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British tourists give Paphos hotels best month

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A recent influx of arrivals of British tourists has breathed new life into coronavirus stricken Paphos tourism, as hoteliers say October will be the best month for the past two years.

Paphos hotels say the late arrival of British tourists has boosted morale, as occupancy rates are expected to reach their highest in 2021.

In statements to the Cyprus News Agency, Paphos, chair for the Cyprus Hotel Association, Thanos Michaelides, said: “Occupancy rates of the district’s hotels will average around 75% in October, making the month the best on record for the 2020 and 2021 seasons”.

“The British market has clearly made the difference now in October.”

However, the district’s hoteliers are uncertain of what to make of the upturn, as there is no visibility for the months to come and the following year, as the coronavirus pandemic has proven to be unpredictable.

Michaelides said: “The association does not have any information from stakeholders for November onwards, which would allow us to form expectations for the winter season”.

He added that due to the pandemic, people tend to make last-minute bookings, fearing possible outbreaks.

“We are particularly concerned over how the pandemic will develop in the coming months in the UK, which is our main tourist market.”

Michaelides said the uncertainty prohibits hotels from making long term plans.

He added that just a small number of Paphos hotels would remain open over the winter, without, however, being in a position to provide an exact number.

Hoteliers are also restricted by a staff shortage, making it difficult for enterprises to cater to higher occupancy rates while increasing uncertainty for 2022.

“Cyprus’ tourist product will suffer the consequences if there are not enough employees during the next summer to respond to the customer needs.”

The labour shortage has come about as people formerly employed in hospitality have found work in other fields during lockdown periods or do not wish to return.