The Cypriot government and the Cyprus hoteliers said they expect that 2018 will mark another record-braking year in terms of tourist arrivals on the back of two consecutive records in 2016 and 2017.
Addressing the Cyprus Hoteliers association (PASIXE), Minister for Tourism, Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said that 2017 marked a new record of 3.6 million tourist arrivals with revenue from tourism in the first eleven months of last year amounting to 2.6 billion marking an increase of €220 million compared with the whole of 2016.
“And the signs for 2018 point to another good year for the Cypriot tourism,” Lakkotrypis said, adding that this is shown by the increase in the available airline seats to Cyprus, the agreements reached with foreign tour operators as well as information concerning hotel reservations.
But he noted that as Cyprus today is much more than sun and sea, “our aim should be to upgrade our tourist product and to render its growth sustainable.”
The Tourism Minister also said that the government will commence the implementation of the National Strategy for Tourism with an outlook expanding up to 2030.
On his part Haris Loizides, President of PASIXE also referred to the 2017 record-braking year noting that in past times, when massive tourist arrivals was the target, Cyprus could say that the target is achieved.
“Our aim should be the comprehensive quality and we should invest on that, a high-level quality customer service which could contribute to having dedicated customers,” he added.
Loizides noted that the process of modernisation of the tourist product should never stop as “the performance of the last two years call for the prudent and efficient management of increased demand for 2018, which also is expected to show a positive percentage (change).”
He also called for parliamentary approval of the Deputy Ministry for Tourism which would safeguard the implementation of the national strategy for tourism.
On his part Evgenios Evgeniou, CEO of the auditing firm PwC Cyprus said that under the World Travel and Tour Council report in the next ten years tourism will constitute more than a quarter of Cyprus’ GDP, while tourism in Cyprus will support 108,000 jobs in the next decade.
“It is imperative to continue moving forward, to remedy inefficiencies and to exploit the opportunities taking place,” he said.
Evgeniou also called for the creation of the Deputy Ministry for Tourism that would kick-start the implementation of the National Strategy for Tourism which provides for the creation of a five-million tourism market in Cyprus.