Deputy Minister of Tourism Kostas Koumis has held a series of meetings with representatives of Cyprus’s “strategic partners” in London over the course of Monday and Tuesday.

The purpose of these meetings with UK tourism professionals, in what was his first visit to the UK following his appointment to the new Cypriot government, was “firstly to assure that we are going to have a good summer in terms of arrivals from the British market, but also to lay the way for a good performance in October and November.”

The meetings also offered the opportunity for initial talks on the prospects for the winter and summer period of 2024.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency, the Minister suggested that this summer’s arrivals from the UK will match last summer’s numbers and might be slightly higher, reflecting the level of increased airline capacity for Cyprus.

In terms of the whole of 2023, based on current projections, arrivals from the UK are not expected to fall below the 1,2 million mark achieved in 2022.

Koumis said that particular emphasis is given to the extension of the tourism period to October and November, with the latter being a traditionally “difficult” month. “However,” noted the Minister, “we are gradually starting to feel confident that some areas will receive a satisfactory number of visitors then.”

As he elaborated, this means both visitors not particularly interested in alternative forms of tourism, but also travellers that are after a specific tourism “product” during the autumn or even winter period.

“We are examining which such products can spearhead our drive to extend the tourism period; which comparative advantages over competitive countries we should exploit for that particular season of the year,” said Koumis.

In his discussions with the British travel industry representatives options such as cycling, hiking and cultural tourism featured as potential pull-factors for autumn and winter visitors.

Koumis added that he heard the UK industry’s suggestions and that his ministry ought to consider them.

Regarding the expectations over the total incoming flows of foreign tourists in the current year, the Deputy Minister of Tourism said that the target which has been set is for an increase of 5% το 10% compared to 2022. “There is optimism that we will catch this target, and of course we will not rest for one minute in our efforts to achieve even better results,” concluded Koumis.

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