An increase in flights to Cyprus, primarily from Russia, has prompted several hotels in Ayia Napa to remain open at least until the end of November, the city’s mayor Yiannis Karousos said on Tuesday.
“Due to recent geopolitical developments, travel agent flights particularly from Russia are transferring to Cyprus for the period between November to March,” he said, alluding to the recent crash in Sharm El Sheikh.
“There is an increase in the tourism arrivals in our area from Russia as already 15 flights from Moscow have been scheduled and three flights from St. Petersburg.”
Thus several hotels in Cyprus’ tourist resort are seeing high occupancy rates and Karousos is confident it can accommodate winter visitors from any country.
“This is a unique opportunity to prove to our visitors and travel agents, that we can offer an exceptional tourist experience during the winter time too as we have all the necessary infrastructure and analogous holiday weather.”
Karousos said the municipality had taken a number of measures to improve visitors’ stays such as keeping three of the Napa beaches open with full lifeguard teams on scene. These are Nisi beach, from Panatahou until Gliko Nero, and Vathia Gonia.
The head of the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (ACTA) Ntinos Kakkouras told state broadcaster CyBC that both British and Russian travel agents have turned to Cyprus after cancelling holidays in Sharm.
“The next few weeks we are expecting arrivals from Russia and at a later stage there will be arrivals from the UK,” Kakkouras said.
He added that flights from the UK are not expected until February, but that things might change and more UK arrivals could be scheduled sooner than that.