Cyprus Mail

Tourism sector braces for challenges amidst economic crisis

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The next months are poised to present another set of challenges for the tourism industry, given the existing economic crisis and geopolitical unrest, according to the general director of the hoteliers association (Pasyxe) Philokypros Roussounidis.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) on Wednesday, he said Pasyxe’s main goal is “to achieve tourism performance levels similar to those of 2023”.

“The past month has seen a slowdown compared to last year’s bookings,” he said.

“This is undoubtedly a combination of events related to geopolitical unrest in the surrounding region, the war in Israel, as well as the economic crisis in specific markets in central Europe.”

Despite the challenges, he reiterated that the association’s primary goal this year is to come as close as possible to the figures of 2023.

“We see that available passenger seats are relatively reduced compared to last year, but we do not want to panic the markets or our tourism partners,” he added.

He expressed confidence that there would be stabilisation in the tourism sector in the upcoming, stressing, however, that it will be very difficult to reach last year’s numbers.’

“Over the last three to four years, the sector has been rocked by several unexpected issues, including the Covid-19 pandemic, the energy crisis, inflation and increased interest rates. Yet, last year we almost reached the levels seen in 2019.

“We hope to get as close as possible to those numbers in 2024 as well,” he said.

He stressed that the conditions demonstrate the resilience of the sector, “which mainly relies on the workforce that we greatly need.”

“We hope the government will assist us in our efforts to attract more people to the industry,” Roussounides said.

He also mentioned that domestic tourism increased its numbers last year, reaching 6 per cent of the total number of visitors.

“It is positive that it increased, but it is not something that changes the picture. However, it certainly indicates healthier tourism model,” he said.

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