Hotels across the island are opening their doors this week, offering discounts to Cypriots, following the easing of lockdown that banned hotel stays for residents.
Aided by a state incentive scheme, hoteliers will hope to lure in Cypriots holidaymakers while foreign tourists are scarce on the ground.
The Deputy Ministry of Tourism has extended till the end of June a discount scheme for local tourists, offering hotel stays at a maximum of €60 per night, with the state subsidising 35% of the cost, the guest pays €39.
The Cyprus Hotel Association has welcomed the initiative, noting interest from Cypriots to take advantage of domestic tourism packages.
In comments to the Financial Mirror, Cyprus Hotel Association head Filokypros Rousounides said Cypriots are making enquiries about whether hotels will open this month.
He said building momentum with Cypriot tourists would need “a show of goodwill from everyone”.
Rousounides referred to Cypriots’ obligation to carry a “safe pass” to book a stay at a hotel or dine at local restaurants.
Following the lifting of the lockdown, authorities require Cypriots to carry proof of a negative coronavirus test, proof of being vaccinated with at least one dose a minimum no earlier than three weeks or proof of contracting the virus within the past six months.
The island hoped to be on the UK’s green list that would signal mass arrivals from its biggest tourist source.
Cyprus is hoping to be placed on the list in June, which would mean Britons will not have to self-isolate on their return home.
Rousounides believes the high number of rapid tests is to blame for Cyprus being left out.
“If this excessive number of rapid tests were limited, Cyprus would be in the green category from Britain, which is our main market, meaning that Larnaca airport would have 30 flights a day from Britain alone.
“Because we can freely accept those tourists who have been vaccinated, but they will have a problem when they return to their country.”
Cyprus is currently in the UK’s amber category, a notch below green.
“Our hopes for a decent season lie with improving our epidemiological data and being placed on a green list, especially the UK, which is our largest market.
“We are still in the game, though, as the majority of rival destinations are also in the amber or the red like Turkey,” said Rousounides
He expects to see tourists from the UK in early July.
CHA’s Paphos chairman Thanos Michaelides said 34 hotels out of 103 would open by the end of May, offering 12,500 beds from 28,378.
Michaelides welcomed the government initiative, noting it will allow the hotels to come online gradually.
In Famagusta, hotels are ready to welcome local tourists, with 35 opening their doors this month.
CHA Famagusta chair, Doros Takas said by mid-June 80% of hotels in Ayia Napa and Protaras will open.
“The incentive scheme is a great opportunity to get ready for the high summer season, enticing local tourists with extremely attractive prices,” said Takas.
Five-star hotels in the scheme:
- ADAMS BEACH HOTEL – Ayia Napa- €60/ Pay €39
- CONSTANTINOS THE GREAT BEACH Hotel Protaras – €60/ Pay €39
- GOLDEN BAY BEACH HOTEL – Pyla – – €60/ Pay €39
- KING EVELTHON BEACH HOTEL & Resort – Chloraka (Paphos) – €60/ Pay €39
- AMETHYST NAPA HOTEL & SPA – Ayia Napa- €60 / Pay €39
- ANASTASIA BEACH HOTEL – Protaras – €60/ Pay €39
- Anmaria Beach Hotel– Ayia Napa- €60 / Pay €39
- ASTERIAS BEACH HOTEL– Ayia Napa- €60 / Pay €39
- DOME BEACH HOTEL – Ayia Napa- €60 / Pay €39
- golden coast beach hotel – Protaras – €60 / Pay €39
- MELPO-ANTIA LUXURY APARTMENTS & SUITES – Ayia Napa- €60 / Pay €39
- VASSOS NISSI PLAGE HOTEL – Ayia Napa- €60 / Pay €39
- VRISSIANA BEACH HOTEL – Protaras – €60 / Pay €39
- AUNT MARIA’S – Pano Lefkara- €58 / Pay €38
- SUN HALL HOTEL – Larnaca – €60/ Pay €39
- THE LIBRARY HOTEL & WELLNESS RETREAT, Kalavasos, Limassol–€60 /Pay €39
- AKTI BEACH HOTEL & VILLAGE RESORT – Chloraka (Paphos) – €48 / Pay €32
- ALIATHON RESORT – Yeroskipou – €60.00/ Pay €39
- AMARAKOS GUEST HOUSE – Kato Akourdalia (Paphos) – €60/ Pay €39
- AMPHORA HOTEL & SUITES – Paphos – €60/ Pay €39
- AQUAMARE HOTEL – Paphos – €60/ Pay €39
- AVLIDA HOTEL – Paphos – €60/ Pay €39
- CAPITAL COAST RESORT & SPA HOTEL – Paphos €60/ Pay €39
- LOUIS PHAETHON BEACH HOTEL – Yeroskipou – €60/ Pay €39
- MAYFAIR HOTEL – Paphos – €59 / Pay €38
- GEORGE HOTEL SPA & BEACH RESORT – Chloraka (Paphos) – €60/ Pay €39
- THEO SUNSET BAY HOTEL – Kissonerga, Paphos – €60/ Pay €39
- FOREST PARK HOTEL – Platres – €60/ Pay €39
- POSEIDONIA BEACH HOTEL – Limassol – €60/ Pay €39
- CLEOPATRA HOTEL – Nicosia – €60/ Pay €39