According to tourism experts, Cyprus may not achieve its target of welcoming half as many tourists as in 2019. With COVID cases rising instead of declining, hoteliers fear failure for 2021.
A Cyprus News Agency (CNA) report cited Philokypros Rousounides, General Director of the Cyprus Hoteliers Association discussing the difficult situation hoteliers find themselves in, saying “it seems we are moving away from the target of achieving 50 to 55% of the 2019 tourist arrivals.”
Disrupted by the Covid pandemic, tourist arrivals in 2020 dropped by 84% compared with the record year of 2019, while spikes in Covid cases and travel restrictions in 2021 continue to weigh heavily on the sector which has a significant contribution to the island’s economy.
Officials in Greece and in Cyprus came under fire recently for waiving quarantine requirements for visitors offering proof of vaccination with Russia’s Sputnik and China’s Sinopharm shots, neither of which has been authorized by EMA. Bloomberg reported on France’s President Emmanuel Macron insisting bloc states should be consistent in only recognizing shots approved by the EU.
Finally, Cyprus tourism stakeholder hopes were dashed recently when the UK announced that Cyprus would remain in the amber category, effectively delaying the arrival of British holidaymakers for a further three weeks at a minimum. And Cyprus health officials are on guard in case the Delta strain of the coronavirus hits the island as it has other destinations.