Paphos hoteliers association Thanos Michaelides on Saturday said the hotel occupancy rate in the district will reach approximately 80 per cent in July, an improvement over June’s 70 per cent.

However, he stressed there are a few factors working against tourist inflows.

The first issue has been the loss of the Russian market which, as he explained, cannot be fully offset.

The other problem has been the ongoing travel disruptions across many airports around Europe, something which has led to flight cancellations, delays and changes to flight schedules.

“This situation is not just causing inconvenience to tourists in the present moment but has also started to create doubts and worries among those who want to travel later in the summer,” Michaelides said.

“We have already seen that the trend of future bookings has started to weaken,” he added.

Additional adverse factors include the high cost of energy, which has pushed ticket prices upwards.

This, Michaelides said, has deterred certain traveller groups from booking flights as in some cases the ticket costs as much as the entire cost of the remainder of their holidays.

Despite the difficulties, Michaelides noted that this year is an improvement over the previous two years, which were severely disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Regarding the countries from which visitors have been arriving, he said there is strong interest from the United Kingdom, which remains Paphos’ biggest market.

“However, the United Kingdom alone does not cover the loss of the Russian market,” he said.