The tourism industry in the Republic of Cyprus is fighting tooth and nail to minimize losses this year, with the tourism minister hinting at British arrivals in mid-July and hoteliers asking for specific dates to get ready.
According to an exclusive in The Sun, Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios estimates that British tourists could begin flying to the Mediterranean island in mid-July.
"In a few weeks from now, by mid-July, flights will be possible from the UK to Cyprus,” Perdios was quoted as saying, adding that 15 July sounded “very reasonable.”
But the Cyprus Hotels Association is criticizing the minister for failing to set a specific date for the resumption of flights from Britain but also Russia, two big and important markets for the island.
The UK officially maintains a travel advisory against non-essential trips abroad, as do many other countries
Speaking on state radio Thursday morning, a CHA representative said hoteliers were asking for specific dates regarding tourist arrivals from the United Kingdom, in order to plan accordingly and roll out special summer deals.
The minister previously had said that governments did not have the luxury for long-term planning as data changed from week to week.
CHA said they did not expect to make profits this year, with the representative saying the goal was to minimize losses in 2020 so that the local tourism industry can be in a better position to make a strong comeback in 2021 in a very competitive market.
Government officials say a huge part of the effort to keep Cyprus on the destination radar of tourists is conducting online campaigns. Two video promos have also been published, with the third installation expected also just before mid-July.
But CHA says online campaigns are not an easy task, adding that professionals in the local industry need to have specific dates so that they can turn the wheels at the appropriate time.
A specific date for the UK would entail the Republic of Cyprus authorities placing that country in category B, where arrivals would be possible under public health guidelines, including passengers having a certificate that shows they tested negative for the coronavirus.
According to multiple reports, flight bookings from the UK to the Republic of Cyprus have been on the rise for the month of July.
Perdios also promised great deals for tourists according to The Sun, citing “price wars” with heavy discounts in the coming weeks.
But the minister stopped short of giving specific details.
“The rates, the deals, the packages are being finalised now,” Perdios told The Sun.
Arrival forecast remains uncertain
But CHA says reservations could change depending on the outcome of government decisions and other factors, while the lack of specific dates was counterproductive for the local industry in meeting competition quickly.
Reports said a large number of arrivals from Germany was less certain due to new information regarding a possible new outbreak in the country.
The UK officially maintains a travel advisory against non-essential trips abroad, as do many other countries.
But Perdios recently launched a campaign to reassure foreign tourists that all costs would be covered if they contract the virus while on holiday in Cyprus.
Minister hints at great deals for Brits as early as mid-July, Cypriot hoteliers want specific dates as arrival forecast remains uncertain