Travel agents in Britain say they are confident that the interest in bookings for summer holidays in Cyprus will increase further and steadily, following a surge in bookings after the roadmap to lift the pandemic restrictions was presented by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday.
Big travel firms, such as Jet2 and Thomas Cook, have included Cyprus in the most sought after countries by travel-thirsty British tourists over the course of the week.
Noel Josephides, director of tour operator Sunvil and former head of ABTA, confirmed the surge in Cyprus reservations.
He told the Cyprus News Agency that the percentage of increase in some cases is even a four-digit one, noting however that the impressive rate is down to minimal bookings during the previous weeks.
“I do believe that people will be gradually even more encouraged and we expect to see a steady flow of bookings from now on,” said the experienced travel agent.
Around 80% of the new bookings to Cyprus come from people over 60 years old, a sign that the progress of the vaccination programme in the UK, which has already covered over 18 million people mainly over 65, adds to the growing confidence of potential travellers.
Most of the bookings for Cyprus so far are for August, July and September, followed by October. Prime Minister Johnson has set the 17th May as the earliest date for the resumption of non-essential international travel from the UK.
There have been practically zero bookings for June, however, which shows that British tourists want to be as safe as possible in case of any delays in the implementation of the roadmap.
Josephides noted that along with the new customers, travel agents have been handling thousands of cancellations for April and May, for bookings that had been postponed last year.
The director of Sunvil also commented that these last few days have proven that Cyprus can rely on its “repeat visitors” which account for the majority of new bookings. He stressed, however, that for new visitors from Britain to be attracted there needs to be an upgrade of the country’s promotion in the UK well ahead of the summer period.