Total tourist arrivals to Cyprus in 2018 are expected to rise again according to the CTO (Cyprus Tourism Organisation).
In a recent interview with Cypriot newspaper Simerini, it was announced that tourist numbers are estimated to be between 7-8% (about 250,000 people) higher in 2018.
This is also the “ceiling” for this year, as bed availability, albeit increased, will just cover the demand observed in the hottest months of the season. The CTO expects an increase of approximately 3-4% in tourist numbers for the summer period alone.
The importance of arrivals outside the peak season was highlighted, with the agency aiming to see numbers continue to increase. It was stated that even at this stage last-minute bookings are in a very good position – even better than last year’s – which is a positive sign for the CTO.
CTO deputy chief executive Marinos Menelaou, speaking with Simerini, said the data shows increased numbers at the moment. Clarifying he added “The data is mainly focused on the statistics of bookings from large markets and tourism sources, the reports from external offices of the Organisation, contacts with partners, both our tourism industry (contracts for accommodation) and UK travel agents, contacts at the recent major WTM (London) Tourism Exhibition in our largest foreign market. The positive assessment is also supported by the airline and flight planning data from air carriers for 2018 submitted to the airport managing company and civil aviation, which is also increasing” Mr Menelaou said.
Responding to the other markets, Mr Menelaou also said these messages were positive. The Organisation has recently held a series of contacts with major travel organisers in Russia and has had the opportunity to share information with other partners, they also hosted a special awards event in Cyprus for the historic record of arrivals 2017. He added that a more complete picture will be formed in the coming weeks.
Among the key objectives of the CTO, according to Mr Menelaou, is the need to improve the distribution of tourists within the remaining months outside the summer period. Against this background, the agency has been progressively targeting incentives to attract tourists to Cyprus in off-peak months. Markets with potential for growth in this area such as the UK, Russia, Scandinavian countries, Ukraine, Poland, Germany etc have been targeted.
In the current period, according to Mr Menelaou, work is being carried out on many hotels, new and existing, which are being modernised in the districts of Free Famagusta, Paphos, Limassol and Larnaca. With total tourist beds available for this year expected to exceed 100,000 he added that “by integrating these new units, our tourism industry will be boosted, this is expected to mitigate the problems of meeting the high demand for rooms / beds expected for the upcoming 2018 peak season” noted Menelaou.