TRAVEL GAZETTE – THE total number of Russian reservations this summer to Cyprus is up by 60 percent, while bookings from Brits are also showing a 15 percent increase, according to the Cyprus Tourism Organisation.
Last year over one million tourists from Britain visited Cyprus – which remains the top market – while 524,823 arrivals from Russia ranked that country second.
The optimistic outlook for Russia matches a forecast given by the Minister of Tourism George Lakkotrypis, who recently said reservations from Russia are up by 50 percent compared with last year.
Tourist arrivals from Russia declined by 27.6 percent in 2015 due to their domestic the economic crisis, augmented by the sanctions imposed on Russia by the European Union.
In addition, Lakkotrypis recently said that Cyprus must overcome the obstacle of seasonality, noting that “a large part of the reduction in unemployment seen in recent months was due to the performance of the tourism industry”.
In general the outlook for Cyprus is good for 2016 – tourist arrivals to the island recorded an annual increase of 12 percent in April this year.
On the basis of the results of the Passengers Survey, arrivals of tourists reached 225,575 in April, compared to 201,495 in April 2015, recording an increase of 12 percent.
Separately, a study is underway to prepare a new long-term national strategy for tourism to enhance the Cypriot tourist product.
Addressing the General Assembly of the Association of Cyprus Tourist Enterprises (ACTE) last month, the President of Cyprus said that the government was working to upgrade the quality of the Cypriot tourist product and promote its comparative advantages.
He said revenue connected to tourism increased by 4.4 percent, from two billion euro in 2014 to 2.11 billion in 2015.
The Cyprus Tourism Organization said in January that it aims to increase arrivals to 2.9 million this year.