Despite winter closures, around 12,000 tourist beds in Paphos will remain available to accommodate 250,000 visitors between December and March, according to the Paphos regional board of tourism.
“The Paphos district will have several thousand full-service beds available and will offer a wide range of accommodation with the capacity to accommodate tens of thousands of visitors in the winter of December 2019 – March 2020,” a regional board of tourism spokesman announced.
A preliminary survey completed by the Paphos regional board of tourism in collaboration with members of the Paphos Hoteliers Association, union Stek and other individual hoteliers found that around 12,000 beds will be in full operation for the winter months – mostly between December and March.
He added that the 12,000 beds available include all categories of accommodation and that most units that are suspending operation are undergoing upgrades and renovations.
“Most suspensions are limited to the months of December through to February,” he added.
For the corresponding period of 2018-2019, it is estimated that Paphos attracted around 180,000 visitors.
Overall, according to official figures for 2018, Paphos is estimated to have attracted 39 per cent or 1.5 million of the total arrivals of nearly four million.
Of these, 1.3m tourist arrivals in Paphos took place from April to November, and efforts to increase the tourist season into November are ongoing.
However, the spokesman said that despite all efforts, based on the available data, the upcoming winter season is expected to be a difficult one. Among other things, Paphos’ airline connection with priority markets is still limited and many travel organisers still do not include Paphos-Cyprus in their schedules.
“Also, the negative backdrop is being reinforced by the recent collapse of Thomas Cook, Brexit uncertainty and the pre-conceived idea that Cyprus is a main destination for mostly summer holidays and not all year round,” he said.
On a more positive note, there are several developments on the horizon for Paphos, both with airline connections and with the attraction of specific market segments, which further aids the expansion of the season, he said.
“The area of specialist tourism such as nature and culture lovers, athletes, golfers, conference tourism, senior tourism etc are increasing and giving further optimism to the realisation of the goal to bring back full-time operation,” he said.