CNA News

Tourism Minister and travel agents “cautiously optimistic” over 2024 prospects

Deputy Minister for Tourism Kostas Koumis and the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (ACTA) expressed cautious optimism over next year’s tourist season, as Cyprus, despite the ongoing war in Ukraine and the crisis in the Gaza Strip is moving towards a new historic record in terms of tourism revenue.

The comments were made on Tuesday during ACTA’s annual general meeting.

“Following our contacts in the Nordic countries, France, Great Britain and Poland last week and taking into account information from our partners globally but also from you, we are cautiously optimistic,” Koumis said addressing the meeting.

For the current year, Koumis said that on the basis of the data the season in terms of tourist arrivals will close very close to 2019, Cyprus’ all-time record, while exhibiting a 21% increase compared with 2022, whereas revenue from tourism is expected to mark a new record high.

According to data published by Cystat, for the period of January – October, revenue from tourism reached €2.45 billion, marking an increase of 25% compared with the respective period of last year, and an almost 10% rise compared with the same period of 2019.

Koumis also said that the Deputy Ministry will soon complete the update of Cyprus National Tourism Strategy up to 2035, focusing on sustainable growth, green transition, digital transformation and on the further improvement of infrastructure and accessibility.

In his last address as President of ACTA, Vasilis Stamataris was upbeat over tourist prospects despite the challenges stemming from the continued war in Ukraine and the conflict in Israel.

“The messages we are receiving now are positive, but it takes hard work to transform interest into reservations,” he added.

He also noted the coming year will not be easy due to the war in Ukraine and in Israel coupled with problems facing both the Cyprus and the EU economy, such as inflation, high interest rates and the energy cost.

“The battle for the new tourist season will be held in a fluid and thorny environment,” he said.

“The aim for next year will be to increase tourist traffic compared with 2023 and to achieve that promoting the Cypriot tourism will not be enough, it is necessary to improve our tourist product and provided services,” he added.