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13 June, 2024
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Summer optimism in Cyprus tourism despite regional uncertainty

Flight bookings to Cyprus dip amidst Middle East tensions

Andreas Karamitas

Tourism in Cyprus soared last March, boasting a 9.8% increase, welcoming 202,256 travelers. From January to March 2024, arrivals hit 415,251, marking a 5.4% rise.

Yet, amidst these gains, Cyprus' tourism industry faces formidable challenges due to regional conflicts and the ongoing war in Ukraine. The existing strategic approach, devised in 2020, fails to account for current geopolitical shifts, impeding efforts to bolster summer tourism.

Sources within the Deputy Ministry of Tourism express heightened concern over the potential fallout from escalating tensions between Israel and Iran.

Deputy Minister Costas Koumis acknowledges that global events are posing hurdles to Cyprus' tourism growth, suggesting that the industry's resilience in previous years may have been more a stroke of luck than a result of strategic planning.

Flight bookings to Cyprus have dwindled amidst the ongoing Israeli-Iranian tensions. However, Chief Executive Dinos Kakkouras of top KINISIS notes that other key markets such as Poland, Germany, and the UK remain robust, offsetting losses. While airport operations remain stable for now, the fluctuating tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean introduce uncertainties.

Despite these challenges, hoteliers are cautiously optimistic about the upcoming summer season, aiming for full operation by the end of April. PASYXE reports a promising start to the tourist year, with summer bookings progressing steadily, albeit at a measured pace.

The maritime tourism sector, particularly cruises, faces disruption as companies reroute to avoid conflict-prone areas. Limassol's port, once a bustling hub for global cruise giants, now sees altered routes impacting local economies.

Additionally, the yachting sector suffers as Middle Eastern super yachts bypass Cyprus, affecting marina revenues and the overall economy.

Given the dynamic nature of the regional landscape, stakeholders stress the imperative of a comprehensive strategy focusing on security, market diversification, and enhancing tourism quality. While Cyprus maintains its reputation as a safe destination, the fluid regional situation underscores the critical need for a contingency plan.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

Cyprus  |  Gaza  |  tourism

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