Traditional tourism markets will make a difference in summer, says CTO President

Traditional tourism markets will make a difference in summer, says CTO President

Countries like England, Germany, France, Holland, Belgium and the Scandinavian nations are expected to make a difference in this year`s summer season, President of the Board of Directors of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) Angelos Loizou has told CNA, expressing optimism for the island’s tourist industry.

Loizou said that a lot of efforts are made to attract these traditional countries back to the island, recalling that until 2001, tourists from these countries flocked to Cyprus before competition from neighboring countries such as Egypt, Turkey started.

Now, he said, these countries are responding in a positive manner but it takes time time and coordinated effort from all sides to bring results.

Referring to the German market, Loizou said it is all but sure that more German tourists will visit .

“We will have flights by two new airlines of” GERMANIA ” and “GERMAN WINGS”. “GERMANIA” began flying tentatively in November but flights increase in March. On Wednesday the “GERMAN WINGS” will operate the first of seven weekly flights to Paphos,” he added.

There is also interest from France due to events in countries such as Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, with the French seeking Cyprus as a safe destination.

Referring to the latest statistics which recorded an increase in tourist arrivals, Loizou noted that after many years there is a positive trend and an increased flow of tourists from traditional markets.

The most encouraging, he said, is that although Cyprus depended on some countries, this is changing and other countries are put on the spotlight such as Israel, Poland and the Arab countries.

Based on the results of the Passengers Survey, arrivals of tourists totaled February 2015 to 50.709, compared with 45.227 in February 2014. The increase in tourist arrivals in January 2015 had risen to 2.7%, compared with last year January.

It is worth noting that tourist arrivals follow an upward trend since last December after reduction, a 12-month basis, observed in tourist arrivals in September, October and November 2014 (11.5%, 8.1% and 0.1 %, respectively). In 2014, the increase in tourist arrivals was finally limited to 1.5%, while revenues have declined 2.8% compared with 2013.

Furthermore, in February 2015, there was an increase of 7.2% in tourist arrivals from the United Kingdom (from 16.172 in February 2014 to 17 329 in February 2015) and 20.1% increase from Greece (from 6.254 to 7.510 this year).

Conversely, there was a decrease of 10.4% in tourist arrivals from Russia (3.659 in February 2015 compared to 4.084 in February 2014).

Russia, Loizou said, is the second largest source of tourism for Cyprus. Last year 640.000 Russian tourists visited.

“We monitor closely the ruble because that is what will probably determine the outcome, which seems to stabilize. The message we get is that there will be some reductions from tour operators, but this seems to be at a level that we can handle”, he concluded.