12° Nicosia,
20 July, 2024

Cyprus tourism faces headwinds in 2024

Decline in tourist traffic anticipated, efforts to stabilize the situation underway


According to an article by Maria Eracleous published in Kathimerini's Oikonomiki, the tourism sector in Cyprus is grappling with a challenging start to 2024, primarily attributed to the ongoing conflict in Israel and heightened price sensitivity impacting travel demand. The situation is exacerbated by operational issues and fleet changes within the airline industry, potentially leading to a reduction in passenger seats for Cyprus.

According to current data, a 4% decrease in available airline seats is expected in 2024 compared to the previous year, translating to 500,000 fewer passenger seats. This decline is influenced by technical problems and fleet replacements in three major airlines. Concurrently, 10 other airlines, including TUI, Ryanair, Jet2, and Easyjet, are increasing seat capacities at Cypriot airports.

The loss of inbound passengers is estimated at around 250,000, primarily from the British market, where reduced frequency to destinations like Luton and Gatwick is noted. The remainder of the decline is spread across other European and Middle Eastern markets. However, it is anticipated that passengers may seek alternative flights with existing airlines, potentially increasing load factors.

In response to these challenges, Cyprus authorities are implementing a new package of targeted measures, including the extension of excise duty reduction on motor fuels, one-time support to qualifying households, increased budget for supporting large families interested in electric cars, and enhancements for refugees.

Hermes Airport's senior marketing director, Maria Kouroupi, assured that the current situation is not a cause for panic. She emphasized the airlines' intentions to address the challenges and the company's commitment to filling gaps. The decline is attributed to dynamic factors, and Kouroupi highlighted the potential for data changes by year-end.

Costas Koumis, Deputy Minister of Tourism, acknowledged the global problem affecting Cyprus and reassured that steps have been taken to minimize losses. He emphasized efforts to compensate for any losses through new routes and increased seat capacities from specific countries.

While 2024 is expected to witness a slight decrease in tourist traffic compared to the record year of 2023, authorities are working towards stabilizing the situation and mitigating potential impacts on the country's economy and tourism sector. The true impact will become clearer during the summer tourist season.

In summary, industry experts emphasize a three-year stabilization period in tourism numbers, with a focus on minimizing the impact of the current challenges on the Cyprus tourism sector.

Cyprus  |  tourism

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