Cypriot President Demetris Christofias appeared optimistic over the tourist prospects this year, both in terms of arrivals and of revenues. Addressing the Annual General Meeting of the Cyprus Hotels Association, Christofias stressed that tourism constitutes a basic pillar for the island`s economy, adding that his government has tourism in the centre of its attention.

“All signs indicate that 2011 will be a very successful year for the Cypriot tourism both in terms of arrivals as well as in terms of revenues,“ Christofias pointed out. He added that increased arrivals are expected from Cyprus’ main tourist markets, pointing out that arrivals from the Russian market, which rose by 50% last year will record new increase in 2011.

Christofias said that Britain, considered as the largest tourist market for Cyprus, will show an improved picture compared with previous seasons. The President also noted that Cyprus tourism had showed resilience to the global financial crisis, adding that the almost immediate recovery of the tourist sector after the financial crisis was not accidental but the result of the timely measures taken by the government, recalling the bilateral agreements with important for Cyprus tourism states, such as Russia.

“The development of the tourist sector contributed significantly to the broader economic growth and the exit from recession,“ he added. Christofias acknowledged that the attraction of tourists and the satisfaction of their expectations have evolved to a difficult process demanding careful movements and hard work from all stakeholders.

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