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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Cyprus tourism prospects bleak in 2009 ]

Cyprus tourism prospects bleak in 2009

Cyprus tourism prospects bleak in 2009
January 22, 2009

The Cyprus Tourism Organisation and the Cyprus Hoteliers’ Association are making every effort to limit any negative fallout on the island’s main industry, tourism, which has been affected by the world financial crisis, according to officials.
Tourist arrivals in Cyprus have dropped to 0,5% in 2008, according to the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, which has warned that 2009 will be yet another difficult year for tourism.
At the same time, the Cyprus Hoteliers’ Association has said reservations so far for the summer are much lower than last year’s numbers.
The CTO said that according to official figures of the Statistical Service, the overall number of tourist arrivals for 2008 reached 2.403.750, compared to 2.416.081 in 2007 marking a marginal drop of 0.5%.
It said that the drop was limited to 0.5% due to the significant increase in arrivals from Russia (24.0%), from northern countries (an average increase of 12.3%), despite the decrease in tourist arrivals from the main markets of Great Britain, 3.1%, Germany, 4.6% and Greece 4.9%.
The CTO said that 2008 was undoubtedly a very hard year for tourism since there was a consistent increase in the price of fuel from the beginning of the year, a factor which affected Cyprus due to rising costs.
The devaluation of the sterling further aggravated tourism from Great Britain while the world economic crisis played a significantly negative role in the sensitive tourism sector.
As far as winter tourism is concerned, the CTO said it paid special emphasis on countries such as Russia and Germany and preliminary results are very encouraging.
It recalled that British tour operators have completely suspended their packages to popular tourist resorts such as Ibiza and Majorca.
As far as 2009 is concerned, the CTO said that “it will be yet another difficult year for tourism”, adding that the Organisation is in continuous cooperation with interested parties and is making every effort to exploit all opportunities to achieve the best possible results.
Meanwhile, General Director of the Cyprus Hoteliers’ Association Zaharias Ioannides said that prospects for tourism in 2009 become harder as each day passes by because competition becomes acute.
He said that reservations so far for the summer are much lower than last year’s numbers.
Ioannides said that the biggest problem is the British market which is expected to turn its attention to internal tourism as well as destinations where the sterling is stronger and not in Eurozone countries, such as Cyprus.
Prices, he added, will be a decisive factor for the British tourist this year, adding that Turkey seems to be a preferred destination as reservations show a marked increase.
Replying to questions, he said the Committee, which is handling the crisis in the tourist industry, will propose specific measures to the government.
Ioannides further said that the economic crisis has affected countries which feed Cyprus tourism and prospects for Cyprus this year are not encouraging.
“It is up to us to take in the messages and undertake action to minimise the negative consequences”, Ioannides added.

(Source: Financial Mirror,

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