By Bejay Browne
PAPHOS tourism officials say they are satisfied with the latest figures which show an increase in numbers of arrivals for summer 2015.
A spokesman for the Paphos Regional Board of Tourism said figures show around a 10% increase.
“Results suggest that Paphos has so far attracted an increased flow of arrivals and has recorded satisfactory results for the period of May-October, particularly from markets such as the UK, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, France and Poland,” he said.
He said the statistics service “estimated that arrivals in the Paphos District for this period were about seven to ten per cent higher than in the corresponding period last year.”
A spokeswoman for Kannika Hotels and Resorts Ltd, which owns and operates five hotels across the island, said occupancy for the summer period was the highest ever at their Paphos hotels.
The group owns both the Alexander Hotel in Paphos and the recently renovated five star Olympic Lagoon Resort Paphos – previously the Amathus hotel.
“Generally we have experienced a very good summer period, with our Paphos hotels recording 90-95 per cent occupancy. This was more than expected,” she said.
She said the Olympic Lagoon Resort, which only opened in June, has helped the overall success of the summer period. The hotel will close at the end of November and reopen in February.
“The Alexander the Great hotel will remain open for the winter and is already close to fully booked for December,” she added.
The group also has hotels in Limassol and Ayia Napa. “Although it has been a generally good year for us, our best results were in Paphos,” the spokeswoman said.
Although the local tourism board pointed out there is a current trend which is seeing a decrease in the average length of stay, Paphos operators are optimistic that the district’s profile will be raised even higher through a concerted team effort of relevant bodies, in the coming years.
“We have a number of priorities for Paphos including: strengthening the local identity and upgrading the quality of the tourist experience, the continuing upgrade and general infrastructure and building environment of the district and intensifying efforts to enhance aviation access to and from Paphos International Airport,” the spokesman said.
He added that the extension of the summer season and stopping the practice of seasonality to ensure Paphos is an all year round tourist destination is also top of the list.
“We also aim to penetrate other relevant markets such as weddings, sports tourism, rural, marine and cultural tourism and more.”
Tourism officials also aim to further exploit potentially lucrative markets such as Germany, Scandinavia, Poland, France and Israel, he said.