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20 June, 2024
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Cypriots pack bags for record-breaking 2023 getaways

Cypriots flock to Greece, UK, and Central Europe for holidays

Maria Eracleous

Maria Eracleous

Cypriots are preparing suitcases for abroad, taking advantage of the short holidays offered by the Christmas and New Year celebrations. As at least the bookings before the Association of travel agents show for December and generally all of 2023, it will be a record year for the trips of Cypriots abroad.

It should be recalled that last year the trips of residents abroad recorded a significant increase (129% compared to 2021) and a total of 140 thousand traveled, mainly to Greece (33.4%) and the United Kingdom (16.7%).

A similar picture is expected this year. Speaking to "K," ACTA President Haris Papacharalambous said that the destinations selected are mainly European. Specifically, in the first places of the preference of the travel public are the trips to Greece and the United Kingdom, followed by the destinations of Central Europe.

From Central Europe, they usually choose a combination of countries, and priority is given to the capitals of Austria (Vienna), Hungary (Budapest), and France (Paris), and there and where the routes serve direct flights. In some cases, there are also trips outside Europe, he said.

However, most trips for the Christmas and New Year holiday season are on average 3-5 days long. Due to the short duration, travelers of this period usually choose closer destinations such as Greece and other European destinations for which they will not be bothered with stopovers.

Three days to 50%
As for hotels in Cyprus, it is expected that they will work mainly with Cypriots during the holiday season. Reservations have already started, and it is planned that last-minute reservations will be made early next week.

Occupancy rates are estimated to be around 50-60%, and only for the three days of Christmas and New Year, according to PASYXE General Director Prookypros Roussounidis.

On weekdays average occupancy falls to 30% Pancyprian. Fr. Roussounidis described that most bookings relate to the mountainous, Limassol, and Paphos areas, with Paphos having begun to reap the fruits of its quest to become a year-round tourist destination.

Commenting, Mr. Roussounidis said that Paphos has made various promotions of Paphos specifically as a destination, and it is definitely a city that after the summer season does not close –the whole ecosystem works, and the restaurants and souvenirs and everything. For this reason, Paphos is also the province from where the tourist influx can start and set up because the ecosystem is alive during the winter months. So it's much easier to start the summer season.

Availability in the mountains
At the same time, traffic is recorded in the mountain resorts, although there are still rooms available for the holiday season, as stated in "K" the president of PASYXE mountain, Andreas Mandalas, who noted that reservations have not yet started to rise in the mountains, while several units are still working with student trips.

As he mentioned, more demand and bookings are expected to have the big hotels such as the hotel Rodon in Agros and Forest Park in Platres, which will also offer rebates for their guests. The remaining units will manage to collect fewer bookings, and occupancy estimated to be around 30%, but it is clarified that this percentage concerns weekends and not weekdays.

In general, there is interest, especially in cases where the hotel offers something extra during the holiday season, while there is also a number of rooms available in smaller hotel units. In any case, it is estimated that with the further drop in temperature and the first snows, visitors to the mountain hotels will also increase.

Incoming tourism
In relation to inbound tourism, optimism is recorded for December arrivals, while the estimate is that performance will be slightly higher compared to December 2022.

It is recalled that according to the Statistical Service tourist arrivals for December 2022 amounted to 110,041 thousand. For his part, Papacharalambous says that there can be no serious differentiation, since the number of flights is at the same level as last year.

Now, in relation to the preferences of foreign tourists, it seems that the first choice is Paphos, since it is also the area with the largest number of open hotels in the winter season.

It is clear that Cyprus is ideal for all-year tourism and we should see it as an investment for tourism in the future, Papacharalambous noted.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

Cyprus  |  tourism  |  travel  |  mountains  |  Europe  |  holidays

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