At the height of the holiday season, Paphos hotels will only be about 20% full during August due to the pandemic, according to the local hotel association.
Paphos Hotel Association president, Thanos Michaelides said average occupancy rates of Paphos hotels will be around 20% in August despite an increase in visitors during the long holiday weekend.
He told CNA occupancy has risen compared to July as more Cypriots took a domestic holiday, but this was not enough to fill the void created by coronavirus travel restrictions.
The island relies heavily on British, Russian, Israeli and Swedish tourists during the peak season but only visitors from the UK are allowed entry if they have a negative COVID-19 test.
Michaelides said hotels in Polis Chrysochous recorded higher occupancy rates than other tourist areas in the district like Yeroskipou and central Paphos.
However, Polis Chrysochous has fewer hotel beds available so it is much easier to record higher occupancy.
Hotels are banking on more British tourists booking a Paphos holiday later in August and September after Jet2 resumed flights to Cyprus this week.
So far, there is no evidence of a sudden surge in bookings from the UK, said Michaelides
He said what to expect from the island’s biggest market will become clearer at the end of next week.
Hotels did benefit from the August 15 holiday weekend when occupancy reached an average 50% but much lower than the near full capacity usually experienced.
The feedback from Cypriots has been positive with many saying they will return to Paphos for another hotel stay.
“They have discovered the district of Paphos and what it has to offer, this will help Paphos hotels to develop a better dynamic for local tourism,” said Michaelides.