Cyprus still wants Irish tourists: that was the message to the trade at a function in Dublin last week. The Ambassador of Cyrus to Ireland, HE Dr Michalis Starrinas said: “Despite the distance between Ireland and Cyprus, there are significant comparative advantages in favour of Cyprus vis-a-vis nearby alternative destinations, which suffer from satiation and over-exploitation.
“It is for this reason that the overall tourist arrivals in Cyprus experienced only a minor decrease, despite the crisis of the recent months in neighbouring countries. For example, until August this year, the number of tourist arrivals reached 1637.792, compared to 1728.762 for the same period last year, recording a decrease of 5.3%. Revenue from tourism reached €66 million in March this year, compared to €62.5 the same month last year, indicating an increase of 5.6%.
“I would also like to mention that I am in contact with a number of airlines, in the effort to establish a direct air link between Cyprus and Ireland. There are some positive indications, but I will limit myself at this stage to express restrained optimism. Such a development would contribute immensely to further improve tourist exchanges between the two islands.”
This message was reinforced by Orestis Rossides, Director, Cyprus Tourist Organisation for the UK and Ireland, who is well known to the industry here in Ireland: “We, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, and tourism industry in Cyprus want to focus and support our traditional European markets. Ireland has had a long established relationship with Cyprus, with three excellent tour operators currently offering summer holidays to the island. Once the green shoots in Ireland are fully established, there is no doubt the Cyprus programme will grow with additional flights.”