The Mediterranean island’s tourism industry is preparing for the worse now that coronavirus is spreading fast and two confirmed cases have been recorded in Cyprus as well, Phileleftheros reports.
The first goal is to control damages due to the rising panic worldwide and the second is the adoption of measures to boost bookings. Hoteliers consider that March and April are lost.
Tourism representatives and Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios on Monday carried out a first assessment of risks and losses and drafted out an action plan. Insiders told Phileleftheros that Perdios will propose measures to be taken by Cabinet so as to mitigate the damage.
He has already announced that a digital campaign will be launched highlighting the positives of Cyprus, and that the possibility for incentives to be offered to global travel organizers and to airlines so as to continue their flight schedule is there.
The main concern of the tourism industry is for flights to Cyprus not to be suspended. In view of the ongoing panic and the inevitable cancellation of flights, it is important for Cyprus to ensure that there is close contact with travel organizers and airlines in order to continue smoothly their flight schedules.
At the same time, the tourism industry hopes for a quick solution to the prevailing problem with the Catholic and Orthodox Easter breaks reflecting the magnitude of the impact on the start of the tourist season.
A number of packages have been cancelled and this is a big blow for hotels that stay open throughout the year. These mainly accommodate sports teams or conference guests or business people who seem to be cancelling their reservations one after the other. However, reduced reservations lead to reduced hotel staffing.
Insiders said that hoteliers have already informed Minister of Labour Zeta Emilianidou that they intend to partially suspend operations and hire less staff till the regular flow of tourists resumes.
That is, instead of opening in late March or early April, they now plan to do so when they get a sufficient number of reservations.
In the meantime, the Labour Minister has to also broker the collective agreement of the hotel industry.
On Monday, Sek and Peo unions announced plans for a strike “because of the breach of the Collective Agreement reached on December 18, 2019”.