Easter marks the beginning of the summer season in Cyprus and most hotels have already opened their doors to welcome their first visitors, in time for Catholic Easter this Sunday. At the same time, insiders have said that hotel occupancy is on the rise now that Brexit has been extended till October.
But even though key players of the Mediterranean island’s tourism expect arrivals in 2019 to be at last year’s levels, the market appears to still be somewhat numb. The early booking flow is slow and tour operators are nervous, calling on hoteliers to keep package prices low and even extend their duration.
Talking to Phileleftheros, head of the Cyprus Hoteliers Association (PASYXE) Zacharias Ioannides said that based on existing bookings, there is a 15% decrease in certain areas in comparison to last year. “However, we see occupancy slowly, slowly, going up. The Brexit extension from Brussels to Theresa May until October gives our tourism a ‘breathing’ space,” Ioannides said.
Now that there will be no turbulence in exchange rates and foreign exchange, a further boost to the flow of bookings is expected, he also said. “The Brexit extension gives us the opportunity to at least proceed with bookings,” he added. However, he expressed cautious optimism since competition this year is expected to be especially tough.
There are plenty of available rooms at resorts both by the sea and mountains, according to PASYXE. There are many good deals for local and foreign visitors, Ioannides said and gave some examples. Special offers start from €17.50 per person in a one-bedroom apartment (for 2 persons) and from €16.00 per person in a double room (for 2 persons).