Hotel occupancy rates in Larnaca are expected to reach approximately 75-80 per cent for the Kataklysmos holiday weekend, mirroring the levels recorded during 2023, according to the president of the Larnaca Hoteliers Association (Pasyxe) Marios Polyviou.

“For the weekend and the Monday of the Holy Spirit, which is the celebration of Kataklysmos, we have good occupancy rates in the hotels of Larnaca city and district, ranging from 75 to 80 per cent, which are about the same levels as last year,” Polyviou said.

In response to a related question, Polyviou mentioned that “there are some Cypriots who have booked hotels to spend the long weekend in Larnaca, but most are foreign tourists”.

“This year, the Kataklysmos festival is celebrated in mid-June, and we are already in the tourist season, so foreign visitors have started their summer holidays,” he noted.

Moreover, the association president explained that “this period is exhibiting a recovery that brings optimism in terms of the Israeli market”.

This renewed sense of optimism regarding the Israeli market contrasts with a more dour note struck by Polyviou, who earlier this month said that “the new factor in this year’s tourism season is the impact on the Israeli market, which last year had tremendous momentum and resulted in a significant increase in arrivals to Larnaca, making it perhaps the city’s main market”.

Polyviou also mentioned that “we have tourists from Poland, Germany, Britain, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Lebanon”.

Regarding the latter country, Polyviou described it as being “a significant market for us in Larnaca, not only because of the holidaymakers but also the permanent residents in our city”.

At the same time, Polyviou pointed out, “there are also investors from Lebanon in Larnaca, who are particularly important for our city”.

“Overall, we are satisfied with the bookings in Larnaca during the Kataklysmos weekend and hope to continue this trend for the rest of the tourist season,” he added.

Regarding the specific markets mentioned by the Pasyxe president, it’s worth mentioning that Polyviou has recently bemoaned the loss of the Russian market, saying that this “means a significant segment of traditional visitors to Cyprus is missing”.

Cruises provide a lifeline

The island is also benefiting from cruise ships bringing tourists to Cyprus. On June 7, the Crown Iris arrived in Larnaca from Haifa, marking the first of 22 trips planned until November 2024.

With a capacity of 2,000 passengers, the cruise ship brought 1,600 visitors on its first cruise.

In response, the city’s municipality, regional tourist board, and chamber of commerce all welcomed the ship’s arrival to Larnaca.

Aircraft occupancy rate

Meanwhile, it was recently reported that the aircraft occupancy rate arriving in Cyprus in May reached about 85 per cent and is increasing as the peak season nears, according to Hermes Airports.

Maria Kouroupi, Director of Aviation Development and Communication, reported that approximately 41,000 passengers currently arrive or depart from Larnaca and Paphos airports daily.

She further explained that despite initial setbacks due to the war in Israel and airline issues, the summer season started better than expected.