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HOTEL, TOURISM & LEISURE

Lakkotrypis: Positive Trend in Tourism to Continue in 2017

Lakkotrypis: Positive Trend in Tourism to Continue in 2017

The Ministry of Tourism estimates that the positive trend in tourist arrivals and revenue from tourism will continue in 2017, Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis has said, noting that the new national strategy of Cyprus for tourism is about to be concluded, aiming primarily at a modern tourist product.

Addressing the 39th annual conference of the Hoteliers' Association, Lakkotrypis said that 2016 was a landmark year for Cyprus tourism, with 3.2 million tourists and revenue which rose by 12%, exceeding €2.3 billion, the Cyprus News Agency reports.

As a consequence, the Minister said, the tourist season was significantly extended and in turn, hotels operated for a longer period during the year. During the winter months of 2016, that is between January and March, November and December, 464 thousand tourists visited Cyprus, an increase of 23% compared to 2015 and 54% compared to 2014. The improvement of seasonality is also reflected in the share of winter months in the total annual arrivals, which rose from 12% in 2014 to 15% in 2016.

“I must say that at the Ministry of Tourism we estimate that the positive trend in tourist arrivals and tourism revenue will continue in 2017. This conclusion derives, inter alia, both from the reservations and the flights scheduled to Cyprus, by existing and new airlines, and the contacts conducted by CTO with tour operators” the Minister said.

He warned though that there is always a risk for Cyprus to be negatively affected in case of a severe geopolitical instability in its region and noted that to achieve the desired results, everyone must continue the effort to enhance the competitiveness and sustainable development of the tourist product.

The Minister said the new national strategy for tourism, aiming primarily at a modern tourist product, is about to be concluded.

“Based on estimates of the firm in charge of the preparation of the strategy, Cyprus has the potential to substantially increase the contribution of tourism to the economy, an increase which may relate to the income of the businesses of the sector and to the government revenue, the country`s GDP and job positions” he noted.

Lakkotrypis also referred to the government`s plans to set up an under-secretariat for tourism.

“The general measures implemented by the Government to improve tourist influx to our country include the simplification of the procedure to obtain a visa, increased air connectivity and the promotion of major infrastructure projects”, he noted, adding that the operation of the first casino resort in Cyprus and the building of marinas in Agia Napa, Paralimni and Paphos are also part of these measures.

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