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Hotel booking surge for holiday weekend

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Despite no British tourists arriving at their establishments, Cyprus hotels expect to see many more Cypriot guests during the three-day holiday weekend for the Kataklysmos (Flood) Festival.

However, hoteliers are not happy and have asked the government to extend the Ministry of Labour`s subsidy incentive scheme for hotel staff and tourist accommodation which continue to operate.

In statements to the Cyprus News Agency, the chairman of the Cyprus Hotel Association Famagusta branch, Doros Takkas said that bookings for the three-day Kataklysmos festivities are around 60-70%.

Most Cypriot tourists benefit from the plan subsidizing hotel stays, he said, but this ends in June.

The maximum charge per room is €60 with Cypriot tourists paying up to €31 with the subsidy.

“More hotels have opened in June but unfortunately, things are extremely difficult with a large number of them considering whether to close after the Kataklysmos weekend.

“What is important is to see if the Ministry of Labour continues the programme which subsidizes staff.

“If it doesn’t, then a significant number of hotels in the region will close,” said Takkas.

Limassol hoteliers report more or less the same picture as they expect a 70% during the Flood Festival weekend, but bookings drop dramatically after that.

Limassol CHA chair Haris Theoharous said after holiday weekends bookings will not exceed 40%.

“You do understand that we are in a difficult situation.”

Paphos hoteliers report that bookings in the district are around 40% for the weekend, with June not expected to surpass 15%.

According to Paphos Hoteliers’ chair, Thanos Michaelides the UK’s decision not to include Cyprus on the so-called green list, resulted in all June bookings cancelled.

Michaelides also said that the flow from the Israeli market which was expected to draw a satisfactory number of tourists, unfortunately, stopped due to the unrest in the country.

Larnaca hotel association president, Ioanna Florentiadou told CNA that hotels in the town have reached 15-20% capacity for the Kataklysmos weekend, providing a small respite.

However, Larnaca does not expect more domestic tourism as it is not the holiday choice for Cypriots, who prefer to spend their time in either Protaras, Ayia Napa or Paphos.