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2023 touted a record year for tourism

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Tourist arrivals in 2023 could exceed those of record-breaking 2019 through concerted efforts by the government and the airports’ operator, Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said.

Addressing the 44th Cyprus Hotel Summit and Exhibition, Karousos said smashing the four million tourist barrier was possible.

The record of 3.97 million arrivals was set in pre-COVID 2019 when there were fewer flights to Cyprus.

On a new incentives scheme to boost Cyprus’ connectivity, Karousos said the goal is to have passenger traffic of 13.7 million by 2027.

He explained that the scheme has two aims: to retain existing destinations, add new ones, and reduce ground services costs.

“We are proud to have achieved the goal of creating the appropriate climate.

“Cyprus is a country in which an airline can invest.”

He heralded recent Ryanair and Wizz Air announcements to expand routes and their Cyprus hubs.

Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios said that in a few years, arrivals in Cyprus from the EU will reach 50% of total arrivals following the increased air connectivity.

Referring to steps taken to overcome consecutive crises in recent years, Perdios said the focus is on supporting hotel employees, increasing the quality of the tourist product, and marketing a new brand for Cyprus.

Greek Deputy Tourism Minister Sofia Zacharaki said Greece upgraded its brand name and managed to have the same income from tourism as in 2019.

“Right now, the country is focused on sustainability to overcome the challenges brought about by the energy crisis.”