The Association of Hoteliers of Cyprus (PASYXE) 10 May officially rejected the negative forecasts of the Mayor of Ayia Napa Yannis Karusos. According to the head of the city, who also holds the post of chairman of the local travel company, the resorts of Famagusta "will face loss of 50% of tourists from Russia."
According to the Mayor of Ayia Napa, the reason is that neighboring competitor countries, Turkey and Egypt, re-opened their market for a tourist flow from Russia after several years of instability. Also, the assessment of the mayor is based on the ruble exchange rate against the euro, which fell by 15-20%. "Ayia Napa will make efforts to compensate for any losses, attracting more tourists from Europe," Carusos concluded.
The association of hoteliers in Cyprus is confident that there is no reason for the pessimism of the mayor of Ayia Napa: the season began in mid-March, and by the end of April had shown record results. Zacharias Ioannidis, head of PASYXE in an interview with Cyprus Mail, stressed that "the mayor's forecasts are not only not realistic, they can not be nearly probable." The expected drop in 50% is statistically impossible. The chairman of the association stressed that there are no data that can confirm such figures in the conduct of the hoteliers. "Perhaps, the mayor made his conclusions on the basis of booking specific hotels in Famagusta, but this is not enough to draw conclusions even for the area," said the head of PASYXE.
Ioannidis admitted that the last two weeks showed a slight drop in the tourist flow from Russia in comparison with the previous year, however, the number of seats planned by the airlines speaks about the stability of the market.
The revival of the Turkish, Egyptian and Tunisian tourist markets is a "serious problem" for Cyprus, and its solution requires the participation of all stakeholders. So, tour operators can start offering good discounts to "let Cyprus remain competitive". Cyprus can not compete with Turkey and Egypt, offering tours for 25 dollars, but the island could contribute to ensuring security, the quality of its services and food, etc.
Carusos and Ioanidis answered the question in the affirmative whether a separate ministry of tourism will help stabilize the state of the Cyprus market.