Tourism stakeholders are hoping to put Limassol on the cruise holiday map as the number of tourists visiting the city on cruise liners has increased at an impressive rate during the year.
According to DP World Limassol, the port operator, 93 cruise ships have made calls at Limassol port in 2019, an increase of 40% compared to 2018, with the number of passengers arriving reaching 125,000.
Last year saw just 57,000 tourists coming through Limassol port, dropping from 74,000 in 2017, according to official data.
Welcoming the increase in cruise ships at Limassol and the number of tourists hopping off the ships to spend time in Cyprus, Transport minister Yiannis Karousos, said this was a result of the collective efforts of all tourism stakeholders.
“It is a fact that a combination of actions taken by the private company operating the port and other stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Tourism, has brought about positive results, increasing passenger traffic at Limassol Port. Things are looking up,” said Karousos told news website Stockwatch.
He said DP World in cooperation with the Deputy Ministry of Tourism and the Municipality of Limassol has made several agreements to link Limassol with Israeli ports and has participated in various maritime tourism conferences building contacts with important travel agents.
The Minister said cruise tourism is primarily dependent on connectivity with other ports in the region and with the wider region’s security.
“We are very excited over the increasing number of cruise ships visiting Limassol,” Lazaros Charalambous, DP World Limassol’s Chief Marketing Officer told Stockwatch.
“In the past two years Limassol has become a popular cruise destination and we are confident that aligning our own promotional efforts with international campaigns carried out by other stakeholders, will enable us to reach more cruise ships making calls at Limassol port, bringing Cyprus closer to becoming a regional cruise hub.”
Charalambous said that stakeholders aim to further increase cruise arrivals in 2020.
“The company estimates that the number of passengers at Limassol port will exceed 175,000, marking a new record for the city.”