TRAVEL: Cyprus hopes ferry link to Greece will launch next summer

Cypriot Deputy Minister of Shipping, Natasa Pilides told parliament on Tuesday that a passenger ferry between Cyprus and Greece could begin in the summer of 2020 ending two decades without such a link.

The issue was discussed before a parliamentary committee on Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism in the presence of Pilides and Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios.

Pilides said that a feasibility study has been completed and she expects that the state funding needed will be approved, followed by a tender process in order to find the appropriate operator.

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

Pilides also pointed out that the price will be cheaper than flying.

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

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

House speaker Demetris Syllouris briefly chaired the committee and referred to Egypt’s strong interest in expanding the connection to cover Alexandria as well.

Perdios said the ferry link with Greece is important for tourism, believing 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 neighbouring countries.

Regarding tourist arrivals, he said that so far this year there has been a 1% decrease mainly due to Brexit and the loss of air seats from the German market, while revenue from tourism could drop by 5% in 2019.

He said that 2020 is expected to be a difficult year but efforts continue to attract other markets and prepare common tourist packages with other countries.

Perdios will present the Ministry’s 10-year tourism plan in September.

Source: The Financial Mirror