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1 December 2015
Tourism prospects looking good for 2016
Cyprus enjoyed good tourism in 2015 and the prospects look even better for 2016, according to figures of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO).
Speaking to state radio on Tuesday morning, CTO boss Angelos Loizou says Cyprus has enjoyed more visitors than in previous years and that forecasts for next year are looking even better despite more work needed to lure even more holidaymakers to the island.
“This year has been a good year in terms of tourism,” said Loizou. “Our hotels – which are still operating – are currently busier right now when compared to this time last year. For September alone, revenue from tourists went up by 17% when compared to the same time last year.”
“Another positive was the fact that tourism spending – outside of hotels – was up 23% when compared to the same time last year. Things have been good and we expect even better numbers for 2016 but we must not rest on our laurels.”
Loizou went on to say that Cyprus has also seen a bigger number of visitors from countries which rarely visit Cyprus but refused to say that the island was being chosen as a holiday destination because of unrest in other countries like Egypt and Turkey.
“We need to ensure that we restructure our tourism strategy especially when it comes to working with tour operators and with other countries. This year, we have seen an increase in the number of visitors from countries where we don’t usually have a lot of visitors.”
“This for us is a golden opportunity to tap into new markets and we must not let this chance slip away. We must keep up the effort and even try to do more.”
When asked about numbers from Russia increasing given the recent events in Turkey (diplomatic relations between two nations plummeting after jet was shot down) and Egypt (terror attack which downed passenger jet), he replied, “The numbers are not that big. We expect more flights from Moscow and St. Petersburg – 15 to be precise. But we are not too hopeful St. Petersburg will bring us a lot of visitors. A lot of people from there may be tentative when it comes to travelling.”