Cyprus this year can only anticipate welcoming 30% of the four million tourists that came last year, deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdios has told a tourism conference.
He said that undoubtedly this will be a very difficult year for the sector, with the decisive factor being the epidemiological situation in Cyprus and in the tourism generating countries.
Perdios told the first Cyprus-Greece conference entitled “Tourism: the huge bet for Cyprus and Greece,” that 50% of tourists this year are expected to come from the traditional big markets of the UK and Russia, 35% from other countries such as Germany, Scandinavia, Israel and Greece while the remaining 15% will be locals.
He also referred to plans for joint tourist packages with Greece and Israel which he said will help attract tourists from distant markets, but this was not possible to achieve for the time being.
The online conference was organised by fmw financial media and the Greek newspaper Naftemboriki. Other speakers were the president of the Cyprus Hotels Association Harris Loizides, the president of the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents Vassilis Stamataris and the head of the Greek Tourism Organisation for Cyprus, Theodoros Thalassinos. Also participating was the president of the Federation of Hellenic Associations of Tourist and Travel Agencies, Lysandros Tsilides.
Loaizides said hoteliers were waiting for the government to announce its news measures, noting that incentives would allow more hotels to open.
Stamataris said there was increased interest among Cypriots to holiday in Greece which was expected to pick up further in July and August.
Thalassinos expressed the hope that despite the problems, there will be considerable travel between Greece and Cyprus and spoke of the need to plan for post-pandemic days with joint tourist packages and the ferry link between the two countries.
Tsilides said times were very difficult for the Greek tourism sector and expressed doubts whether all hotels will open.
He said the governments of the two countries must support tourism professionals so that they can weather the crisis and said Greece and Cyprus can work together as they have common tourism objectives.
Tourism packages to Greece this year will be cheaper than other years, he added.