President of PASYXE Famagusta: "High tourism performance in August"
Panagiotis Constantinou: "We will be at a better level than in 2022, but we will not be at those of 2019"
Panagiotis Constantinou, President of the Pangyprian Association of Hoteliers (PASYXE) of Famagusta, characterized the general picture of the occupancy of hotels and other tourist accommodations for August in the free province of Famagusta as very good.
As Mr. Constantinou told KYPE, "in August, which is also the highest occupancy period, the free province is doing quite well, since it ranges from 85% to 95%." However, there are also some small hotel units that still have problems since they were almost completely dependent on the Russian market." He added that "the general picture is very good now in August.
Asked whether this year's occupancy approaches that of 2019, which is considered a very good season, the President of PASYXE Famagusta said that "even though this year the issue of last-minute reservations has become more apparent, we cannot have a clear picture. However, from the data we have in front of us so far, we will certainly be at a better level than in 2022, but we will not be at the level of 2019."
He also noted that "in the free province of Famagusta the tourism industry has been affected by the loss of the Russian and Ukrainian markets due to the war. About 60% – 65% of the approximately 900 thousand tourists from these two countries stayed in the free province and it is more difficult to fill this gap.
To another question, Mr. Konstantinou answered that "the biggest market in terms of numbers for our region is the UK, followed by Israel, the Scandinavian countries and Central European countries, that is, Germany, Switzerland, France, Austria as well as other markets from which bookings have increased".
One of those markets, he continued, “is Poland which has made up quite a bit of the loss of the Russian and Ukrainian market. Among the positives of the province of Famagusta is the fact that there are repeat tourists who come every year and stay in Ayia Napa and Protaras."
Asked about the issue of the lack of staff in hotels, restaurants and other tourist accommodations in the area, Mr. Konstantinou replied that "this particular issue is huge and is a big problem for the tourism industry. There are changes due to this problem, the quality of the services offered by the various businesses in the tourism sector has also been affected, since we cannot train overnight staff who meet today's needs."
The issue of the lack of staff, he concluded, "does not only concern Cyprus but the whole world, while it is much more pronounced for the tourism industry".
Another problem that exists, he noted, "is that of seasonality, something that all agencies are trying to solve, trying to extend the tourist season both towards Winter and before Spring. With the cooperation of the Deputy Ministry of Tourism, the All Cyprus Association of Hoteliers and the Famagusta Tourism Development and Promotion Company, efforts are being made to achieve the goal of attracting tourists in the winter months as well."
But this concluded "it will take some time and I don't think we will have particularly high numbers of tourists next winter. However, a lot of efforts are being made and I am optimistic that November and March will slowly enter the tourist season."