Scanty hotel base prevents Cyprus from increasing tourist flow from Russia

Both Cyprus hoteliers and Russian tour operators almost equally estimate the upcoming summer season on the island: the summer won’t be easy. According to the Association of the Cyprus’ hotel owners, in 2012 the island can be visited by 15% more Russians than in 2011. But this can hardly be called optimistic, as last year the growth of the flow amounted almost to 50%, all in all 330 thousand Russians enjoyed themselves at Cyprus. But in general, according to the results of 2011, the inbound tourist flow to Cyprus has grown by 10%, the island received 2.4 million tourists from different countries.

The beginning of the new season was not very successful for Cyprus resorts. According to the hoteliers, the most valuable market forCyprus, the Great Britain, has reduced the number of bookings by 8–10%, and Germany even more — by 15%. The same situation is with other countries. The local government has already announced their willingness to take all necessary steps to help the tourism sector overcome existing problems.

This week Neoklis Sylikiotys, the Minister of trade, industry and tourism, met the representatives of Cyprus’ tourism industry. The minister noted that today all the efforts of his department are aimed at simplifying of the tourist visa application procedure and the development of air communication between Cyprus and other regions, in particular between the countries of Eastern Europe and Western Mediterranean. Also there’s financial support of hotel sector, construction of marinas and Golf Clubs.

Russian tour operators believe that the period of the record-breaking inbound flow from Russia has passed. «There’s no sufficient hotel base on the island for further growth of the tourist flow. With the existing possibilities Cyprus can accept about 400 thousand Russians as a maximum. Last year we got very close to this number», — believes the General Director of BTA Group company, Revaz Mgeladze. In the opinion of RATA-news’ interlocutor, the redistribution of the shares is possible only within the market, the influential part of which belongs to three or four major players. Here, the main competition will unfold, concludes the expert.

This year, to save exclusive contracts at Cyprus, tour operators suggested to increase the volumes and are ready to adjust the prices. At the same time the players of the market note that dumping at Cyprus destination in quite sparing, especially when compared withGreece. And more likely the situation will improve by the beginning of June: the growth in demand for the destination will cover the existing surplus of the transportation. Moreover, some tour operators consider this problem to be more urgent for provinces than forMoscow.

«There are special offers now but they don’t bring down the market», — says the Marketing Director of Solvex Travel Natalya Rotmistrova. She said that this year the company has almost doubled the number of transportation to Cyprus — up to 7 flights per week. Sales increase in the accordance with the number of declared seats in the plane. At the same time Mrs. Rotmistrova stressed that theCyprus market is balanced — one can work with Cyprus only having guaranteed places in hotels.

The Head of the Cyprus’ Department of ICS Travel Group Alexey Sokolov said that the amount of transportation to the island has grown by 40% including regional programs. The company calls very promising such Cyprus regions as Portaras ans Ayia NAPA, At the same time, according to Mr. Sokolov, this year the depth of sales was better than before — up to one-two months. Some market players say that there are tours sold for September. The prices at Cypriot resorts remained almost at the same level as the previous year.



Official support