News Local Tourist arrivals 'revised downwards'; Covid-19 test holding back UK visitors

Tourist arrivals ‘revised downwards’; Covid-19 test holding back UK visitors

 

 

The Deputy Ministry of Tourism is revising tourist arrivals downwards for this year even further, as the continuing coronavirus pandemic and the epidemiological data in main tourist markets is weighing on hopes to attract visitors.

A meeting is scheduled among tourism stakeholders at the deputy ministry of tourism today to review the situation.

Prospects from the UK, Cyprus’ biggest market, look bleak.

Cyprus plans to open up to the UK market from August 1, but will be requiring coronavirus tests as the UK will be classified as a Group B country. British tour operators have signaled they will not include Cyprus in their programmes as long as this requirement is in place.

Phileleftheros reports that they cite the cost of the test and the fact that key competitors such as Greece, Spain, Portugal and Malta have no Covid-19 test requirement. It notes that the fact that tourists cannot carry out the test here, on arrival, means they must do so in their own country.

Greece announced yesterday that it is opening up to the UK on July 15 and to Sweden on July 22.

Cypriot hoteliers are pessimistic and only 10% of hotels have opened for business.

Initially, Cyprus had hoped to attract about one million tourists this year, or 25% of last year’s record 4 million arrivals, but deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdios said this goal is to be revised downwards towards the end of the week.

Deputy Ministry was continuing its contacts with travel organisers in order to have a clear picture for the rest of the Summer and the first months of Autumn, he said.

Main markets, such as Britain, Russia, Israel and Sweden, which constituted 64% of total tourist arrivals in 2019, are out of the game due to the pandemic, and the Deputy Ministry is now focusing on other countries, such as Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Lebanon, and the Emirates.

Perdios said the upside of Cyprus’ good epidemiological image was that individual tourists are on the rise, with visits to the Deputy Ministry’s websites increasing by 400%.

He pointed out, however, that transitioning from group bookings to attracting individual tourists could not happen overnight.

Perdios said domestic tourism was very important and that the situation was a good opportunity to attract locals, the majority of who are expected to stay on the island this Summer.

Referring to the end of the season, Perdios said the Deputy Ministry of Tourism had plans for the months following September and aimed at attracting special forms of tourism.

 

Top Stories

Confirmed covid patient refuses to self isolate, walks around in free Famagusta area-Dozens of people booked

  A woman from the free Famagusta area who tested positive for covid-19 did not self-isolate and was walking in a public area yesterday noon. She...

Covid-19 patients rise at referral hospital, now 59

  Covid-19 patients at the Famagusta General, the referral hospital for coronavirus have risen to 59. Four are being treated in the increased care unit for...

5 third country students employed illegally at two Nicosia restaurants

  Authorities continued a campaign to stamp out the illegal employment of third country individuals who are being exploited by Cypriot employers for peanuts. Officers from...

Mass rapid tests in Larnaca over the weekend

  Rapid tests will be taking place throughout the weekend in the city of Larnaca. The municipality informed the public that the Health Ministry had organised...

What Covid? 17 people gambling on home table booked

  Police in Paphos are investigating an illegal gambling case, with 17 people setting up in a private residence early evening yesterday. The Crime Prevention Unit...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...