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Omicron cancellations hitting Paphos hotels

Paphos harbour

Paphos hotels have been operating at a 30-40 per cent capacity so far in December, the district’s hoteliers’ association said on Wednesday.

Association head Thanos Michaelides said that in the winter period, Paphos hotels usually see an average of 25 per cent capacity.

This winter will be tough, he told the Cyprus News Agency, because hopes for a small increased turnout over the season have been crushed by the appearance of the Omicron variant, which has triggered cancellations and once more created insecurity in the market.

“Because of the situation, people don’t think as much about traveling as they agonise over the possibility of being stuck far from home in case stricter measures are enforced,” he said.

Nevertheless, Michaelides said hotels in the Paphos district are expecting some movement during the Christmas period, after which some may be forced to close because of low interest from the local or foreign market.

Asked which hotels saw better business over the summer season, he said that five-star hotels did a little better as they draw the most independent bookings. Guests who made their own bookings had more autonomy, he said, meaning they moved the fastest once the market reopened.

As regards staff shortages, Michaelides said hoteliers are in talks with the labour ministry to find a solution. “Without one, hotels will not be able to respond to any future demand, threatening to lose everything we have built in the Cypriot tourist industry through good service.”

He added that at the moment holidays in Cyprus are relatively more expensive than in neighbouring countries, and while the local tourism scheme is helping it cannot alone generate enough demand to help hotels stay open.

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