Tourist operators in Cyprus have expressed optimism that the industry on the Mediterranean island will start reviving in the coming months. A TVM crew visited Cyprus and met with some of the operators.
The Cypriot government has introduced a number of measures to revive business, including that visitors to any business or museum have to present the vaccine certificate or a Covid negative test, while hotels are offering discounts to guests who are fully vaccinated.
Sophia Charalambos, a Cypriot Minister of Tourism officer, told TVM that similar to Malta, Cyprus depends on tourism for the livelihood of the majority of the almost one million people on the island. Due to the pandemic, the country’s strategy for tourism was changed to encourage more Cypriots to spend internal holidays.
“No one can predict what will happen from now on… we hoped that this summer will be better than last summer, but it has been worse.. we focus mainly in domestic tourism… we hope Cypriots will remain in Cyprus and enjoy their holidays in our hotels. We have a lot of schemes that will help Cypriots. For the winter period we hope it will be better, I don’t know if we will have another lockdown, because cases are increasing every day.”
Ms Charalambos also referred to the measures adopted by the authorities to revive business. “If you are vaccinated you are allowed to enter a restaurant, a hotel, an establishment without having a rapid test… if you are not vaccinated then every 72 hours you have to do a test and if you are negative you have a safe pass… and you are allowed to enter those facilities.”
Michalis Kapilla, manager of the largest restaurant in Ayia Napa, said that the pandemic was a source of frustraction especially as the Ayia Napa region is the most popular among tourists, however he expressed optimism for the future.
“We open one month and we stay home another one month… it was very very difficult.. the people, without work, without money.. who knows what is happening? But slowly, I think it will get better… at least we see some people from some countries, they come… and the Cypriots make their holidays here now.”
Michalis stated that he hopes the country will be back to normal and business will not stop as the Covid pandemic will disappear.