It is difficult for the members of STEK to find staff in specific positions, at the same time with the uncertainty that prevails for the large tourist markets of Cyprus, they ask for an increase of the available funds for advertising and promotion.
Specifically, in a press release they issued, they state that, Unfortunately, the forecasts of STEK are confirmed that June will be a very difficult month in terms of tourism. Although there is a slight increase in arrivals, however, they are still sluggish. The situation is similar with the fullness of the hotels, those that have reopened, which are at very low levels for most hotel units.
Developments in key markets
Although there is some increase in arrivals from Russia and Ukraine, however, it is still very low. The overall picture, however, is dominated by uncertainty as most airlines' plans are postponed until the relevant restrictions are lifted at national level. The recent news from the United Kingdom that Cyprus remains in the orange category was not positive as the largest source of tourists for our country remains virtually closed. There are arrivals and a significant number of weekly flights from the Israeli market, but their impact on the hotel sector is not strong. There have been positive signs from the German market in recent days, however, it will be clear in the near future whether there will be tangible interest and whether the issue of lack of flights will be resolved.
The general picture is that several tour operators and airlines are postponing the launch of flights for July onwards. In other words, the resumption of Cypriot tourism is postponed again. With these data, it is easy to understand that the occupancy of the hotel units that have reopened remains low. Preparing for the future, the position of STEK is that the processes for repositioning the country in the new international tourist map should begin immediately, as it is shaped by the new trends and perceptions.
Difficulty finding staff
In recent weeks, as many hotel units have tried to reopen, it has become apparent that there is a significant staffing problem. More specifically, a big problem is identified in relation to some specific specialties, such as waitresses, cleaners and people involved in washing dishes in the kitchens (washers).
From data collected by STEK, it appears that the problem has been created due to three main causes. First, it seems that many people who have been receiving support allowance in recent months have been employed in other jobs, some legally and some not, and are no longer willing to return to their old jobs. Second, due to the prolonged closure of the hotel industry, some employees changed jobs. Third, many European workers have now returned to their home countries. This phenomenon is not Cypriot but seems to be found in other countries. Recent reports in the UK report a shortage of 180k. catering workers either because these individuals changed professions or because they returned to their countries of origin due to the prolonged lockdown. STEK will contact the competent Minister of Labor and other stakeholders directly to submit specific suggestions to alleviate the problem as soon as possible. It is necessary to resolve the issue before entering a period of high occupancy of hotel units, as then the shortcomings will be obvious.
Increase the funds available for advertising and promotion
Following the developments abroad and in competing destinations, the Board of Directors of STEK considers it necessary to increase the funds for advertising of Cyprus abroad.
In this context, the Board of Directors of STEK decided to ask the Minister of Finance to increase the relevant funds, in order to make the presence of the country felt in a highly competitive environment.
The issue of increasing the funds for the purpose of promoting the tourism of Cyprus abroad, has been raised again by STEK and we are optimistic that at this crucial time it will be heard by the competent ministry.