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Economy

Cyprus Looks to Bring Back Pandemic-Battered Tourism Sector

Cypriot Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios went on a whirlwind tour of Europe in a pitch to persuade travelers that the island is safe to visit even as the COVID-19 pandemic lingers there.

Perdios told Financial Mirror that Cyprus is also wooing people for the winter months although the island is known as a summer destination and for its beaches and outdoor activity.

Tour operators have been reluctant to book the island because of the uncertainty over the Coronavirus that keeps coming back despite lockdowns and other restrictions, limiting air traffic too.

“We are here campaigning to encourage airline companies to keep their connections with the island running and to convince tour operators to set up packages for Cyprus by buying seats on scheduled flights. On a second level, we are here to promote the country to people who chose to book their holidays independently,” he said.

“What is important is that it appears we maintain a large percentage of scheduled flights – mainly from European Union countries. This means the winter advertising campaign is all the more important, and it entails spending more money compared with the summer when tour operators also contribute,” he added.

Cyprus lost the key market of Russia this year while flights and travelers from the United Kingdom were limited.

Figures showed that Cyprus saw an 84 percent decrease in tourist arrivals in 2020 and this year’s picture isn’t much better after a record 2019 brought 3.96 million visitors to the country.

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NICOSIA - Despite a sigh of relief that the COVID-19 pandemic is on the downswing – if still causing cases, hospitalizations and deaths – there's concern on Cyprus about the appearance of a number of other viruses with winter looming.

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