The epidemiological data in Cyprus are at a key point for tourism, said Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios, recommending a little more patience, implementing the measures and protocols. The Undersecretary stressed that if at a time when the whole of Europe is red, Cyprus manages to fall into the orange category and, still, into the green, then tourism during the summer months can present positive results.
In an online discussion on “Tourism: Cyprus facing the challenges of the pandemic” – The changes brought about by the coronavirus pandemic in tourism, the next day for Cyprus and the National Tourism Strategy – referred to the agreement reached with the Israel for the green passport that comes into force on April 1, stating that similar agreements should be sought with other countries and especially with the United Kingdom and Russia.
“Israel shows that the way is for similar agreements with other countries such as Russia,” he said, adding that the foreign minister should soon contact the Russian Foreign Ministry for a transnational agreement.
He explained that the green passport can be held by those who have been vaccinated at least 7 days before the second dose of an EU-approved vaccine. He clarified that the Republic of Cyprus always reserves the right to test whoever holds the green passport, compliance with protection measures.
The Russian market is not doing very well with the vaccination, he clarified, pointing out at the same time that the vaccine is not set as a prerequisite for someone to enter Cyprus and it is expected that the Russian market will do well with the tests.
The Undersecretary of Tourism also said that the national strategy for tourism is not changing, but the pandemic confirmed the need to implement the strategy faster and speed up actions.
In 2021 and 2022 we will see the direction in which the tourist product of Cyprus will move, he said.
He also said that “the hand that fed us, the tour operators” will continue to play an important role in the tourism market, but the fear that a day would come when the tourism market could not rely solely on tour operators was confirmed.
We will also turn to the small tourism organizers who are active in thematic tourism, he continued by saying that we are leaving the easy of the past with the 3-4 big organizers.
He also said that the organizers in order to avoid new losses will focus only on sales during the summer months.
PASYXE President Haris Loizidis said that tourism is the sector that will tow Cyprus out of the crisis towards development.
He noted that Israel is the 3rd largest market for Cyprus.
Furthermore, Mr. Loizidis said that at the moment the aim is to have a better course in relation to the handling of the pandemic. He noted that while Cyprus had the best epidemiological index of most Mediterranean countries by October, it had failed to turn that superiority into a tourist influx.
He also said that Cyprus has invested in upgrading its tourism product and expressed the view that agreements similar to that of Israel should be concluded. Free Famagusta, he said, is sitting on burning coals for the developments concerning the Russian market.
The President of PASYXE also said that January and February were lost and it seems that March is also lost. He added that 97% to 98% of the hotels are closed and mentioned that among them are hotels that remain closed from October 2019.
“We want to have a bearable season in 2020-2021,” he said.
The President of the Association of Travel Agents Vassilis Stamataris said that until we get into a regularity with the vaccination of the entire population, or the discovery of a new one, we must manage tourism through tests and measures.
We advocated the closure of airports in order to deal with the pandemic, he continued, stating that through teleconferences we tried to look for new markets,
He also said that there was interest in the first months of 2021 which did not have a happy ending due to the insecurity and instability caused by the pandemic, while he mentioned that there are countries that ban travel.
Mr. Stamataris also said that some major organizers are turning their attention to safer countries and Cyprus should take advantage of this interest.
“Let us endure a little more to comply with the measures and fall to zero (virus attacks) so that Cyprus can show superiority and rely on its tourism again,” he said.