Staffing issues, cost increases and a lack of diplomatic missions with some countries were the main concerns raised by the Limassol hoteliers as Pasyxe met on Monday.

The hoteliers’ association heard that staffing issues are a long-term problem which have not been adequately addressed, with some units still looking for workers despite the summer season having started.

“We are in cooperation with the [deputy tourism] minister who appears to understand the issue, we are trying to resolve it as soon as possible – even now some units are not fully staffed, and we have to lay the groundwork for next year,” Philokypros Roussounides, head of Pasyxe, said.

He gave a summary of the challenges facing the sector: higher operating costs – mainly electricity – along with supply chain prices have also hit profitability. He emphasised, however, that it is challenging for hotels to raise their own prices as they then risk becoming uncompetitive.

Notably, he stated that there are thousands of tourists from countries such as Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Armenia who wish to visit the island but face challenges doing so. That, he explained, is because the diplomatic missions are covered by Russia which due to the current situation makes it impossible to process their entry visas in a timely manner.

“It’s a pity that people who want to come to our island as tourists and wish to spend money here cannot be brought in,” he said.

Elsewhere, Pasyxe was also asked whether Limassol has become a luxury destination of four- and five-star hotels.

The answer given was that two- and three-star hotels have been converted into apartments, mainly serving the housing needs of casino staff.