By Sinead Kelly
Although weddings from the UK were down last year due to the ‘unlucky 13’ notion, hopes are high that 2014 and 2015 will make up for it, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) said on Wednesday.
According to Antigoni Kapodistria, CTO Tourism Officer, in charge of wedding tourism in Cyprus, data from municipalities and tour operators showed Cyprus still had a dominant position in the wedding industry compared to other European and Mediterranean destinations.
Cyprus remains the number one preferred wedding and honeymoon destination for British couples, she said. Some of the reasons include direct flights to and from the island especially from regional UK airports, guaranteed sunshine, the lower cost for combining wedding and holidays for couples and their guests, the variety of wedding venues other than town halls, the organisational expertise of local wedding planners and municipality wedding officers, simple procedures, and the identification of Cyprus with Aphrodite, which has made it widely recognised as the ‘Island of Love’, she said.
The CTO has just finished participating in the Birmingham Wedding Show along with hoteliers, tourism board officials and municipality reps from Paphos, Limassol and Famagusta.
Traditional Cypriot wedding delights loukoumi/pastichi and wedding cake, from bakeries in Cyprus were offered to visitors along with other giveaways such as wedding bonbonieres, ‘Marry Me in Cyprus’ cotton bags and heart keyrings.
Annita Demetriades, CTO’s Strategy Department Director, said wedding tourism was a major financial resource for both municipalities and for tourism in general.
“The main goal is to intensify actions towards the development and the promotion of this special product in both priority markets like the UK, Israel, Lebanon and Russia and in new non-European promising ones,” she said.
The CTO is now enabling the registration of a Pancyprian Wedding Planners Association with the goal of organising, developing and promoting the sector.