By Staff Reporter
Tourism Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis on Tuesday predicted an increase of between 5.0 and 8.0 per cent in tourism for 2014.
Speaking on the sidelines of an event organised by the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry titled ‘Doing Business with CERN’, the minister said that barring unforeseen circumstances externally, he was cautiously optimistic.
He said that already arrivals for April showed an increase of around 12 per cent over the same month last year. “All the signs are encouraging,” Lakkotrypis said.
He said his ministry’s strategy was focused on retaining traditional major tourist markets, along with the simultaneous development of emerging markets.
“Our strategy remains to maintain arrivals from mature markets such as the UK primarily,” he added. He classed Russia and Ukraine as emerging markets.
Lakkotrypis said the recent deal with Britain’s largest tour operator TUI, meant the negative flow of British arrivals in recent year could be stemmed and possibly reversed, though the deal mostly concerned winter tourism.
“As you know we had dramatic reductions in recent years from the UK and our strategy was to hold the numbers before we can return to an increase,” he said.
On the German market Lakkotrypis said he expected this year to continue the downward trend but expected a recovery in 2015 after new deals were made with tour operators.
“So for Germany the recovery is expected in 2015,” he added.
Lakkotrypis said that with plans to conclude deals with other tour operators would help solve the problem of seasonality.