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Next Previous “We can cover 20% of Russians” HOME • INSIDER • CYPRUS • “We can cover 20% of Russians”
& nbsp & nbspNatasa Christoforou & nbsp; & nbsp;
When, just a month before the start of the tourist season, it was realized that the Russian market was disappearing, everyone froze in Ayia Napa. The cosmopolitan resort, which receives the lion's share of the tourist pie, lost 50% of its tourist flows overnight. And this after two catastrophic years, due to a pandemic, which left huge losses to entrepreneurs. & Nbsp;
Three months later, the area is trying to adapt to the new data, with its tour operators engaged in a road race to reduce losses. After a bad May, the beginning of the summer season gives some positive messages. Flows increased, beaches began to fill and life returned to the area. However, for some entrepreneurs, the blow is irreparable and their survival is judged. & Nbsp;
Speaking to “F”, the mayor of Ayia Napa, Christos Zannettou, stated that he has almost clarified the scenario for the losses. “It is known that Ayia Napa was based on about 50% of the Russian market and had about 450 thousand visitors. This number can not be easily replaced by other markets, from which there is an upward trend. There is an increase from Britain, Romania, Poland, France, Scandinavia and Germany, however these markets are expected to fluctuate at the levels of 2019. From 50% of the loss, we can manage to cover around 20%, that is, about 80 thousand tourists. However, we are in an unpredictable environment and unfortunately we have started to be affected by the cancellations of flights from Britain, due to lack of staff, which cover the whole of June “.
Closed hotels and shops & nbsp;
In Ayia Napa, six hotels and several tourist complexes remain closed, which can not operate due to the high availability of first-line accommodation. Stores aimed only at Russians remain closed.
“All the stores are under a lot of pressure and they are trying to survive, because it is their accuracy, rents and loan obligations. Also, many of the hoteliers in Ayia Napa, have invested huge sums to upgrade their infrastructure, which can not be repaid in a year or two. The Russian market was an important market, which had a rapid growth, which is certainly not healthy, but it was the vehicle that enabled us to upgrade the tourism industry and now Cyprus is one of the best Mediterranean destinations. I do not want to be pessimistic, but I see that this year the situation will continue in 2023, something worrying, since next year we will not be able to replace this market. “But we have to fight it to survive.” & nbsp;
The resin of the “prodigal” area
Mr. Zannettou also referred to the efforts made in order for Ayia Napa to shake off the resin of the “prodigal” region. “It is not easy to control the youth. In order to do this, strict laws must be passed, so that every visitor knows that it is forbidden to travel drunk or with a bottle in hand. As the mayor of Ayia Napa, I have to say that many of them I would like to go through, because young people need to have fun in a decent way. Those we see drunk on the streets, vomiting and causing problems, represent about 3% of tourists arriving in the area. It is an issue that does not only concern Ayia Napa, since every negative that comes out concerns our Cyprus. They are isolated incidents, but they have a negative impact on the whole. That's why we have to fight them. “& Nbsp;
The decision to increase policing is also aimed in this direction, after a meeting in the presence of the Chief of Police. Already on the busy streets, the presence of the Police has increased, which will be strengthened in the near future. & Nbsp;
Concluding, Mr. Zannettou also referred to his vision for Ayia Napa of the future, which he can, as he said, to become the most popular destination in the Mediterranean. & nbsp;
“We are in the third year of my term and in the third of the economic crisis. However, we managed to implement projects worth millions. Through the new data of the TA reform, there is a huge perspective, with cooperation to create a large Municipality with various economic activities. My goal is for Ayia Napa to be a pole of attraction, through the right infrastructure with the right aesthetics. That's why we created and upgraded important landmarks and squares, but unfortunately the ongoing financial crisis deprives us of a significant percentage of our budget and binds us to implement what we really want. But we will continue to work hard and I think we can do a lot. “& Nbsp;