The war in Ukraine and its consequences on Cyprus tourism should push stakeholders on the island to work together to tap other markets, Ayia Napa Mayor Christos Zannettou said on Thursday, while acknowledging that this will be a difficult year.
“The tourism industry is facing severe issues. The Russian market represents around 30 per cent of the entire market on the island and it will not be easily replaced.
“The more than 800,000 visitors arriving from Russia in 2019 cannot be replaced. The Famagusta district will be especially affected by the war, as 60 per cent of Russians travelling to Cyprus every year choose to stay here,” Zannettou said.
The Ayia Napa mayor added that the effects of the war will also have consequences on the economy in general and not only on the tourism industry.
“The labour market, the food and beverage industry, and many others will definitely feel the blow.
“We all hope Russia and Ukraine can establish a ceasefire soon, so that sanctions can be lifted, and flights can resume. We cannot yet feel the effects of the war, but, come summer, they will start to show, Zannettou said.
Finally, he confirmed the deputy ministry of tourism is working tirelessly to find new untraditional markets to target.
“We need to all work together so that today’s crisis can be turned into an opportunity to so that our doors open to other markets so that we can become independent of long-term monopolies,” Zannettou concluded.