Published on : Thursday, January 31, 2019
Cyprus is expected to face a challenging time in 2019 as it may have to attract the same number of tourists as the previous two record years when visitor arrivals reached almost four million, head of the hoteliers’ association Pasyxe Haris Loizides said on Tuesday.
Last year, a total of 3,938,625 tourists visited, while 3,652,073 arrived in 2017. The 2018 figures for tourist arrivals were the highest ever recorded in Cyprus.
However, Brexit and efforts of neighbouring countries such as Turkey and Egypt to attract more visitors by subsidising air carriers, are some of the challenges Cyprus must face this year.
According to Loizides, efforts are being concentrated on keeping arrivals at the same levels as those of the past two years.
“Estimates at this time are that 2019 will be a difficult year. We will be happy if we manage to maintain the same figures as those of 2018 and 2017,” Loizides told the Cyprus News Agency.
“We have this status of uncertainty with the English market due to Brexit but we continue our efforts to expand in other markets mainly in Central Europe, Scandinavia and some in the Middle East.”
Russia, he said, is “a question mark so far” due to conflicting information. “Some say it will go well, according to other information it is somewhat ‘stuck’,” he said.
It seems, he said, that the big increases of 2018 and 2017 will not continue, because there had been a steep rise in arrivals compared to the average of 2.5 million of previous years.
“We have done so much over these years, and our goal now is to stay at the numbers we have reached,” Loizides said. “We would be very satisfied if we have no decrease or even if we have no increase.”
He said that, at the moment, it is somewhat difficult to make estimates for the summer period and that they will have better information after the ITB Berlin, the world’s largest tourism trade fair that will take place next month.
However, Loizides added that, currently, there seemed to be full occupancy in the districts where hotels remained open in the winter.