The next month will be crucial for the tourist industry in Cyprus, Tourism Deputy Minister Savvas Perdios has said, noting that he expects to be informed in September about an increase in flights to Cyprus and about the outcome of efforts to attract tourism from Germany
Perdios who was replying to journalists’ questions after a Cabinet meeting, at the presidential residence in Troodos, also expressed his satisfaction over results so far this year on tourist arrivals, noted that the effort for tourism growth should be continuous and that a ten-year national tourism strategy will be presented by the end of this year, while the operational plan which is part of it has been completed.
Replying to a question on tourist arrivals he said that the deputy ministry had already noted that if the number of tourist arrivals this year is in similar levels to last year, it would be satisfied.
“You are right that July’s arrivals were very good,” he noted, adding that overall tourist arrivals for the year are expected to be slightly lower than last year. The important thing, he said, is that we will be at a similar level as last year which is an accomplishment for Cyprus since this year follows two -three years were tourist arrivals were at a record high.
At the same time, he cautioned that certain tourist markets are going through a difficult phase and gave the example of Russia, due to the competition with other countries and the British market due to Brexit.
“We are pleased with the data so far,” he said, but warned that all parties involved should be continuously alert and the effort targeting other markets to boost tourism revenue for the country should be constant. Referring in particular to revenue from tourism, he pointed out that, while tourist arrivals are at a satisfactory level revenue has recorded an annual drop of 5%.
Asked whether the effort to develop other foreign markets is included in the strategic planning which is underway, he replied that it certainly is included, adding that this has been announced since February.
Perdios clarified that the National Tourism Strategy will be presented by the end of this year and also pointed out that the operational plan has been completed following consultations with all tourism bodies in Cyprus and abroad and that the deputy ministry expects to have comments by the ministries by the end of August.
“I am hoping that in September we will be in a position to announce specific actions which will seek to improve the local tourism product in order to boost tourism inflow from abroad,” he noted.
Replying to another question he also informed that for six months now the deputy ministry together with Hermes has had consultations with many airlines in an effort to increase flights offered to Cyprus.
“On the basis of what I have heard in recent days I believe that efforts have been fruitful. Hermes feels that there will be a small increase of available seats for 2020,” he said, adding that “they will inform us towards the end of September of what exactly they are talking about.”
The important thing, he noted, is that there will be an increase in seats, adding that it is up to us to persuade tour operators to book packages on these seats.
Perdios also referred to efforts to develop the German market, which, as he said, were intensive.
Final decisions on flights from Germany will be taken in the coming weeks so I think that we will have news on that front as well in September, he said.
“The next month will be crucial and you will be briefed on everything concerning flights in 2020,” he added.