Cyprus’ favourite holiday week saw hotels listed on the online accommodation reservation platform Booking.com reaching 90 to 100 per cent capacity in both seaside and mountain areas.
The week encompassing August 15, the Orthodox feast day that celebrates the assumption of the Virgin Mary, is widely accepted as the time when businesses and government offices grind to a halt as employees take their annual summer holiday leave.
According to Booking.com, between August 13 and 18, Protaras hotels listed on its website will be at 99 per cent capacity. Ayia Napa hotels will be 98 per cent full, and Paphos hotels will be at 97 per cent capacity.
Larnaca hotels included on the platform will be at 94 per cent capacity this week, Limassol hotels at 87 per cent and Nicosia hotels at 79 per cent.
Hotels at mountain areas are also showing high visitor levels, as many choose the cooler areas as summer temperatures continue to rise. A government move to provide vacation grants for pensioners and low-income earners has also boosted the number of visitors to the mountain areas.
Platres hotels this week will be at 95 per cent capacity, Troodos hotels at 97 per cent, and Pedoulas hotels at 90 per cent, Booking.com figures show.
Though 2019 has been a difficult year for tourism, as observed by the deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdios last week, August is expected to provide some relief to tourist areas.
Cyprus residents who chose to travel abroad this summer mainly opted for Greece, and Greek islands in particular, the president of Cyprus travel agents Vasilis Stamataris told Politis newspaper on Wednesday.
Though a number of routes linking Cyprus with Greek islands such as Mykonos and Santorini have been discontinued, Stamataris said that Cypriots choose to travel to Athens from where they take ferries to their final destinations.
Currently, direct flights from Cyprus are on offer to Athens, Thessaloniki, Crete, and Rhodes.