By Evie Andreou
The Association of Cyprus Tourist Enterprises (Acte) on Wednesday expressed concern over the overcrowding that continues to be observed during peak season at Larnaca and Paphos airports.
Acte, known in Greek as Stek and which represents four and five-star hotels, stressed in an announcement the need for proper staffing of police services at the airports to avoid the hardship experienced by visitors and to avoid tarnishing “the good image of our tourist product”.
It said both its members and the wider tourist industry were watching “with concern, the continued weakness of the control and security services” at the Cypriot airports.
“Despite recent reports that airport checkpoints have been reinforced with additional staff from the police during peak seasons and mass arrivals, there are still delays, perhaps due to lack of coordination between the airport (authorities) and the police,” the association said.
Delay in passport control causes considerable delays throughout the airport’s operation and the reception of visitors, “despite the commendable efforts of the airport to serve as much as possible our visitors,” it added.
This continuing problem, Acte said, is quite damaging to the country’s tourism image.
It called for co-ordination between the airport authorities and the immigration service to especially during peak seasons when there is large passenger traffic, so that, even in the event of unplanned flight delays, there is a plan for immediate additional checkpoints.
At the same time, it added, they welcome the adoption of modern control procedures through the border express kiosks that will be operated by Hermes Airports as a means “to help passengers experience our traditional hospitality without long and unjustified delays.”
Cyprus has experienced record tourist arrivals over the past two years, hosting over three million in 2017, which industry bosses hope can be repeated or exceeded this year.