More Cypriots than ever are gearing up for festive celebrations abroad, as travelling, at least to the EU and the UK, is no longer a luxury, according to the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (ACTA).
With Christmas holidays out of the way and New Year breaks remaining, Cyprus residents are expected to surpass the pre-Covid numbers with about 1.7 mln packages abroad this year.
Speaking to the Financial Mirror, ACTA’s head Charis Papacharalambous, spilled the beans on Cypriots’ top picks for this holiday season.
Papacharalambous shared the exciting news that the wanderlust among Cypriots is on the rise.
He anticipates a slightly higher number of jet-setters compared to the pre-pandemic glory days of 2019 when outbound travel from Cyprus was at its peak.
“According to available data, in 2019 Cypriots carried out some 1.57 million trips. We have already surpassed that, as according to Cystat data, some 1.54 million trips were recorded by the end of October this year. We expect the final number to be close to 1.7 million by the end of the year,” said Papacharalambous.
While exact figures are still up in the air due to some people making last-minute travel decisions, Papacharalambous said that official statistics would be ready a few weeks after the festivities wind down.
So, what are the hotspots capturing the hearts of Cypriots?
Greece and U.K.
“As expected, Greece takes the crown as the ultimate favourite, followed closely by the United Kingdom. This year other ‘enchanting’ destinations are also making the cut, including Austria, France, Italy, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, and Germany,” said ACTA’s president.
As the final week of Christmas unfolded, he predicted a decline in the workload as most reservations had been processed. Those procrastinating on bookings might face a challenge in snagging available seats or rooms, and if they do, the price tag could be a bit steep.
For those curious about the duration of these international escapades, Papacharalambous explained that, “Cypriots are packing in the fun for an average of 4 to 5 nights”.
Worried about breaking the bank during this merry season? Fret not!
According to the ACTA president, travelling this season is not only for the rich.
“Thanks to an increase in connectivity and newly added destinations, holiday travel is generally within reach for the majority, making it a feasible and joyous experience,” said Papacharalambous, also noting a shift in Cypriots’ mindset.
“Better connectivity, especially in the winter season, has opened up a myriad of options for eager travelers,” he added.
While European capitals remain a popular choice, Papacharalambous hinted at an emerging interest in more distant destinations, particularly to the Far East, although in smaller numbers.
He explained that preferences often hinge on the availability of direct flights, especially for those planning a whirlwind week-long adventure.