Hotel occupancy rates in Cyprus are expected to be lower during the upcoming summer, compared to the same period in 2023, according to the president of the hotelier’s association (Pasyxe) Thanos Michaelides, who noted, however, that this trend can be reversed.

Michaelides expressed concern about the potential impact of recent developments in and around Cyprus, such as the conflict in Israel, on the summer occupancy rate.

Furthermore, he said that “the economic challenges in the UK, a significant source of tourists, could exacerbate the issue”.

“Although there have been efforts to attract tourists from emerging markets like Poland, France, and Germany to offset declining visitors from the UK and Israel, uncertainties remain about how the upcoming season will unfold,” he added.

Moreover, Michaelides highlighted that the flow of bookings for the summer of 2024 appears to be lagging behind those of the summer of 2023.

Michaelides also mentioned that occupancy rates in April were lower than those in April 2023. This was partly due to Catholic Easter occurring in March, which created a considerable gap between it and Orthodox Easter.

What is more, he noted that hotel occupancy rates during the Easter weekend were satisfactory throughout Cyprus.

He also expressed hope for a resolution in Israel, which is one of Cyprus’ most important tourism markets. He explained that any sort of reduction of hostilities, such as a ceasefire, would lead to an increase in the number of visitors from Israel.

In terms of labour, Michaelides said that the processing of applications has become faster, which “is helpful.” However, he emphasised the need to make the process even quicker to enhance productivity in the hotel industry.

Despite this, he said that “hoteliers are facing difficulties in finding suitable labour, not only in terms of numbers but also regarding qualifications”.

“As we enter the summer season and due to the global nature of the labour shortage, the available options are becoming increasingly limited,” he concluded.