NICOSIA – The Coronavirus is still among us – infecting, hospitalizing and killing – but it has backed off enough for tourists to keep pouring into Cyprus without health measures as a deterrence and they’ve come back big time.
Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KEVE) Secretary-General Marios Tsiakkis this week said that, “Even among all of these adverse conditions, we managed to succeed,” referring to COVID and Russian airlines banned under European Union sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine.
“Our achievement this year of reaching 80 to 85 percent of tourist arrivals and around 90 percent of the revenues of 2019, which was a record year for our tourism, is very important because, at the beginning of the 2022 tourist season, we all expected a major setback in terms of how tourism would performance, especially given the importance of the Russian market,” he added, reported The Cyprus Mail.
But he said there’s a need for other forms of tourism apart from telling foreign visitors to come for the summer and beaches and sun and sand, and to diversity to lure them for other seasons and reasons.
“Cyprus should not only be sun and sea, it also has many other comparative advantages, but in order to take advantage of them, we need a plan and a program,” he said of the good year 2022.
Vasilis Stamataris, President of the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (ACTA,) said that the association’s members have learned how to adjust to the various challenges throughout the years.
“However, this was too much,” he said, noting that “the pandemic, bad weather, wars, soaring inflation, they all hit together at the same time like a barrage of missiles,” he told the paper.
“The results we have managed to achieve, with inbound tourism clocking in at 80 percent of 2019 levels and decreasing outbound tourism, due to the travel restrictions imposed in third countries, should find us pleased,” he added.