Cyprus tops Mediterranean tourism charts


Cyprus has recorded the highest increase in tourism arrivals in the Mediterranean while being the second cheapest Mediterranean tourist destination after Turkey.

Speaking during a session of the House Commerce Committee, Cyprus Hoteliers Association (CHA) Director General Zacharias Ioannides said that despite an increase in demand, hoteliers in Cyprus have restrained from increasing their prices.

“Cyprus is considered to be the second cheapest in the Mediterranean region after Turkey which has experienced a 50% drop in reservations due to the known problems,” said Ioannides.

Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) Acting Director Marinos Menelaou also told MPs that a new independent study showed Cyprus to have the largest increase in tourist arrivals in the Mediterranean region.

Menelaou went on to say that tourism arrivals for the first quarter had shown a 13.5% increase over the corresponding 2016 period with revenue showing a 23% year on year increase.

According to Menelaou, tourism arrivals during the winter had reached 298,000 culminating as the second best winter season ever.

“These figures show a success when it comes to seasonality,” he said.

Reservation figures for the 2017-2018 winter season are expected to increase by 20% while in general, reservations for 2017 from the UK – Cyprus’ largest tourism market – have increased by 10% compared to 2016.

The CTO also announced the successful visit to the island of 7,000 Austrian pensioners which came to Cyprus in groups. The same number is expected to visit Cyprus again during the spring of 2018.

Although the Austrians were based in Ayia Napa and Protaras, they travelled and visited various areas on the island.

Green Light for Secretariat for Tourism

Political parties in Cyprus have indicated that they will give the green light for the creation of a Secretariat for Tourism while the new strategy for tourism will be submitted before the House within the next few weeks.

According to House Commerce Committee Chairman Angelos Votsis, the bill for the Secretariat for Tourism is expected to be passed by the majority of MPs but will only be implemented by the new government in 2018.

Menelaou, in the meantime, has said that Cyprus needs new branding as its current tourism model is considered obsolete with emphasis needing to be placed on up-to-date forms of tourism.