Russians are currently spending their holidays in around 20 hotels in the Famagusta district while Russian and Israeli tourists are keeping 12 hotels in the Paphos district busy.
Though overall numbers are low, visitors from these two markets continue to come to Cyprus despite the latest lockdown, spokesman for the Paphos Hoteliers Association Evripides Loizides said.
Referring to the lockdown, he said we should not look at those who are negatively affected today but focus on the coming months, June and July.
“Hoteliers want their employees to join the vaccination programme for the safety of both themselves and the visitors. As soon as the vaccination portal for those aged 30 and above opens the situation will improve.”
For now, the hoteliers are waiting for an announcement regarding the categorisation of Cyprus by Great Britain, the country’s main tourist market, on May 7.
Mass tourism cannot be expected if the numbers of new coronavirus cases and results of antigen rapid tests continue to be high, Loizides concluded.
Around 20 hotels are currently operating in the Famagusta district, while several owners of tourist accommodation have shown interest in opening, head of the Famagusta branch of the Cyprus Hotel Assosciation (Pasyxe) Doros Takkas announced.
He said a limited number of Russian tourists started arriving by air from April 4 after obtaining a special permit.
“This special permit exists today and may not exist tomorrow,” he added.
As did Loizides, Takkas expressed the hope the situation will improve and the vaccination programme will proceed successfully.
“It is really admirable that some tourists dare to come to Cyprus in the middle of a lockdown and suffer from various restrictions, as they can not enjoy their holidays as they should,” he commented.
His opinion is that flights from the UK will begin before the end of July.
“On the other hand, tourists from the Scandinavian countries have postponed the start date of their holidays four to five times, while Central Europe ranked Cyprus in the red category, which means that we are not an attractive destination and at the same time there is a very serious problem with connectivity.”
“There are some tourists from Russia, as they are not allowed in Turkey or Egypt Cyprus is in a way their only choice.”
The head of the hotel association believes vaccinations should be done seven days a week and people employed in the tourism industry should have priority.
“One of the constant demands of Pasyxe is that the vaccinations of people who work or are employed in the tourism industry, regardless of age, from bus and taxi drivers to waiters in restaurants, hotel employees and generally everyone who comes in contact with tourists, should be done quickly.”
Commenting on people who do not want to be vaccinated, he said:
“Those in charge must immediately organise a campaign with personalities of international standing, who will be able to convince people about the usefulness and correctness of the vaccinations. The government should also grant privileges to those who are vaccinated, such as allowing them to circulate without sending a text message and without conducting a rapid test, while those who do not want the vaccination are subject to the existing restrictions.”