Optimism for new tourist season

Optimism for new tourist season

Travel Expo Cyprus 2024, organised by the Association of Cyprus Travel and Tourism Agents (ACTA), kicked off during the weekend, April 19 to 21, with a wave of optimism for the new tourist season.

The exhibition, attended by 45 exhibitors, was inaugurated at the state fair grounds in Nicosia.

The event saw the joint inauguration by the Deputy Minister of Tourism Kostas Koumis and the Ambassador of Greece to Cyprus Ioannis Papameletiou, alongside welcoming remarks from the President of ACTA, Charis Papacharalambous.

During his opening speech, Koumis highlighted the significance of “Travel Expo Cyprus 2024” as a fundamental event not only for the general public, who are keen on exploring new destinations but also for the broader tourism industry.

He pointed out that it serves as an exceptional platform for tourism businesses, organisations, and local government bodies to promote their offerings.

Addressing the current challenges in the tourism sector, Koumis noted that the international tourism landscape is currently navigating through significant upheavals due to geopolitical tensions, particularly in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the unique economic conditions dominant in major European economies.

“This year is perhaps the first time in years, except for the course of the pandemic period, that external factors are not working beneficially for our country’s tourism, they are rather inhibiting,” Koumis said.

“But I am personally optimistic that we will manage to achieve our goal, which is a performance similar to last year’s, a year that will go down in history for achieving record revenues,” he added.

Emphasising the potential for success despite these adversities, he said that “the results so far, for the first quarter, show that this target is achievable, as there is an increase in arrivals of 5.4 per cent, compared to the previous year, provided of course that there are no additional tensions in the wider Eastern Mediterranean region”.

The Ambassador of Greece, Papameletiou, spoke highly of the robust bilateral tourism relations between Greece and Cyprus.

He cited statistics from the Bank of Greece, which recorded 570,000 visits by Cypriots to Greece in 2023, and data from the Cyprus Statistical Authority which showed that Greek visits to Cyprus amounted to 188,000 in the same year.

He attributed the positive outcomes to enhanced air connectivity and direct flights to Greek islands during the summer season, highlighting that travel flows between the two nations are expected to continue growing.

Papacharalambous pointed out the significant enhancements to this year’s Travel Expo Cyprus. “The changes we have promoted aim to transform the exhibition into a regional hub for travel and tourism, to turn Cyprus into a tourist travel hub,” he stated.

Moreover, he expressed strong optimism for the current year, reflecting on the industry’s recovery after the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic and the impacts of the war in Ukraine.

Further emphasising the recovery, he mentioned that passenger traffic from both airports in Cyprus during the first three months of 2024 exceeded 1.5 million passengers, marking a record for similar periods in previous years and a 20 per cent increase compared to 2019.

Additionally, citing data from Hermes Airports, a significant increase was observed in the first quarter of 2024 in tourist arrivals in Cyprus, which reached a record high of 415,000 arrivals, achieving an increase of 5.4 per cent compared to 2023 and 16.2 per cent compared to 2019.

The British market remains the leading market for Cyprus, with 27 per cent of all tourists, while arrivals from Poland, France, and Germany also show significant growth.

As for outbound tourism, which mainly moves to Greece and then to European countries, he highlighted an increase, confirming the public’s strong interest in travelling abroad.

As an indication, he mentioned that the main countries from which Cypriots returned in March 2024 were Greece with 32.8 per cent or 42,046 travellers, the United Kingdom with 12.8 per cent or 16,366 travellers, and Italy with 5.4 per cent or 6,916 travellers.

Finally, Papacharalambous repeated ACTA’s commitment to continuing its collaboration with the government, airlines, and hotel and tourism businesses to further boost tourism in Cyprus. (cyprus mail)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *