Cyprus Mail

Drop in travel to UK due to strong sterling and less to spend

By Andria Kades

The strength of the British currency combined with Cypriots holding their purse strings tighter are some of the contributing factors as to why the island’s permanent residents have cut down  visits to the UK, Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (ACTA) chairman said on Tuesday.

Speaking to the Cyprus Mail, Dinos Kakouras said there was no single reason that there had been a 61.8 per cent drop of Cypriot residents travelling to the UK in October compared to the same period last year.

The drop could be attributed to the fact local residents are spending less trying to save more – something reflected in figures that show overall trips abroad had fallen.

In October this year, 9,851 Cypriot residents travelled to the UK compared with 25,817 in October 2014.

Also important to remember, Kakouras said was that it was not only Cypriots that make up the demographics of permanent residents.

“This includes British permanent residents on the island as well and the drop in visits to the UK could mean either there are less permanent residents on the island or they do not want to go back home as much,” a decision possibly affected by their financial status.

According to Kakouras, Cypriots are now looking for cheaper destinations with US tours for instance greatly reduced.

“They prefer trips and packages to places like Greece. The go to Central Europe and the UK but it’s limited numbers.”

Greece for instance is in closer proximity and although numbers have fallen 6.6 per cent compared to last year it is nowhere near the figures seen for the UK whose strong currency is not favouring trips abroad, Kakouras said.

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