Cyprus Tourism Organistion Director Marios Hannides said on Wednesday he was cautiously optimistic of a boost from the German market in 2014.
Hannides, along with a delegation that includes Tourism Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis , were in Berlin on Wednesday to attend the annual tourism fair, where he said he had significant contact with German stakeholders.
He said the German tourist market, although it is one of the most dynamic worldwide with total annual travel costs of German tourists exceeding $80 billion has been steadily declining in recent years. Ten years ago, German tourists were the second highest in arrivals after the UK but have been overtaken in the past five years or so by booming Russian arrivals.
Last year, barely 99,000 German tourists visited Cyprus compared to 130,000 in 2003 and 215,000 in 2001.
To reverse the negative trend, Hannides said, the first issue that would need addressing would be improving accessibility to Cyprus.
“Despite the difficult starting point and the difficulties we have with the German tourism market , there is room for improvement, provided that we move quickly and highlight to German tourists the comparative advantages our tourism product , ” said Hannides.
“Much will depend on the efforts we make to establish steady weekly flights from Germany to Cyprus but also our responsiveness to the views of the major German tour operators during the meetings we have with them.”