Cyprus has long been a major tourism destinations for travelers specifically from the UK and Germany. The number of tourists visiting Cyprus is down 6.6% in comparison to last year, Cyprus Tourism Organization (CTO) Chairman Alecos Orountiotis said.
Arrivals from Germany are down by more than 30%, from the UK by 9% whereas the Russian market seems to be doing well and has recorded an increase of 20% since 2012.
In an interview with Cyprus news CNA, Orountiotis said that the situation and programming has changed a great deal since the Eurogroup decision of last March and although the CTO was hoping that 2013 would be a good year for the island’s tourist industry, things went off track.
He said the decrease of 6.6% that is recorded in tourist arrivals is manageable, expressing the hope that by the end of the year, losses will be limited to the minimum.
Orountiotis went on to say that if by the end of the year, the losses are between 2 or 3%, this would be considered a success that would enable CTO to start the new tourist year with more optimism.
Referring in particular to the losses from the German market, CTO Chairman said that this is mainly due to the fact that there is a lack of chartered flights from Germany and tourists were affected because of the Eurogroup decision on Cyprus.
He said the authorities are concerned about the situation and have scheduled various meeting to discuss the issue.
Orountiotis said that the Russian market has contributed a lot to the tourist industry, pointing out that the number of Russian tourists has helped to cover the losses Cyprus has suffered from other traditional markets.
He said that the situation as regards arrivals from the UK is also manageable and although tourists have been affected, arrivals will be on the right track as of 2014.
CTO Chairman has told CNA that bookings by Cypriots have also been affected in comparison with last year. In the months of July and August many Cypriots chose to stay on the island.
He pointed out that the key to change the situation as regards the tourist market lies with the extension of the summer season and making Cyprus an all year round destination.
He added that CTO, the Ministry of Tourism and all other authorities are making efforts towards that end.