Large numbers of Cypriots are spending the Easter holidays abroad, data from the travel agents’ association showed on Tuesday.

The picture emerging from the first four months of the year, indicates that the number of Cypriots holidaying abroad will be comparable to 2023, a record year, while a small increase has not been ruled out.

Head of the travel agents’ association, Haris Papacharalambous, speaking to the Cyprus News Agency said trips abroad last an average of four to five days.

Papacharalambous noted that preliminary data show a strong trend towards travelling abroad for Easter, but a clearer picture will be emerge at the end of the holiday period.

Cypriot travellers’ top destinations are traditionally Greece followed by the United Kingdom.

Reservations for summer holidays are also in full swing in a bid to save costs, Papacharalambous said, and summer holidays abroad last an average of one week.

Airfares, rather than accommodation, are the main cost consideration as summer approaches.

The travel agents’ rep noted that agencies can ensure more stable prices for accommodation, which, although may differ for June, July and August, do not change depending on reservation date. Online platforms are more likely to show such fluctuations, according to Papacharalambous.

Regarding domestic tourism for the Easter period, head of the hoteliers’ association (Pasyxe) Filokyprros Rousounides said local bookings are relatively limited, and most of these reservations are for 48 hours. The cost of an overnight stay starts at €40- €50 per person.

As for overseas visitors, 2024 will be a challenging year, the Pasyxe head said, as initial data for the summer season show reduced bookings compared to 2023. Geopolitical turmoil in the region is not conducive to travel, he said, noting that tourism is also affected by the economic recession and the energy crisis in central Europe.

Meanwhile, travel to Cyprus is also expected to remain at lower levels compared to last year, due to the limitation of available flights.

This is a consequence of the extraordinary situation in the Middle East, but also due to airlines facing an aircraft shortage.

The post-pandemic phenomenon, exacerbated by regional events, is not only affecting Europe, but the whole world, since aircraft suppliers are the same worldwide, Papacharalambous said.

The British market remains by far the largest source of tourism for Cyprus, with emerging markets such as Poland, Romania, Italy, France, and Germany also in the mix.