Cyprus expects to attract just 30% of the four million tourists that visited the island last year, deputy minister for tourism Savvas Perdios said, claiming that this year will without a doubt be very tough for the local tourism sector, but the epidemiological data of the island and countries from which it expects tourists will ultimately have the final say.
Speaking at a conference entitled ‘Tourism: the big bet for Cyprus and Greece’, Perdios said during this year’s main tourist season, the island expects 50% of visitors to arrive from traditional markets such as the UK and Russia, and 35% from other markets including Germany, Scandinavian countries, Israel, and Greece. The remaining 15% is expected to be covered by local tourism.
Perdios also referred to plans for common tourism packages with Greece and Israel, noting such moves will work to attract tourists from more distant markets.
Cypriots are increasingly expressing interest to visit Greece this summer
Cyprus Hotel Association president Charis Loizides said more hotels are expected to resume operation through their participation in the new government support schemes.
On his part, president of Cyprus travel agents Vasilis Stamataris said a notable increase in interest by Cypriots to visit Greece has been observed, with interest expected to spike in July and August.
Stamataris stressed that in view of the strict safety measures being taken by airlines, traveling by plane should be considered a safe means of transport.
Theodoros Thalassinos, head of the Greek Tourism Organisation for Cyprus, expressed confidence that despite difficulties, flights will be conducted between Cyprus and Greece.
Thalassinos also pointed to the need to begin planning for the day after the pandemic, with particular focus on joint tourist packages and on a passenger ferry link between the two countries.
Seven thousand fly in and out during first week of operation of Larnaca airport
Some seven thousand people flew to and from Larnaca airport on 85 flights in the first week it resumed operation after Cyprus imposed a ban on flights on March 21 in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Between June 9, when airports resumed operation, and June 15, a total of 85 flights arrived and departed from Larnaca airport, carrying roughly seven thousand passengers, the Cyprus News Agency reported citing information obtained from Hermes Airports.
More specifically, 42 flights carried 2,950 passengers to Cyprus while 4,039 people left the island on 43 flights.
Passenger flights were conducted by Wizz Air, Aegean, Cyprus Airways, Bulgaria Air and Austrian Airlines.
Additionally, nine repatriation flights flew into Larnaca airport carrying 618 persons, while 10 departed from the airport transferring 608 people abroad.
Residents of the island were repatriated from Egypt, Qatar, Romania, South Africa, Ukraine and the UK, on flights conducted by Blue Air, Carpat air, Cyprus Airways, Egypt Air, Sky Up and Wizz Air UK.