The tourism ministry is considering the continuation of its mandate of special offers of hotel discounts to permanent residents, the Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios told the press on Monday.
More than 100 hotels across the island participate in the scheme, which was originally intended to be active from 1 September through the end of November. The scheme includes apartment complexes, tourist villages and agro-tourism establishments.
It’s not clear exactly how long an extension the Minister has planned, but the scheme has been welcomed by hundreds of locals, according to the Cyprus Hotel Association. The government subsidises part of the cost of these discounted stays. The result has been to bring more local residents as tourists to parts of the island they have not yet visited.
The overall aim is to support local businesses by increasing visitors’ numbers in specific areas, and thereby ensuring a greater local spend. Hotels participating in the scheme are only permitted to offer breakfast to their guests, meaning that the tourists must buy their lunch, dinner and snacks at other restaurants and stores.
The regions taking part are Famagusta, Larnaca and its mountain areas, Limassol and its mountain areas, Nicosia, the Troodos, the Kato Pyrgos area, and Paphos.
Prices are a maximum of €80 for a double room with breakfast per night in September. The maximum rate in October is €70 and €60 in November. The tourism ministry has not yet given details about prices in the winter, which could be lower.
In addition, the deputy ministry is covering 25 per cent of the accommodation cost, including the cost of children staying in the same room as their parents. There is a minimum stay of two nights.
The Deputy Ministry of Tourism is committed to building up Cyprus tourism in the winter. There are plans to improve facilities throughout the mountain regions for this purpose.