More than 150 thousand tourists will visit Cyprus in the coming winter, compared to last year’s figures, Minister of Communications and Works Tasos Mitsopoulos said on Friday, as a result of a progamme providing incentives.

In statements to the press after a meeting with local authorities and businessmen at the seaside resort of Paralimni, in Famagusta District, Mitsopoulos said that despite the difficult financial situation the government tries to resolve problems and enrich the tourist product of the region, since a large part of the island’s tourist industry is based in Famagusta District.

One of the main issues discussed during the meeting, he said replying to a question, was the matter of liberating flights. He noted that great progress has been achieved during the winter season, through an incentive programme, “we are expecting 150,000 more tourists to visit the island compared to last year, making the most of this programme”.

The flights, he said, are being liberated gradually, adding that an effort is being made to attract new airlines, particularly from Russia.

Improving existing infrastructure and road network, raising awareness about important Byzantine and medieval monuments of the area and other issues of concern were also discussed at the meeting, he added.

Excluded from international markets since May 2011, Cyprus requested and received a €10 billion financial assistance package from the Troika (EC, ECB, IMF).

The package featured a sizeable reduction of the island’s banking sector, as well as bail-in of uninsured deposits, which hampered the services sector, one of the island’s main source of income, led to unemployment and closed a large number of SMEs.

According to the statistical service of Cyprus, revenue from tourism reached €202.1 mn in May 2013 compared to €214.3 mn in the corresponding month of the previous year, recording a decrease of 5.7%.

For the period January – August 2013 arrivals of tourists totaled 1,637,792 compared to 1,728,762 in the corresponding period of 2012, recording a decrease of 5.3%

Leave a Reply