Hotels boosted by Easter arrivals

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An influx of tourists during the non-Orthodox Easter weekend has hoteliers optimistic about the summer prospects after writing off almost one million tourists due to the war in Ukraine.

In comments to the Financial Mirror, the Director-General of the Cyprus Hotel Association, Philokypros Roussounides, said hotels were pleased to report that Paphos and Limassol saw a large share of tourists.

“In Paphos, where the majority of hotels are now open, we saw the overall capacity reach 50% over the Easter weekend, with Limassol not too far off.

“Mountain resorts also saw a fair share of tourists,” said Roussounides.

He said most tourists choosing Cyprus hotels were from the UK and Israel – major markets kept away during the pandemic.

Overall capacity in Paphos and Limassol is expected to reach 40%.

“Unfortunately, capacities at Famagusta and Larnaca hotels are expected to be lower.

“Mountain resorts will see locals looking for short getaways over the holidays.”

While hoteliers expect a drop in arrivals following the Easter holidays, they see things picking up in the first weeks of May, when the summer season will kick-off.

“Based on the influx of reservations and the messages from our partners abroad, we expect this season will be better than last year.

“This was our goal, following the outbreak of the war in Ukraine and the loss of close to one million tourists expected from Russia and Ukraine,” said Roussounides.

He attributed his optimism to the increased air connections following the Deputy Ministry of Tourism’s efforts.

He said that hoteliers expected to see increased flows from emerging markets that Cyprus would receive an increased number of flights from the previous year, such as France, Germany, Poland, and the Nordic countries.

“In no case, however, is it expected that we will reach the levels of 2019, but we have reasons to be optimistic that we will have a better year than 2021.”

Last year, tourist arrivals were 51% lower than the record 3.9 mln holidaymakers in 2019.