In June 2021, at the 43rd Pancyprian Hoteliers Association Conference, it was officially clarified for the first time that the markets of Russia and Great Britain will no longer be a one-way street for the Cyprus tourism industry. Speaking at the conference, the deputy tourism minister indicated that efforts over the next twelve months would focus on the European market, which would offer a stable travel framework to gain shares of the tourism pie when the sector unlocked in 2022, which position became then supported by PASYXE. The same position was also expressed during yesterday’s Extraordinary General Assembly of PASYXE, both by its President Harry Loizidis and at the Deputy Ministry level, as investing in the European markets has worked well for us so far. In particular, 40% of tourist arrivals in Cyprus come from EU countries, while this is an increase of 22% compared to 2019, or 160,000 more tourists compared to pre-pandemic levels. It is therefore estimated that the European market will account for about 25% of arrivals from the Russian market by the end of the year. According to statistics, Poland recorded the largest increase compared to 2019 with +134%. France follows with a growth rate of 100%, arrivals from Denmark and Hungary increased by 70%, with +57% arrivals from Austria, +52% from Italy, 26% from Germany and 22% from the Czech Republic.
Winter flights are coming up
While before the pandemic 70% of our tourism was done by tour operators and 30% by individual travellers, it is now balanced at 50% to 50%.
They are also satisfied with the current flight schedule in the winter season. According to data announced at the Extraordinary General Assembly of PASYXE, Savvas Perdios, more than 230 weekly flights are planned to European destinations this winter and especially in December. Specifically, 65 flights from the United Kingdom, 38 from Israel, 25 from Germany, 23 from Poland, 14 from Lebanon, 13 from Austria, 13 from Romania, 12 from Moldova, 10 from Hungary, 8 from Italy, 6 from France, 6 from Serbia and so on.
The deputy minister pointed out that this winter’s flight schedule is very close to the 2019 flight schedule, not counting Russia and Ukraine, as a result of cooperation with the Ministry of Transport and Hermes airports.
For Russia in particular, he said that in 2023 it would come as no surprise that the country would be absent from the markets again.
While before the pandemic 70% of our tourism was done by tour operators and 30% by individual travellers, it is now balanced at 50% to 50%. This essentially means more interactivity between tourists and Cypriot society, businesses and experiences. For example, now more tourists will rent a car, see areas of our country and definitely spend more on our island, Savvas Perdios said. This change in tourist profile appears to be linked to an increase in tourism revenue, which is certainly a big goal for tourism companies. As the President of PASYXE said, since last year there has been a positive deviation comparing inflows and revenues compared to 2019 levels. Notably, arrivals in 2021 increased to 50% of 2019 and revenue to 57%. This year’s data shows that revenue for the first half of 2022 is 83% of 2019. At the same time, eight-month arrivals are around 75% of the same period in 2019. This suggests that revenue is on a better track than arrivals, which Mr Loozidis said is a strategic target for tourism.
[This article was translated from its Greek original]