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‘Optimistic signals’ for 2024 tourism

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Tourism Minister Costas Koumis said the signals he has received for the sector in 2024 are “optimistic”, with strategic partners intending to increase capacity and already talking about expanding into the winter.

Speaking at the World Travel Market in London, the Deputy Minister underlined Cyprus’ “dynamic presence” at one of the top two events for tourism professionals.

Cyprus is represented by dozens of tourism enterprises and local authority stands, attracting big crowds at the event.

Koumis has arranged 35 appointments on mass and thematic tourism during his visit to London.

He said that promising signals for 2024 come after an “undoubtedly very good year”, which is still underway since visitors are still travelling to seaside resorts “with good occupancy rates”.

Arrivals in 2023 are 24% up on 2022, and there has been “a significant increase” in tourism revenue.

One of the big bets for Cypriot tourism is expanding the tourist period “so that Cyprus can gradually become an all-year-round destination.”

On concerns cited in the British and European media about the impact of climate change on traditional tourist trends, Koumis said: “Climate conditions have already changed; this is not a discussion about the future, but about now, and as a consequence, new trends are emerging.”

He has organised seminars to instil in all stakeholders in the country’s tourism industry the importance of sustainability initiatives and environment protection sensitivity.

The government added Koumis, has announced incentives for hotels and other tourism establishments to assist them in the green transition.

“It is very important for all of us to realise that trends are changing and that climate change is a real threat,” Koumis told CNA.

The minister said the conflict in the Middle East has so far not affected the tourism industry of other countries in the region and hoped “these very unpleasant events” would soon end.

As far as Cyprus is concerned, he said that part of his mission at the WTM is to convey the message the country is “a most safe destination”.