Paphos hoteliers hope to make up lost ground from the coronavirus pandemic in 2022 – 2023, president of the local branch of the Hotel Association Thanos Michaelides told CNA on Monday.
He said that some Paphos hoteliers were thinking of opening in July, others later and some not at all.
His remarks mirror the results of a survey by EY earlier this month where 25% of participants hoped to resume operations by July 2020, but more than half said they were considering in their options a scenario of either not opening at all or only opening a small number of their units in 2020. In the latter scenario they consider operating at around half of their capacity.
Michaelides said that hotels had been closed by decrees to contain the spread of coronavirus and had cancelled all their bookings. Since then cancellations are coming in every day for the summer — from May to October, he added.
The situation was very worrying because no one knew when hotels would open.
Restarting operations carried a high cost. The year would be particularly difficult with accumulated losses and much uncertainty.
When British visitors can travel, he anticipated that Cyprus would be one of their destinations. The UK market was particularly important for Paphos, he noted.
As regards local tourism, he said Cypriot tourists were welcome and hoteliers have through the years offered special prices. However their numbers was such as not to have much impact on occupancy levels.
Michaelides said the priority was to check the virus as health took precedence over economic considerations.
Hotel employees will be assisted by the state, but the sooner the hotels start operation the better.