UK to fuel 2023 tourism boom

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Tourism will climb steeply in 2023, believe Cyprus industry stakeholders after receiving encouraging signs from UK travel agents that the island is high on the list for sun-seeking British tourists.

After participating at the London World Travel Market, one of the largest tourist expos in the world, tourism stakeholders returned enthusiastic over next year’s prospects.

In comments to the news site Stockwatch the director general of the Cyprus Hotel Association, Philokypros Rousounides, said: “Our partners in London are talking about a rapid recovery of the tourism product of Cyprus in 2023”.

He said things would be clearer in January when the bulk of reservations for the summer will be flowing from the UK – Cyprus’ largest market.

Indications are that reservations will spike in January, as hoteliers have received a similar number of reservations as they did in the months leading up to 2019, a record year of tourism.

Regarding 2022, Rousounides said that “occupancies in hotels were around 75% and revenues around 80% compared to 2019”.

Chrisemily Psilogeni, the Association of Cyprus Tourist Enterprises general manager, said the island’s strong presence in London paid off.

Psilogeni said that UK tour operators, such as TUI and Jet2, “were particularly optimistic over the island’s prospects of attracting more British tourists in the coming year.

“We expect to have a clearer picture of this in January”.

Thanos Michaelides, CHA chair in Paphos, where hotels are highly dependent on UK tourists, said: “Signals from the UK are encouraging, despite the energy crisis.

“However, we will have to wait and see if this interest will turn into bookings”.

Regarding this year’s tourist season, Michaelides said that Paphos hoteliers saw occupancy rates of up to 80% compared to 2018, while revenues were satisfactory.

He noted that the sector performed as it relies on UK travellers and was not affected by the loss of the Russian market due to the war in Ukraine.

According to the latest figures, for January – September, tourist arrivals were 2,540,554 compared to 1,299,392 in 2021.

Some 3,260,546 arrivals were recorded from January – September 2019.

Pre-coronavirus 2019 was a record year for Cypriot tourism, with a record 3.97 million arrivals spending €2.68 bln.

The UK market was the driving force behind the record year, with British travellers making up over a third of all arrivals.