Cypriots are thirsty for holidays after more than two years of COVID lockdowns and travel restrictions, with outbound traffic at the airports close to that of 2019.
According to data released by the Statistical Services, 134,198 Cyprus residents travelled abroad in July, compared to 62,961 in July 2021, marking a spike of 113.1%.
In relation to 2019, when the trips of Cypriot residents in July peaked at 166,175, there was a 19.24% dip.
In other words, trips made by Cypriots in July this year amounted to 80.76% of those in 2019.
In the first seven months of the year, the trips of Cyprus residents abroad were 621,766 compared to 896,606 in 2019, registering a 30% gap.
In comments to Phileleftheros daily, Charis Papacharalambous, spokesperson of the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents, said that Cypriots continued travelling in August.
He noted that travel agents expected to see Cypriots squeeze in more trips before the end of the summer season and before their children return to school.
Papacharalambous said travel agents were pleased with the performance of outbound tourism in July and August, especially after 2022 got off to a bad start.
He noted that holiday traffic took off after May, as COVID restrictions and testing requirements were still in place during the year’s first five months.
Asked if the increase in the cost of living has impacted the price of airfares, he said that increases are not significant enough to put travellers off from their holiday plans.
On average, the prices of tickets for the same period and the same destination do not differ greatly from 2019.
He estimated demand would continue despite the increase in inflation as travel and leisure are deemed necessary for many people.
Travel agents say there is no clarity on how 2023 will perform in terms of inbound and outbound tourism as the cost of living continues to rise.