Cyprus Mail

CTO warns that Turkish coup attempt will affect tourism

The head of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation has said that the failed coup in Turkey would have negative effects on tourism in general and predicted that tourist arrivals to Cyprus would fall despite 2016 being a bumper year so far.

He said this would happen irrespective of whether tourists who had planned this year’s holidays in Turkey changed their plans at the last minute and came to Cyprus instead.

“Events like the coup in Turkey will not have a positive impact on world tourism. They do nothing to help the tourism industry of Cyprus and that is something that does not please us because the economy of Cyprus needs tourism more than ever,” CTO head Angelos Loizou told Phileleftheros on Sunday.

Loizou reckoned original figures predicting a decline in numbers following terrorist attacks may have been optimistic in the light of events in Turkey.

“We initially estimated that tourism would drop by 20 per cent due to the recent terrorist attacks but that figure could now drop to as much as 25 per cent or even 30 per cent. We will not see the impact of this coup right away.”

Though Cyprus is experiencing an unprecedented number of visitors with June having recorded the largest number ever, the unpredictability meant looking ahead was not easy.

“Our hotels are full now and we are enjoying a record number of arrivals. But the future is now uncertain. Those wanting to travel to experience different cultures may have a change of heart in light of what has been happening. Our location means that we are in the middle of all the trouble of the last ten months.”

But Hotel Association (PASYXE) head Haris Loizides disagreed, saying it was way too soon to draw conclusions. He said there had been a large increase in tourism despite the worsening situation in the area with hotels running at an unprecedented capacity.

“Turkey was already enduring problems prior to the coup mainly because of the terrorist attacks and its breakdown in relations with Russia and Israel. The attempted coup only took place on Friday so it is still far too early to be making these kinds of forecasts,” he said.

“The capacity of our hotels, however, is more than 90 per cent this year and Cyprus has no immediate need for more tourists. Our goal is to maintain the gains we made this year, which may be derived from the circumstances in the region.”

The PASYXE will formally consider the new data generated by the coup in Turkey in the regular monthly meeting of the board of directors in the coming days.

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