According to the President of the Famagusta Hotel Association, there is satisfaction with the April arrivals
An increase of 5-10% is expected in the number of tourists in the summer months in the free province of Famagusta, according to Doros Takka, President of the Association of Hoteliers of Famagusta.
As Mr. Takkas told KYPE, “in general, we are satisfied with the April arrivals, especially if we compare them with those of 2022, since this year there was a small increase of 5-10%. The bookings for the first 15th of May appear to be a little below what we initially expected”.
He added that “these first two weeks of May prove the absence of Russian visitors , since due to the celebration of Russia's victory in World War II, we had increased numbers of tourists during such a period”.
However, from May 15-16 onwards, he continued, “the situation is improving and we expect it to move close to last year's levels and maybe a little better at a rate that will reach 5-10%.” As for the months of June, July and August, it seems that tourism will again move close to last year's levels, although there is still time, since many people are booking their summer holidays at the last minute”.
Answering a question, Mr. Takkas said that “first in the list of arrivals in the free province of Famagusta is Britain, followed by the Scandinavian countries and in third place are the states of Central Europe, namely Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Poland and Romania.” We also have visitors from Middle Eastern countries, namely Israel and other Arab Gulf states, who visit our region in the months of June, July and August,” he said.
When asked about wedding tourism, the President of the Famagusta Hoteliers' Association answered that “this type of visitors certainly exists, however we do not have accurate data to determine the numbers, since we do not know whether the hotels accommodate people who arrive only for the ceremony of marriages, i.e. they are friends or relatives of couples”.
Mr. Takkas also said that they are concerned with what happens to tourists who, in their attempt to take pictures or dive in remote and dangerous places, are injured or even lose their lives. “We have always been concerned and even submitted recommendations to the authorities to take measures in 2-3 places in Ayia Napa that attract visitors,” he pointed out.
He explained that “essentially these are cliffs used by tourists for diving, causing even rock or stone slides or the waters being unsuitable for swimming. We have pointed out these dangerous spots to the relevant authorities and have stated that these areas should be protected by the installation of railings and warning prohibition signs. They should also be signaled from the side of the sea”, he said.
Asked whether they will take the initiative to meet with the competent bodies to solve the specific problem, Mr. Takkas replied that “several meetings have taken place, since everyone, including the Mayors, is aware of these dangerous points. In Ayia Napa the three spots are the Sea Caves next to Pantachou beach, the caves or Palathkia as they are known, located next to Cape Greco and the area of Konnos”.
Our suggestion, he continued, “was to completely exclude these three areas, since there are other places where tourists can enjoy the sunset, take pictures or even dive. It is not possible that every year there are injuries or even deaths of tourists who visit these areas”, he noted.
Regarding the problems with the employment of staff in the hotel industry, Mr. Takkas said that “this is the permanent problem of the specific sector, namely finding qualified and experienced staff, which affects the operation and the quality of services offered. Another problem of the hotel industry is the costs that have skyrocketed, be it bank interest rates, due to the increase in Euribor, the increase in the price of electricity and the prices of consumables, food and raw materials,” he pointed out.
< p class="text-paragraph">When asked about the issue of hiring refugees from Ukraine who live in the area of Ayia Napa, he answered that “a small number of Ukrainians have already started working in the Municipality of Ayia Napa. However, everyone must realize that these are completely unskilled personnel, in contrast to what hoteliers need, who must be qualified and their training continues further”, he concluded.