Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios expects tourism to start fully rebounding in 2022 after arrivals in 2021 increased a healthy 175% over a dismal 2020 and return to pre-pandemic levels by 2024.
Perdios also told Philenews the Mediterranean island nation recorded almost two million traveler arrivals last year, about 50% fewer than in a record-setting 2019.
And that tourism is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2024.
Tourism directly accounts for 13% of Cyprus’ economy and the precipitous drop in revenue during the first months of the pandemic hit the country hard.
Tourism revenue between January and September of 2021 reached over 1 billion euros, more than three times the amount for the same period last year but a 53% drop from 2019.
To broaden the country’s appeal beyond the staple sun and surf that have drawn tourists for decades, Perdios said they are looking to promote winery tours in areas of Cyprus with a millennia-old history of making wine.
They also hope to popularize Cyprus as a location for nature hikes, scuba diving and tours of religious sites that date back to the origins of Christianity.
At the same time, private companies have embarked on massive marina projects to encourage yachting.