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Tourism Minister upbeat about Russian market

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Cyprus has been ranked as one of the top travel destinations for Russians, Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios said on Wednesday in the wake of two recent visits to Moscow.

“There is widespread optimism in the Russian market for foreign travel and especially for Cyprus,” Perdios said.

In his meetings with travel agents and airline representatives, Perdios detailed the most recently enacted health protocol, as well as the ministry’s incentive scheme, which has been approved by the European Union.

“It is no coincidence that tourist arrivals from Russian have already begun, with some hoteliers informing us that they had never experienced this during this time of year, and I think that this is directly related to our last trip,” he added.

In his most recent visit to Moscow, Perdios met with the Russian transport minister and the head of Russia’s Federal Agency for Tourism, asking them to resume chartered flights to Cyprus, a practice that was suspended during the pandemic. Perdios also asked for more flights to Cyprus from regional airports.

He said he had focused on the fact that Cyprus has approved the Sputnik and Sputnik Light vaccines, as well as offering free quarantine for all tourists who are infected while on the island.

While Perdios said that Russia has not yet made clear if Cyprus’ demands will be satisfied, he said that they will be reassured by the information they have received.

Cyprus has air links with Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Krasnodar, Kazan, Perm, Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Rostov, Ufa, Kaliningrad, Omsk, Volgograd, Voronezh and Voronezh.

“It is positive that we have penetrated into regional cities, we want to take another step and allow more weekly flights from regional airports for each airline,” Perdios said, adding that if these two demands are met, it will increase tourist arrivals from Russia to more than the half a million recorded in 2021.

“It is very important for Cyprus to be among the choices of travellers from Russia, both in the media and the airlines, before other countries begin their promotional campaigns,” he added.

Perdios also confirmed that the Deputy Ministry of Tourism has scheduled additional meetings in June, potentially taking place within the context of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum taking place during that month.

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