This year many more tourists who arrive at Larnaca airport are going directly to the north for their holidays compared to previous years, according to a tourism industry expert.

Head of the Famagusta wing of the hotelier’s association (Pasyxe) Panayiotis Constantinou told the Cyprus Mail on Monday that the phenomenon has become more noticeable this summer season.

“Until last year of course this was happening but not on the scale as it is today, this year it appears to have multiplied,” he told us.

“We can tell this from the activity at Larnaca airport towards the occupied areas, but of course we don’t have precise information on this at the moment,” Constantinou said.

“But it’s an issue that is impacting Famagusta and to an important degree, I would say,” he added.

Asked what indicators are pointing to such a phenomenon, considering a lack of official data, he said that “planes arrive but many end up on buses or minibuses, taxis with licence plates from the occupied areas”.

The deputy tourism ministry was not immediately available for comment.

“For us it’s also a matter of competition, indeed prices may be lower as there are different regulations in the occupied areas,” Constantinou said.