
The hotels are already observing a reduction in bookings for June, however the President of ACTA expressed the hope that there would be further last-minute bookings, that would lead to nearly the same numbers as last year.
Referring to the competition, Stamataris said that neighboring countries as Turkey and Egypt, offer very cheap packages compared what Cyprus’s offering. He expressed the belief that the reduction from the UK, as a result of Brexit uncertainty would not be so big.
Stamataris also referred to the losses announced by the big holiday group Thomas Cook, which affected bookings and expressed the hope that the government would offer incentives to the group in order to support the market in Cyprus.
Regarding the Russian market he said that it was affected by the exchange rate and prefer other cheaper markets in the region, as Turkey.
Referring to the tourist flows from Germany, he pointed out that after the closure of GERMANIA airlines there’s a problem with the connectivity with the country and it will take time to find solutions.
However, he said that despite the reduction, arrivals in Cyprus are already very satisfactory, at very high levels, after the bid increase of the last couple of years.
He added that the new measures taken by the Deputy of Ministry of Tourism would take at least six months to show results, in order to have further increase that would surpass the already high numbers of the last two years.
Regarding outbound tourism Stamataris pointed out that there’s a new interest in organized holidays and a continuing flow of reservations especially for Greece and the Greek islands as well as for cruises in the Mediterranean.
(Cyprus News Agency)