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Tourist season boosted by Easter

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Cyprus hotels saw an influx of tourists over the Easter holidays and expect local visitors to continue the trend for a getaway during the Greek Orthodox Easter break.

In comments to the Cyprus News Agency, the Director General of the Cyprus Hotel Association, Philokypros Rousounides, said that occupancy rates over Easter reached 50% to 60%, marking a good start.

Regarding the influx of tourists due to Easter last week, Rousounides said that hoteliers saw the first tourists of the season arriving on the island, staying mainly in coastal hotels.

Tourists came mainly from Great Britain, Poland, Austria, and Scandinavian countries, adding that he expected to see arrivals from Israel pick up at the end of the month.

Rousounides said: “Cypriots are making the most of packages offered by hotels for the (Orthodox) Easter holidays, as hotels in Paphos, Limassol and Famagusta have seen bookings take off.

“I believe that hotels currently open will see their occupancy rates reach 60%”.

Asked about the prices offered, Rousounides said they were “reasonable and affordable”.

“The majority of entrepreneurs in the industry have decided to absorb the increased operational costs for the moment and not to roll them down to customers to remain competitive with other destinations,” said Rousounides.

“Unfortunately, the increased costs come at a time when businesses have yet to recover from a disastrous two years due to the COVID pandemic and restrictions.

“At least, despite the challenges, this year is expected to be better than last year, allowing businesses to breathe”.

Meanwhile, Cyprus airports recorded record passenger traffic for March.

According to Cyprus airports operator Hermes Airports, Larnaca and Paphos airports had 5.8% more passengers in March than in the record year of 2019.

A total of 597,000 passengers went through the airports last month.

The best-performing March on record follows a record number of passengers recorded in February.

In 2022, tourist arrivals hit 3.2 mln, despite Cyprus losing 800,000 Russian and Ukrainian tourists due to the war.

Visitor arrivals spiked 65% in 2022 after COVID-19 travel rules were dropped.

Last year tourist arrivals totalled 3,201,080 from 1,936,931 in 2021, 631,609 in 2020 and 3,976,777 in pre-COVID 2019.