STEK's satisfaction with the number of visitors, raises alarm bells for noise pollution

"There are reduced arrivals compared to 2019 but at the same time there are also increased costs"


Satisfaction, under the existing conditions, with the fact that in June the number of visitors reached 75% of the visitors of 2019, expresses the President of the Association of Tourism Enterprises of Cyprus (STEK) Akis Vavlitis, while stating that the equation must also include high energy costs and the increased costs of raw materials.

At the same time, the President of STEK sounds the alarm about the noise pollution that is observed and which negatively affects tourism and states that "they have already started writing negative comments about Cyprus on the various platforms".

Specifically, in statements to the KYPE, Mr. Vavlitis said that up to June, for which we have data from the Statistical Service, we are at 75% of the visitors that were in 2019, and he expressed the assessment that also July, for which there are still no data, "it will fluctuate at the level of 75% compared to 2019, maybe even a little better".

Under the current conditions, we are satisfied with these levels because, as he explained, Cyprus depends around 20% on arrivals from Russia and Ukraine.

He mentioned that from these two countries we had around 900.000 arrivals which we lost due to the war in Ukraine, while he noted that even "very small numbers of tourists (5.000-6.000) from Russia are observed through other channels".

The President of STEK said that in the equation we must also put the rest of the data for the tourism industry, such as the high energy costs and the increased costs that hoteliers have in relation to raw materials.

"There are reduced arrivals compared to 2019 but at the same time there are also increased costs," he noted.

Regarding the arrivals for the coming September and October, Mr. Vavlitis said that there is a mobility for these two months, adding, however, that "we observe daily how market trends are formed which depend on various factors".

These factors, according to Mr. Vavlitis, are the cancellations of flights from various countries such as the English market and the energy crisis affecting the whole of Europe.

"We will wait to see how September and October will move even though today's data shows a satisfactory movement", he said and added that "there are bookings for September and October that show a satisfactory occupancy compared to 2019 and under the conditions where we live today".

Regarding estimates for arrivals in 2023, Mr. Vavlitis said that these will depend on many factors, such as how the war in Ukraine will develop, the energy crisis in Europe and the state of the economies of the countries of origin for tourism of Cyprus.

He said that "the contracts have already been made by the hoteliers for 2023 but it is too early for anyone to make any assessment".

Regarding the subsidy plans, Mr. Vavlitis said that "these plans are a help to our fellow citizens to take vacations, but also to the tourism industry in general", adding that "if there are no arrivals from October onwards tourists from abroad, it will be impossible to keep a hotel open only for the Cypriots of the plan".

Noise pollution

The President of STEK referred to the noise pollution observed and added that "it is a fact that should concern us all".

"So many efforts are being made by everyone to attract tourism to Cyprus, and there are some - smart ones - who are destroying what is built with great effort and effort by all tourism operators", he emphasized.

Mr. Vavlitis expressed the need to "definitely find a solution" to this issue because it negatively affects Cyprus and added that "they have already started writing negative comments on the various platforms".

Stating that "the weakest link in the tourism chain is the hotel industry", the President of STEK said that the hotelier makes the contracts with the travel operators to bring tourists to Cyprus and "the rest take advantage of these efforts made by the hoteliers ».

"Instead of everyone having a goal to improve our product, some make efforts to improve and some, on the other hand, screw it up," he added.

Source: KYPE