The scenario for tourism in Paphos is not at all encouraging, vice-president of the Paphos Hoteliers Association Evelyn Kleanthous Komodromou said on Thursday.
She said that in recent weeks tour operators have reported that potential travellers are becoming less interested in vacationing in Cyprus.
Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency, Komodromou said the latest information gathered by hoteliers in Paphos contradict the scenario that seemed to appear feasible only a few weeks ago, before the worldwide spread of the Omicron variant.
“We have already registered several cancellations for next year,” she said. “Unfortunately, the new Covid-19 variant has altered the situation for hotels in the area.”
Komodromou said the only tourists in the Paphos district at the moment are individual travellers and mainly come from Poland, Romania and a few other countries with direct flights to Paphos airport.
“The occupancy rate in the district is now at 25 per cent and only a handful of hotels are currently open, about 20 out of 110. Most of them, however, are bound to close for two months after the Christmas holidays.”
She added that hoteliers are receiving increasing calls from tour operators to reduce their prices for next summer.
“The pandemic and the consequent negative attitude of potential visitors is severely harming our industry. Once again, we might have to rely on last minute bookings.”
As far as the domestic market is concerned, Komodromou said that locals are mainly choosing the mountains as their holiday destination at this time of year, “which is a positive development of the deputy ministry of tourism’s subsidy plan, which will last until March.”
Finally, she said that for Paphos to see better numbers, there needs to be more arrivals from the UK and from Russia, traditional markets for the area.
“At the moment, however, as things are, there isn’t much hope. We had some good numbers from Israel, especially for short breaks, but we noticed that, when the Covid-19 situation is serious, Israelis tend not to travel.
“We are currently developing interest from the German market and the response seems positive, but it will take time to see actual results,” she concluded.