Cyprus Mail

Tourism Minister optimistic for similar results as last year despite challenges

koumis minister
Deputy Minister of Tourism Costas Koumis

Deputy Minister for Tourism Costas Koumis said he is optimistic that tourist arrivals in 2024 will equal the numbers registered last year, despite geopolitical crisis marking the region.

Opening the Cyprus Travel Expo 2024 Koumis said the state of play in the tourism sector is marked by three negative developments, the geopolitical crisis in the region of the Eastern Mediterranean, the weak economic environment in several countries of Europe and challenges associated with the aviation sector.

“This year is perhaps the first time since the pandemic that outside factors are not operating in a beneficial way for our country’s tourism but rather in a negative way, but I am optimistic that we will achieve our target, that is, a similar performance as last year, a year which will go down in history as a record-year in tourist revenue,” he said.

The Deputy Minister pointed out that the data of the first quarter marked an annual increase in arrivals of 5.4% showing that this target is feasible provided of course there are not further tensions in the wider region of the Eastern Mediterranean.”

On his part, Ioannis Papameletiou, Ambassador of Greece to Cyprus said that relations between Greece and Cyprus in the field of tourism “are at their strongest,” noting that close to 600,000 Cypriots travelled to Greece last year, while Greeks visiting Cyprus in 2023 amounted to 188,000.

Greece is the most popular destination for Cypriots, accounting for 40% of the total outgoing tourism of Cyprus, he said.

The Greek ambassador stressed that the key determinant for these results is the growth in air connectivity, with six airline companies operating flights schedules between the two countries.

He moreover said that traveling flows between the two countries are expected to continue increasing in the high tourist season of July and August, during which the two countries will be connected with 155 flights per week.

Association of Cyprus Tourist Agents Vice President Christos Asprou said Cypriot agents are optimising for travelling this year.

“In this year we estimate that our sector will recover significantly and this is already shown by the passenger traffic data of the first months of 2023 and the great interest shown for the summer time,” he said.

He referred to the data by Hermes Airports, that passenger traffic surpassed 1.5 million in the first three months of this year, whereas tourist arrivals have risen by 5.4 year on year in the first quarter.

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