The average occupancy rates in December, the predominantly festive month, in hotels and accommodation units, is expected to range around 35% to 40%, while occupancy rates during the festive three days, after Christmas and after New Year’s Eve will range between 55% and 60% and in individual cases possibly even a little higher, Cyprus Hotel Association (PASYXE) Director General Philokypros Roussounides told CNA on Thursday.
He also pointed out that Cyprus is an island which is ideal for tourism throughout the entire year and not just in the summer.
“We are hopeful, with very cautious optimism and a positive sentiment, that we will be able to limit any losses, because there will certainly be losses from the large market of Israel for us and the first goal now being set for the coming year is to get as close as possible to this year’s figures,” he stressed.
Asked what is behind this low occupancy rate, Roussounides said that the influx of tourists from abroad is definitely a reflection of the previous year.
“It is relatively low, I would say, and the festive weekends are the ones that favour short-stay bookings by our compatriots, since many who stayed on the island and have not travelled abroad chose to spend these three days in hotel and tourist accommodation,” he added.
Responding to a question, Roussounides said that “certainly the issue of extending the season – because for others it is still summer in Cyprus – is something we are looking at with all relevant parties, both with the Deputy Minister and the Minister of Labour, as well as with the President of the Republic, in an effort to build the foundations and create the conditions for a substantial influx of tourists during the winter months.”
He added that he hopes “that soon we will be able to start implementing a plan that we are already discussing, so that in the future, based on a five-year period, we can talk about a full-time tourist destination for our island and I believe that we can achieve this if all stakeholders follow a specific plan.”
Responding to another question, Roussounides said that the year ends on a positive note “despite the huge challenges we have faced in the last three years, culminating in 2023.”
“We are hopeful, with very cautious optimism and a positive sentiment, that we will be able to limit any losses, because there will certainly be losses from the large Israeli market for us and the first goal now for the coming year is to get as close as possible to this year’s numbers,” he concluded.