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.

The Easter holiday season saw restaurants, bars and other venues across Cyprus suffer a 50 per cent decline in business activity, compared to the previous year, according to Neophytos Thrasyvoulou, president of the Federation of Leisure Centre Owners (Osika).

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), Thrasyvoulou mentioned that one of the reasons for this drop is a reduction of tourists during this time, which he attributed to the fact that Catholic Easter occurred earlier this year than Orthodox Easter.

What is more, he stated that Cypriots preferred to spend the Easter holiday at family gatherings.

In addition, he noted that restaurants and bars are expected to record an increase in turnover across Easter Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Deputy Minister of Tourism Kostas Koumis is in the United Arab Emirates to attend the Arabian Travel Market tourism exhibition, which is taking place in Dubai.

“Over the last three decades Arabian Travel Market has become a leading global event enabling growth for the travel and tourism industry,” the event’s host said in a statement.

“In a world where travel transcends boundaries and business opportunities await, there is a place where global travel and tourism visionaries unite,” they added.

According to a statement released by the Deputy Ministry of Tourism this week, Koumis arrived in Dubai on Monday, where he will engage in important meetings on Tuesday, with three airlines and other tourism sector stakeholders.

Deputy Minister of Research Nicodemos Damianou recently addressed two investment incentives launched at the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, acknowledging that there is room for improvement.

These initiatives include a tax exemption for innovative businesses and a startup visa scheme, amidst ambitions to attract investment and nurture the startup ecosystem.

The first of these initiatives, the innovation certificate, offers a 50 per cent tax exemption for investments in innovative businesses. A total of 38 certificates were granted to qualifying applicants last year.

The second incentive, the Cyprus startup visa scheme, is tailored to foster innovative startups. In 2023, 51 applications were submitted, but only four were approved.

The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) on Tuesday announced that it recently hosted a meeting with the Latvian Central Bank (Latvijas Banka) at the offices of the commission in Nicosia.

According to the announcement, the discussion took place at the officer level on April 26, 2024. The commission said that it “focused on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) matters and the exchange of best practices and experiences of the two authorities in relation to the licensing, supervision and risk assessment of supervised entities”.