Cyprus faces a “very difficult year”, Deputy Minister for Tourism says

Cyprus will focus on limiting the damage on tourism from the coronavirus outbreak, Deputy Minister for Tourism Savvas Perdios has said, adding that Cyprus faces a “very difficult year.”

Perdios briefed yesterday the Council of Ministers on the impact of the coronavirus on Cyprus’ tourism, a vital driver of the island’s economy. Cyprus has already reported two coronavirus cases.

Noting that the excellent rate of tourist reservations observed in February was followed by a freeze for March and April, Perdios said that “a battle will be made” to win Cyprus’ share in tourism.

“Our effort for this year is to limit the damage. This is a very difficult moment for tourism not just for Cyprus but globally,” Perdios said, recalling that World Tourism Organisation has downgraded its estimates on global tourism to a contraction of 3% compared with the previous estimate for a 4% growth.

“Surely this is something that will affect Cyprus as well,” he said, noting that is very difficult to make any projections at the moment.

Perdios added that short-term measures will focus on April and May while medium term measures will focus on the summer season.

“But it is important for all of us to know that we have a very difficult year ahead of us. I don’t think we can speak of last year’s levels,” he said, adding that the Deputy Ministry and other stake holders will give their utmost to mitigate the damage.

He also said that measures to contain the spread of coronavirus are not helpful such as Israel’s decision to impose self-isolation to all inbound tourism or Israelis returning home. “Essentially this means that no Israeli would want to leave the country. Therefore, everything is constantly changing,” he went on to say.

“As the Cyprus tourist season lasts for eight months, from the moment March, April and May are affected the remaining five months are not enough to recover the last ground,” Perdios noted, pointing out that “real battles will” be made in the summer time to win Cyprus’ market share.

“It is not certain that we will win our share because a price war will take place,” he concluded.

Source: Cyprus News Agency