With Europe on alert amid a rising number of coronavirus cases, the tourism industry in Cyprus also appears to be feeling the heat, especially after the latest news that 1000 guests and employees at a hotel in Tenerife have been quarantined.
The island’s hoteliers are very concerned over the effects of coronavirus on early bookings for the summer, while even the thought of a case being reported here is enough to make them panic, according to Phileleftheros.
One thing for sure is that a crisis has some winners and some losers, and the fact that Cyprus does not attract tourism from Asia is to its benefit. Afterall, the number of Chinese tourists to Cyprus is very low – only 6,309 last year.
In addition, Cyprus does not have the capacity to host very large indoor events or conferences, given fears related to the spread of the virus in packed indoor venues.
The Deputy Ministry of Tourism’s main goal as it prepares to participate in upcoming tourism fairs in Germany and Russia is to send the message that Cyprus is a safe destination all year round.
As for the hotel industry, it has also taken measures in the event of an outbreak in Cyprus. In fact, the Cyprus Hoteliers Association (PASYXE) has already sent out a circular to members on the protocol a hotel must follow if a suspicious case is reported. The specific hotel will have to be quarantined for two weeks.
So far, bookings for the summer season have not been affected by the virus outbreak. But it’s all up in the air, considering how fast it is spreading in Europe, Phileleftheros also reports.
Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios recently told PASYXE members: “There is no evidence that Cyprus’ tourism industry will be affected by the coronavirus outbreak. In Europe, conferences and exhibitions have been cancelled, and those scheduled to travel to China have cancelled plans. In Cyprus, however, 80% of tourism-related business takes place in the summer, so there is no need for panic.”
Perdios also said: “Measures have been taken worldwide, and if the virus spread becomes manageable then it will not affect us. We will know better of what to expect in the coming week.”
The Deputy Ministry is in contact with the World Health Organization through the Ministry of Health, he added.
“If a case is detected in Cyprus we will be ready to deal with it”.
By Demetra Landou