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Coronavirus: Bookings from UK market remain low

Paphos airport

Bookings from UK tourists in Paphos are still very low, despite the UK government decision that fully vaccinated Britons returning from medium-risk amber list countries, such as Cyprus, will no longer have to quarantine when they arrive home from July 19.

Sounding the alarm on Wednesday was the head of the Paphos hotelier’s association Thanos Michaelides, who told the Cyprus News Agency that the current hotel occupancy rate in his district stands at around 25 per cent.

“The information from the UK market is that people are still not booking holidays because they are unsure whether Cyprus’ ranking will change while they are on the island,” Michaelides said.

He added that although a significant number of flights have started landing at Paphos airport from Gatwick, hotel bookings remain worryingly low.

He added that it is not possible to predict how the situation will fare in the next months.

“We have already lost July, August at best will be like last year, if not worse. There is still some hope regarding September but we cannot be sure.”

Michaelides also said that another blow was handed by Israel, whose government decided to reinstate quarantine on arrival for passengers returning from their holidays abroad.

“Many bookings we had from Israel in Paphos have already been cancelled or postponed to 2022, which is unfortunate giving that Israel is one of the few active markets at the moment,” he said.

Furthermore, the head of the Paphos hotelier’s association said that new tourists’ markets are not making enough of a difference to fill the void left by the UK and Russian market.

“There have been positive signals from Poland and France, but it’s not enough for us,” he said.

“Paphos has almost 30 thousand beds available at around 110 hotels at the moment but not enough tourists. If things don’t change soon, most of the hotels that are currently trying to remain open will close for the season.”

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