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Ay. Napa tourism revenue declines

12/08/2015 16:02
A small increase in the number of bookings in hotels in the holiday resort of Agia Napa and in the free areas of Famagusta district has been reported while at the same time, there is a markedly decline in revenue, compared to previous years.

Agia Napa Mayor and Chairman of the Tourism Development and Promotion Company of Famagusta Yiannis Karousos told CNA that the year began with high expectations. However, due to developments in Russia, a lot of hotels in Ayia Napa did not even have contracts with tour operators.

With the cooperation of the private and public sector and the government, he said, “we were able to provide incentives to attract reservations from Russian tour operators . He also said major hotels secured contracts with tour operators in other European markets, resulting with a small increase in tourist arrivals.

At the same time, he said, " there is a significant decrease in revenue in the tourism sector because of the exchange rate of the ruble against the euro due to developments in Russia, adding that tourists coming from Russia have lost about 30% of their purchase capability.

Geopolitical developments in the Eastern Mediterranean have played an important role in increasing the tourist flow, he continued, making Cyprus a safe destination following the incidents in Turkey and Tunisia.

However, Karousos pointed out he does not favour attracting tourism due to the geopolitical developments. “We want to enrich our tourism product so that tourists from various countries and not only Europeans, will come to Cyprus to enjoy what it has to offer and not due to the various geopolitical developments”, he added.

Asked about the prospects of tourism for 2016 Karoussos replied that "these are very good, since there seems to be an increase in reservations from Britain, Scandinavian countries, Switzerland and Israel. Although Cyprus as a tourist destination should receive around 4 million tourists each year, Karousos said, it has remained stable over the last 15 years with arrivals touching 2.3 to 2,400,000 people.

He also noted that "Cyprus as a tourist destination cannot offer quality and reduced prices”. Thousands of people from Britain, Scandinavian countries and other countries of central and northern Europe opt for cheap vacation packages for countries like Turkey, Spain and Thailand, destinations which Cyprus cannot compete with.

The only way to compete with these cheap destinations is to offer our visitors quality, he concluded.