The Association of Cyprus Tourist Enterprises (Stek) on Monday released a statement expressing concern about the island’s tourism prospects for 2024, highlighting significant challenges ahead.

During a recent session, the statement said, Stek’s board hosted a representative from Hermes Airports for in-depth discussions.

“Based on the current situation, particularly in anticipation of the summer tourist season, the Stek board can conclude that there are significant concerns,” the association said.

“According to airline schedules for flights to and from Cypriot airports, there is a projected reduction of 550,000 seats in 2024 compared to 2023,” it added.

Furthermore, the association said that “uncertainty persists regarding Israel, the second-largest tourist market, due to the ongoing conflict in Gaza“.

“The indications are far from optimistic and can be characterised as concerning,” Stek warned.

What is more, the association stated that the possibility of grounding or time-consuming repairs to specific aircraft types, due to previously reported issues, could further worsen the problem if airlines serving Cyprus are affected.

This is in reference to certain Boeing aircraft, which have been reported to be in need of modifications, upgrades or repairs.

“It is evident that uncertainty looms over the prospects of this year’s tourist season, and all stakeholders must demonstrate the necessary seriousness and responsibility, fostering a collaborative spirit for the well-being of the industry and the broader economy,” the association concluded.