* Message for cultural tourism not getting across, says PwC/UNic survey
The sun and the sea are still the most important criteria for choosing Cyprus as a tourist destination, according to a PwC and University of Nicosia survey, with 95.6% of respondents saying that the "Sun and sea" is the main factor.
When investigating other types of tourism, the survey of tourists and local services providers entitled "Cypriot Tourism: Opening the treasure box" found that cultural tourism continues to be regarded as the most important special type of tourism. However, only one in two respondents, from among the 58.6% who said that cultural tourism was an important criterion, had gained any experiences of cultural tourism.
The survey also confirmed that the increase in tourist arrivals from Russia and other Russian-speaking countries has, as anticipated due to the common religious beliefs, increased demand for religious tourism. Also, health & wellness holidays appear to be more popular than other types of tourism such as sports, conference and agrotourism.
As regards casinos, the survey revealed diverse trends and perceptions from those often portrayed by local providers in the tourism industry. At first glance, the survey confirms that tourists currently targeted by Cyprus do not represent a target group for casinos. However, a closer look at the findings shows that even from the existing tourist market, a significant percentage of 30% would be interested in such initiatives. This means that from the existing 2.5 mln tourists who visit the island each year, 750,000 can be considered as a target group for casinos.
As regards to the promotion of tourism services, the survey identified considerable room for improvement, especially as regards brand building and use of the Internet.
Despite the fact that almost one in three respondents states that the internet affects their tourism destination choice, the websites and social media accounts of the tourism authorities in Cyprus do not seem to enjoy the desired traffic. 85% of the respondents said that they did not visit the official website of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, while 66.8% did not visit any other official website.
“During 2013 and possibly 2014 the tourism sector is expected to be adversely affected by recent developments in Cyprus as well as by the downturn of the economy in Europe. Nevertheless, tourism represents one of the most important industries of our country and we must continue to invest in the sustainable enrichment of our tourism product in order to differentiate ourselves from neighbouring destinations,” said Angelos Loizou, Partner in charge of Hospitality & Leisure Services at PwC Cyprus.
The survey is available at www.pwc.com.cy/cyprus-tourism-study.
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