The absence of Russian tourists is noticeably felt in the Famagusta region and its two main resorts – Ayia Napa and Protaras. Since tourism in Cyprus is currently at a low level, local authorities have decided to replace the Russian tourist flow with European tourists: tourists from the UK, Scandinavia, Central Europe and domestic travelers. This was reported by Cyprus Mail after a conversation with the chairman of the regional branch of the Cyprus Association of Hoteliers Association Pasyxe in the province of Famagusta, Doros Takkas.
“The big problem that this area faces is the lack of Russian tourists, and tourism is at a very low level,” he said.
Efforts are underway to attract visitors from the UK, Scandinavia and Central Europe, while some breathing room will be gained by Cypriots booking weekends in anticipation of flights from overseas in May.
Only 30-40 percent of the hotels in the Famagusta area are in operation, with the rest expected to open in late April/early May. However, as the expert noted, some hotels traditionally dependent on Russian tourists will remain closed due to Russia's special operation in Ukraine.
By the way, hotels oriented towards Russian tourists have not yet opened in Turkey. Read the details in the article “In Antalya, they said that hotels that accept Russians have not yet opened.”
“Due to the fact that tourists from Russia, Ukraine and the Russian-speaking market in general, it is extremely difficult to visit Cyprus this year, efforts to find holidaymakers are focused on the remaining markets,” added the head of the association.
Now the authorities are focusing on countries with which there is air communication, in order to at least a little close up the hole that has formed. Hoteliers are concentrating on existing markets: firstly British, secondly Scandinavian and thirdly Central European, with the possibility of connecting to Larnaca airport.
“We are concentrating on these specific markets mostly online to attract as many tourists as possible from these ‘old’ markets where response has previously been low. Among these countries there is France, with which there are now many ties,” the expert said.
Answering a question about the efforts of the Ministry of Transport and the Deputy Ministry of Tourism to expand ties with Central Europe, Takkas said that this is the right and only a way to cover the deficit of the Russian market, most of which ended up in the Famagusta region.
“A big gap has formed, and we are making efforts to work without this market. Everything that can be done is being done,” the specialist reported.
Catholic Easter helped hotel occupancy, but the number of tourists from abroad is now falling. “We expect Cypriot visits to start with Orthodox Easter, which will be limited to two or three day stays, but this will be a boost for the region as we wait for flights to start in May so we can see business in the Famagusta free area,” concluded head of the branch office of the hotel association.
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