Hotel bookings in Kataklysmos on the rise, but the situation is unsatisfactory, according to hoteliers
Hotel bookings for the three-day Kataklysmos (Pentecost) weekend in Cyprus should not exceed 70%, according to the presidents of the Hotel Association of Pafos, Famagusta and Larnaca.
In statements to CNA, Tout said business was slow at most of the hotels that have chosen to open as British tourists stay at home while the Israeli market has not recovered since the recent unrest in the country. Hoteliers are calling on the Cypriot government to expand the Ministry of Labor’s subsidy incentive program to maintain economic activity by supporting hotel staff and tourist accommodation which continue to operate.
Bookings in the Pafos District are around 40%, and June is not expected to exceed 15% according to Pafos Hoteliers President Thanos Michaelides.
He told CNA that after the UK’s decision not to include Cyprus on the so-called green list, opening Cyprus to British holidaymakers to visit the island, all June bookings were canceled as July does not seem to change.
Michaelides also said that the flow of the Israeli market, which was expected to attract a satisfactory number of tourists, has unfortunately stopped due to the unrest in the country.
The Russian market, he said, is small, adding that with the current situation, no market can tell the difference.
Bookings in the government-controlled areas of Famagusta also remain low, with some hoteliers questioning whether it is worth opening their premises.
In Limassol, hotel bookings in June do not exceed 40%, with hoteliers not knowing how the summer season will unfold, said Haris Theoharous, president of the Limassol Hotelier Association.
He told CNA this is not a year when sure predictions can be made, noting the UK’s decision to expand restrictive measures and not include Cyprus on the green list and rescheduling flights from from Russia which led to cancellations.
Theoharous said he hopes the Russian market will improve, adding that if charter flights don’t resume then there will be a problem. He also expressed his uncertainty about Israel, noting that the situation in the country overshadows any positive development.
For the Kataklysmos holiday, he said, although bookings have reached 70%, things are now flowing and predicted that they will not exceed 40%. You understand that we are in a difficult situation, he told the CNA.
Regarding the start of cruises from Limassol, Theoharous said these tourists typically stay in hotels for two to three days but hoteliers in the city do not have an indication of how many. However, he said hoteliers were eagerly awaiting their arrival.
Famagusta Hoteliers Association president Doros Takkas told CNA that some hotels in the area have started opening since 4e April because they attracted mainly Russian tourists. However, the numbers remain low.
More hotels opened in June but unfortunately things are extremely difficult with many considering closing them after the Kataklysmos weekend. What is important, he said, is to see if the Ministry of Labor continues the program that subsidizes staff until the end of the month. If not, he added, a significant number of hotels in the region will close.
Regarding the Kataklysmos season, he said there was increased demand from the Cypriots, but it was only for a two to three day stay. If we don’t have dramatic changes soon, ie an increase in the number of Russian tourists and the opening of markets from the UK, it will be very difficult. Bookings for the three-day Kataklysmos festivities are around 60-70%.
Most Cypriot tourists benefit from the domestic tourism subsidy scheme, he said, but it expires at the end of June. The maximum rate per room is 60 euros, with Cypriot tourists paying up to 31 euros with the subsidy.
Larnaca Hoteliers Association president Ioanna Florentiadou told CNA hotels in the city have reached 15-20% capacity for the Kataklysmos weekend, providing a little respite. However, Larnaca does not expect more domestic tourism as Larnaca is not the vacation choice for Cypriots, who prefer to vacation in Protaras, Agia Napa or Pafos.
The main tourist markets in Larnaca at the moment are Russia, to a lesser extent Israel and Lebanon and some Ukrainians, while in recent days there has been some mobility from Germany and other European countries like Poland. The Scandinavian market is also taking small steps with few thefts.
She expressed concern about the rest of the summer due to the uncertainty in the Russian market, adding that hoteliers in the city did not expect more changes in July.
She also spoke of an extension of the Labor Department’s program that subsidizes hotel workers, noting that this will determine whether hotels can stay open.