The flow of tourists travelling from Israel to Cyprus is expected to be restored to last year’s levels within the next month, Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (Acta) chairman Charis Papacharalambous said on Wednesday.

Papacharalambous was evaluating the forthcoming high season on the occasion of the Acta’s 70th anniversary and said tourist traffic to the island is expected to slightly decrease this year compared to last due to the ongoing situation in the Middle East.

He remained optimistic on a forthcoming increase in traffic from Israel but said that tourist traffic heading in the opposite direction may take more time to reach last year’s levels.

Looking ahead to the coming Easter holidays, Acta’s vice chairman Christos Christou said booking availability is running out for people in Cyprus wishing to travel abroad.

He added that Cypriots’ favourite destination for Easter is Greece, in particular the island of Corfu, but that there is an increasing tendency for people to prefer European destinations such as Paris.

He also touched on the matter of summer, saying that travel packages are already available online and people have started making bookings.

With this in mind, Papacharalambous said those who wish to travel should “make their purchases in time so they do not have to pay increased costs at the last minute”.

He also said 2023 had been “a record year for travel”, seeing tourist traffic five per cent higher than the previous high-water mark of 2019.

He put this partly down to the fact that 2023 was the first year since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic which was completely free of restrictions.

In addition, he said that overall, Cypriots’ favourite overseas travel destination is Greece, which accounts for a third of all overseas trips made by Cypriots.

The United Kingdom is in second place, attracting between 10 and 12 per cent of Cypriots’ overseas tourist custom, while other European destinations are gaining ground.