Hotels full ahead of holiday weekend

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Cyprus hoteliers report their establishments are at 80% capacity over the upcoming long holiday weekend as Cypriots prepare for an early summer getaway.

With the summer season officially beginning on Thursday, hotels at beach and mountain resorts are almost full during the first weekend of June.

In comments to news site Stockwatch, the director general of the Cyprus Hotel Association, Philokypros Roussounides said coastal resorts in Famagusta and Paphos are the most popular for the Whit Monday holiday.

Cypriots traditionally head for the cooler mountain resorts during the warm weather.

Despite an encouraging start to the summer and record of tourist arrivals in the first four months, Roussounides said stakeholders should hold their horses before jumping to the conclusion that 2023 will be a record year.

“The outlook for the summer season is positive, and hotel occupancy rates will certainly exceed last year’s.

“Nevertheless, I will point out once again that we are restrained in our forecasts because, for the time being, based on the reservations to date, we haven’t surpassed 2019,” said Roussounides.

Regarding the markets that Cyprus is expected to attract tourists from this year, he said these are the UK, Poland, Israel, Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, and Scandinavia.

The head of the Association of Cyprus Tourist Enterprises, Chrisemily Psilogeni, said: “We are moderately optimistic, as bookings are still limited”.

“Hotels in Limassol and Famagusta, which were highly dependent on the Russian market, saw their occupancy rates in May at very low levels despite the fact that statistics record an 11% increase in arrivals in the first quarter of 2023 compared to 2019″.

Commenting on traffic over the long holiday weekend, she noted that Cypriots traditionally prefer resorts in Paphos and Famagusta rather than Limassol and Larnaca.

Meanwhile, the head of the CHA mountain resorts, Andreas Mandalas, commenting on bookings so far, said they are at satisfactory levels, mainly in the big hotels.

According to Mandalas, more than 99% of visitors at mountain resorts are from the domestic market; foreign tourists prefer beach resorts.

According to Cystat, during the first four months of 2023, 735,000 arrivals were recorded, approximately 200,000 more than in 2022 and around 50,000 more compared to 2019.

Income from tourism jumped 50.7% to €102.2 mln in January and February, easily surpassing the €67.8 mln revenue in the first two months of last year.

Compared with January-February 2019, revenue from tourism marked an increase of 11%.

In 2019, some 3.97 million tourists headed to the island for a holiday.