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Savvas Perdios: 40% of tourists’ arrivals from the EU

28/09/2022 07:43

The number of tourist arrivals in Cyprus this year were satisfactory despite the losses recorded from the British and Russian markets, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Savvas Perdios has said, pointing out that the strategy to tap new European markets paid off as some 40% of the arrivals recorded in 2022 came from EU countries, up by 22% compared with 2019.

The strategy to diversify the markets of the Cyprus tourism industry, focusing on European markets, was successful, according to data provided by the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Savvas Perdios.

Perdios who was addressing the extraordinary General Assembly of the Cyprus Hotel Association (CHA) to mark World Tourism Day, noted that in 2022 some 40% of tourists’ arrivals were from the EU, up by 22% from 2019.

Cyprus was prepared to tackle the loss of the Russian market, he said. "The goal was to attract 200.000 arrivals from other markets", he said, in order to cover for the loss of 800,000 arrivals from the Russian market. He noted that Cyprus was successful on that, since for the first 8 months of 2022 160,000 new arrivals from EU were recorded, adding that there is still time to accomplish the goal until the end of the year.

Perdios added that 40% of the total arrivals now come from EU markets, recording an increase of 22% in comparison to 2019, although the total arrivals are down by 22%. More specifically, he said that arrivals from Germany increased by 26%, from Poland 134%, from Denmark by 70%, from France by 100%, from Austria by 57%. 

Regarding tourism in the winter period, the Deputy Minister said that the airline schedules for December, on a weekly basis, include 65 flights from the United Kingdom, 38 from Israel, 25 from Germany, 23 from Poland, 14 from Lebanon, 13 from Austria, 13 from Romania, 12 from Bulgaria, 10 from Hungary, 8 from Italy, 6 from France, 6 from Serbia, etc.

The CHA's President, Haris Loizides, said that the tourism industry, which is the most affected industry by the coronavirus pandemic, is restarting in very difficult conditions, with the global economy being hit by the rising prices and the energy crisis.

"We are facing a crisis that limits the ability of Europeans to travel", he said, adding that the pandemic has taught patience and perseverance, while the Ukraine crisis has shown the importance of avoiding over-reliance on some markets.

Loizides added that the World Tourism Organization has designated 2022 as the year of restarting tourism, focusing on rebuilding the tourism industry on a more solid basis, with priority on people and the environment, for a more resilient and inclusive tourism industry.

The evolution of tourism into a pillar of sustainable development, goes through the national strategy for tourism of 2030, he said, for the upgrading and readjustment of the tourism model, with new elements, beyond the sun and the sea, with the aim of attracting quality tourism and increasing revenue.

CHA's President said that in 2023, despite the challenges, the effort to access the European markets must continue. "We are obliged to learn to operate without excessive dependence on specific markets. We are obliged to constantly expand the circle of markets from which we attract tourism", he noted.

"Without government support, it would be impossible for the tourism industry, and the hotel industry in particular, to successfully overcome the complications of the pandemic. That is why we are convinced that public and private sectors’ cooperation is the ideal recipe for dealing with crises", he added.

Regarding the green restart of the tourism industry, he said that it is inevitable to switch to alternative forms of energy, as the current costs are too high for hotels. "That is why, as an Association, we are intensifying our efforts to create photovoltaic parks, which will provide energy to the hotels of Cyprus, thus reducing operating costs".

Cyprus Hotel Association awarded the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Transport, Communications and Work and the Deputy Minister of Tourism, while the Minister of Labour and Social Insurance received an honorary distinction in honor of his predecessor, the deceased Zeta Emilianidou.