An increase in both tourist arrivals and tourism revenue has been recorded in Cyprus this year, said Deputy Minister of Tourism, Kostas Koumis.
He further said that the Ministry of Tourism will be visiting Finland, Sweden, and France next month to engage with key players in the global market.
In addition, Koumis and Maria Kouroupi, Senior Communications Director of Hermes Airports, noted that flights to Cyprus airports were affected by the problem that arose on Monday in the air traffic control system in the United Kingdom, resulting in delays and the cancellation of 6 flights to Larnaca Airport and 4 flights to Paphos Airport, which are, however, expected to depart later on Tuesday.
Asked about the tourism outlook for 2023 in Cyprus, the Deputy Minister responded that this year "a significant increase of about 27% in arrivals and a notable increase of around 34% in revenue," is recorded.
Speaking on the sidelines of a workshop organized in Larnaca by the Association of Cyprus Tourist Enterprises (ACTE), Koumis added “we expect this trend to continue through September and until mid-October," noting that "as the Ministry of Tourism, we are monitoring the market minute by minute and striving for the best possible results.”
He added that "tourism expos in which we participate are ongoing, but at the same time, there is a need for regular communication with the key players of the global market” and for this reason during the second week of September, "we will travel to Finland and Sweden for contacts, followed by a visit to France for a very important exhibition."
The French market has been on an upward trajectory in Cyprus in recent years, said Koumis, "and particularly this year, there is a significant increase, which we welcome."
Koumis also said last May, Cyprus signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with Greece and Lebanon; "the three Tourism Ministers are in communication, and it is very likely that we will have a joint meeting within October," he added.
Meanwhile, Kouroupi said, "August seems to be closing as the best month ever recorded in the history of Cypriot airports."
She said they estimate to close “with around one and a half million passengers, and these results are very positive, as it appears that time is moving above the levels of 2019.”
In response to a question regarding the problems that arose in the UK traffic control system, the Deputy Minister of Tourism stated that "preliminary information suggests a cyberattack that affected the air traffic control systems of the UK, Italy, and other countries, as these systems are interconnected.”
Unfortunately, he continued, "We were also affected by this problem, as we had some cancellations and significant delays for a number of flights.” He said the British and Italian governments announced the issue has been resolved, and hoped it will not be repeated anytime soon.
He further noted that "the British market is the most important tourism market for Cyprus, and unfortunately, a large number of flights were affected by the issue."
On her part, Kouroupi said, "The problem was resolved a few hours after it started, and flights from the United Kingdom have resumed. However, several flights were affected, both in Cyprus and other countries."
She added that "for Larnaca Airport, a total of 24 flights were affected, of which six were canceled but are rescheduled for today. Additionally, after the issue was resolved, several delayed flights departed from UK airports".
She also said that "for Paphos Airport, a total of 21 flights were affected, with four cancellations. However, these have been rescheduled to depart today.”