September is critical for the tourist industry as Cyprus Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios expects to confirm an increase in flights to the holiday island for 2020 and results to attract more Germans to be successful.
“I am hoping that in September we will be in a position to announce specific actions which will seek to improve the local tourism product in order to boost tourist inflow from abroad.”
For the past six months the deputy ministry together with Hermes Airports has had consultations with airlines in an effort to increase flights to Cyprus.
“On the basis of what I have heard in recent days I believe that efforts have been fruitful. Hermes feels that there will be a small increase of available seats for 2020…they will inform us towards the end of September on the exact details.”
“The important thing is that there will be an increase in seats, it is up to us to persuade tour operators to book packages on these seats.”
Perdios said efforts to develop the German market were being “intensified”.
“Final decisions on flights from Germany will be taken in the coming weeks so I think that we will have news on that front as well in September.
“Next month will be crucial and you will be briefed on everything concerning flights in 2020,” he added.
Perdios said he is satisfied with results so far this year on tourist arrivals and that a 10-year national tourism strategy will be presented by the end of 2019.
He said if the level of tourist arrivals this year remains closer to 2018’s record, then it would be deemed satisfactory.
Although July arrivals were the highest ever for that month, overall tourist arrivals for 2019 are expected to be slightly lower than last year.
“The important thing is that we will be at a similar level to last year which is an accomplishment for Cyprus since this year follows two -to-three years when tourist arrivals were at a record high,” said Perdios.
He cautioned that key tourist markets are going through a difficult phase such as Russia, due to the competition from other countries and Britain due to Brexit.
“We are pleased with the data so far,” he said, but warned that all parties involved should be continuously alert and targeting other markets to boost tourism revenue should be constant.
Perdios pointed out that while tourist arrivals are at a satisfactory level, revenue has recorded an annual drop of 5%.