The tourist industry is recording a loss this season of 6.6% in comparison to last year, with Cyprus Tourism Organisation Chairman Alecos Orountiotis saying that arrivals from Germany are down by more than 30% and from the UK by 9%, whereas the Russian market seems to be doing well and has recorded an increase of 20% since 2012.
In an interview with the Cyprus News Agency (CAN), Orountiotis said that the situation and programming has changed a great deal since the Eurogroup decision of last March that imposed harsh austerity measures as part of a 10 bln euro rescue and although the CTO was hoping that 2013 would be a good year for tourism, things went off track.
He said the 6.6% decrease is “manageable”, expressing the hope that by the end of the year, losses will be limited to the minimum.
Orountiotis added that if by the end of the year, the losses are between 2 or 3%, this would be considered a success that would enable CTO to start the new tourist year with more optimism.
Referring in particular to the losses from the German market, the CTO Chairman said that this is mainly due to the fact that there is a lack of available chartered flights from Germany and tourists were affected because of the Eurogroup decision on Cyprus.
Orountiotis said that the Russian market has contributed a lot to the recovery, pointing out that the number of Russian tourists has helped to cover the losses Cyprus has suffered from other traditional markets.
He said that the situation as regards arrivals from the UK is also manageable and although tourists have been affected, arrivals will be on the right track as of 2014.
The CTO Chairman said that bookings by Cypriots have also been affected in comparison with last year. In July and August many Cypriots chose to stay home.
He pointed out that the key to change the situation as regards the tourist market lies with the extension of the summer season and making Cyprus an all-year destination.
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