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Natasa Pilides: hopes Cyprus-Greece ferry link to start next summer

Natasa Pilides: hopes Cyprus-Greece ferry link to start next summer

Deputy Minister of Shipping, Natasa Pilides, told a House Committee on Tuesday, July 9 that she hopes that the ferry connection between Cyprus and Greece will begin next summer, the Cyprus News Agency reports. 

The issue was discussed before the Parliament`s Committee on Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism in the presence of Pilides and Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios.

Pilides said that the feasibility study is concluded and she expects that the state funding needed will be approved, followed by  the tender process in order to find the appropriate entrepreneur.

The state will subsidize the connection but not its commercial part, she clarified.

She also pointed out that the fare will be cheaper than taking an airplane.

The frequency of the route will be once a week from May to September and in the winter months once every fortnight. The trip will last for 30 hours.

The most likely port to serve the route in Cyprus will be that of Limassol. The Greek port is Piraeus.

President of the House of Representatives Demetris Syllouris briefly chaired the Committee and referred inter alia to Egypt`s strong interest in expanding the connection, covering Alexandria as well.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister of Tourism said that the ferry link with Greece is important for tourism and noted that there is room for more countries of the region to be involved.  If those efforts bear fruit, the Deputy Ministry will contribute with common tourist packages with the neighboring countries.

Regarding tourist arrivals, he said that this year there is until now a decrease of almost 1% mainly due to Brexit and the loss of air seats from the German market, while revenue from tourism could drop by 5% this year. He said that 2020 is expected to be a difficult year as well and said that efforts continue to attract other markets and prepare common tourist packages with other countries.

Perdios informed the Committee on the Deputy Ministry`s 10 year plan, which he will present in more detail in September.

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