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Tourism update, as published in the July 2013 edition of Country Profiler magazine



Tourism update, as published in the July 2013 edition of Country Profiler magazine

Sunny Cyprus has not lost its appeal as a popular tourist destination in these tough economic times. Although the traditional ‘sun and sea’ destination is implementing heavy austerity measures today, to a visitors’ eye there is not much evidence of an economic crisis. The country has welcomed the summer season with open arms and with the island’s beaches and many historical sites full of happy faces, life seems more or less back to normal. Hotels, shops and restaurants are open, public transport is functioning, banks are open, ATMs are working normally and there are no signs of queues or general panic.

However, the one thing visitors may spot is lower prices and better deals. Cyprus has maintained its position as a popular holiday spot thanks to its welcoming atmosphere, safe environment and 340 days of sunshine. The island also got top marks again this year for having some of the cleanest beaches in Europe. All 112 beaches tested in Cyprus for a recent European report proved to have ‘excellent’ water quality, putting the island at the top of the EU for bathing. Although Cyprus witnessed a decrease in visitors in April and May, the chairman of the Cyprus Hotel Association Charis Loizides is optimistic that tourist bookings in July, August and September – the busiest months – will cover the losses that were recorded in the tourist industry over the last two months.

Cypriot hoteliers have also reacted to the economic crisis and have come up with a number of deals for their foreign customers offering a 20-25% decrease in their prices. Not forgetting their local customer base, they are also introducing offers to Cypriots and residents on the island, who account for 7% of the total accommodations throughout the year. For decades, tourism has been one of the key economic drivers for Cyprus and with new incentives and efforts to diversify and raise the quality of the product, this sector is expected to grow and remain attractive to visitors and investors alike.

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