International Tour Operator, Thomas Cook, expects an increase in its bookings for Cyprus this summer of more than 20%.
In a recent interview with InBusinessNews, Thomas Cook Group’s Hotel Contracting Director, Joachim Seip, refers to the great prospects that Cyprus offers as a tourist destination. In the wide ranging interview he also commented on the need to extend the tourist season of the island and how to improve winter reservations.
Mr Seip said he expected a “double-digit growth rate of more than 20% for the summer of 2018”. He added that “the winter is fairly stable but we have a very small number of tourists for this period.”
Commenting on Cyprus tourism in general he said “We establish the trust of our customers in Cyprus as a tourist destination because they love the place and the hotels, they are very happy here and our goal is to increase the number of tourists returning for holidays on the island.”
He went on to highlight three major issues that need to change in Cyprus to bring about a positive affect on the tourism industry of the country.
First, he said that indoor facilities and hotels need to grow.
Secondly, he added that the tourist season should be extended – to start as early as February-March and to continue the season until November-December.
Finally he stated that the client’s perception of winter in Cyprus would need to be altered. “In the mind of a tourist, the Cyprus winter is not interwoven with thoughts of a tropical climate and sunny days, and those who wish to escape for a winter holiday prefer to be confident about the weather conditions.
Hence they prefer to go on holiday to destinations like the Canary Islands or Egypt, where their temperatures range from 25 to 30 degrees. This impression does not change easily in the minds of tourists, especially the Scandinavians and the Belgians. Germans and the British may be willing to visit but to attract them in the winter, Cyprus needs indoor facilities. Under these circumstances, Cyprus has lost tourists over the years (in winter), and in particular Paphos.”
Highlighting the advantages of the Cyprus tourist product he said that the benefits include “the excellent link between airports and hotels, beautiful beaches, the fact that it is a distant destination combined with luxury five star hotels. Cyprus has a high standard market and many refurbished hotels.”
As for disadvantages he noted that there were “not enough value for money family resorts to attract this category of tourists.” He suggested creating four-star accommodation with connected rooms and indoor facilities such as wall climbing and bowling.
The Thomas Cook Group is the oldest and one of the best known names in leisure travel with a history of innovation that started in 1841. A leading international travel company they serve 19 million customers each year.