The tourism sector is aiming to maintain arrival rates this year at the same level as in 2017 and 2018, something which head of the association of travel agents (Acta) Vassilis Stamataris said on Friday could happen.
“At the beginning of the year we have circumstances that show us some clouds, rains, some turbulences on the subject of arrivals, ups and downs. We want to always look optimistically on how to deal with situations, as we have learned in the tourism sector to deal with problems every year, to manage them in the best possible way,” he said.
Referring to the recent closure of the Germania airline, he said this is a problem and the main thing is to find and replace routes so the existing markets are not affected.
The deputy ministry of tourism is concentrating on the removal of all difficulties together with all stakeholders, he noted, adding that we have been waiting for this ministry for many years and it is here now to address our problems on a daily basis.
The ministry is looking into attracting people from new close destinations such as Africa, and as there is now an increase in the number of beds there are solutions for the development of other markets, he explained.
Apart from targeting Europe, moves are also being made to attract more distant countries such as Japan and China.
Stamataris expressed his conviction that the Cyprus product has changed for the better, largely due to developments in the hotel sector.
We should think of how we can best take advantage of airline connections and how we can make our product more competitive, he said.
Talking about traditional markets, the Acta head said there are some ups and downs, and one cannot know how Brexit will affect the numbers, but Cyprus is a favourite destination for the UK.
Some fluctuations regarding the Russian market are also expected which depend on the availability of airline seats and connections and on the numbers Turkey will attract.
His overall outlook is optimistic.
“The Russians love the infrastructure we have developed and it is difficult to imagine that numbers will not be the same as before.
“We have a lot to give as a country, and all of us can contribute.”