Hoteliers are bracing for a challenging year, with efforts focused on maintaining tourist arrivals at 2018 and 2017 levels, Cyprus Hotel Association president Harris Loizides told the Cyprus News Agency.
He said that there were significant challenges such as Brexit and aggressive marketing by Turkey and Egypt which are subsidising airlines.
“Our current projections are that 2019 will be a difficult year. We will be happy if we can maintain the numbers of 2018 and 2017,” he said.
Loizides spoke of a ‘climate of uncertainty’ with the UK market — Cyprus’ biggest — because of Brexit. Efforts were continuing to build up other markets, mainly in Central Europe and Scandinavia and some countries in the Middle East.
“Russia is still a question mark for the time being. Some information suggests it will do well, other information indicate a ‘numbness,” he said.
The big increases recorded in 2018 and 2017 will not continue, as Cyprus has reached 4 million arrivals, rising from 2.5 million in just a few years.
“We recorded a big increase and our target now is to maintain this numbers. If we have no increase or decrease we will be very happy,” he said.
The association will have a clearer picture after the Berlin tourist fair in about a month.
Efforts to extend the tourist season have paid off, with hotels due to open from March rather than April or May. This success is also reflected in tourist arrival statistics, he said.