Paphos tourism board (Etap) managing director Nasos Hadjigeorgiou on Tuesday said that despite the fact that certain hotels and tourist accommodation units will close during the winter, the district will have enough capacity to service winter demand.
During the winter period, Hadjigeorgiou explained, Paphos will have a capacity of approximately 8,500 rooms, across a number of hotels, offering different levels of experience, and will be able to welcome more than 180,000 visitors between November 2022 and March 2023.
“This year, in a preliminary survey conducted by the Paphos tourism board, in collaboration with members of the Paphos hoteliers association president (Pasyxe), the Association of Cyprus Tourist Enterprises (Stek), as well as other individual hoteliers, it appears that approximately 8,500 licensed beds will be in full operation during the winter months,” Hadjigeorgiou said.
“The 8,500 beds make up 70 per cent of the beds that were, traditionally, in full operation throughout the entirety of the year and cover all categories of accommodation,” he added, noting that most hotels that are planning to close for the winter will only do so between December 2022 and February 2023.
At the same time, the board noted that it is encouraging that both Ryanair and easyJet, Paphos’ airport’s primary users, have quite extensive flight schedules during this time.
The two airlines connect Paphos to 35 other airports and carry out approximately 100 inbound flights every week.
However, Hadjigeorgiou conceded that despite everyone’s best efforts, based on the available data, the upcoming winter season is expected to be quite difficult for the tourist sector in the district.
“We at Etap, along with the agencies we represent and cooperate with, are focused on our goals and objectives,” Hadjigeorgiou said.
“We are enriching and upgrading the quality of the experiences and services we offer, intensifying efforts to expand air connectivity from Paphos airport, and strengthening the promotional actions for Paphos as a destination, both in international markets and within Cyprus,” he added.
Meanwhile, according to data by Hermes Airports, international visits to Cyprus experienced a boost during August 2022.
Larnaca airport saw a rise in international arrivals of 38.8 per cent when compared to August 2021, with 850,500 visitors, up from 612.6 visitors in 2021.
When compared to 2019, before the adverse effects of the pandemic and during a bumper year for Cypriot tourism, arrivals were still down by 23.2 per cent.
In Paphos, 40,600 international arrivals were recorded, a 59.4 per cent increase over last year’s 25,400.
However, this is still 7.8 per cent down from the number of arrivals in August 2019.
In total, 1.3 million international arrivals were recorded during August 2022, 44.9 per cent higher than August 2021, and 15.3 per cent lower than the same month in 2019.
During the first 8 months of the year, Cyprus received 5.9 million international arrivals, 800,000 higher than the corresponding period from 2021, and 3.6 million more than in 2020, a year severely disrupted by pandemic-related travel restrictions.
Finally, according to preliminary estimates, Cyprus is expected to close the year with 8.7 million international arrivals, representing 78 per cent of the number recorded in 2019.