Cyprus is bad without Russian tourists

Cyprus hoteliers complain about the loss of income due to the lack of Russian tourists. After the difficult pandemic years, the island’s tourism industry is trying to get back on its feet.

However, travel restrictions and sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine have significantly reduced the number of tourists from Russia. If last year every fourth person who chose Cyprus as a holiday destination was from the Russian Federation, this year there are very few of them. Christos Angelidis, President of the Cyprus Hotel Managers Association PASYDIXE, says:

“No one was ready for such a huge change. It’s a difficult problem, but we’re trying to solve it. We’ve limited the damage to some extent, but it’s impossible to replace such a large number of customers.”

In 2019, the island of Cyprus received about four million tourists, 780 thousand of them were from Russia. Last year, out of every four visitors to the island, one was a Russian. And this year, as the Ministry of Tourism predicts, Cyprus will lose about 600 million euros due to the lack of Russian and Ukrainian tourists. Panicos Michael, an employee at the Alion Beach Hotel in Ayia Napa, says:

“Previously, Russians and Ukrainians made up 25-30% of our guests, but today there are few tourists from these two countries. On the other hand, our hotel has always had a good reputation, and we were represented in the markets of Central Europe: Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Great Britain” .

And then there is the energy crisis, which added a “headache” to the Cypriot hoteliers. Haris Loizides, a resident of the Cyprus Hotel Association, complains:

“Electricity is now the second item of expenditure after salaries, and it is very expensive. Some hotels sent me bills that they were given. It’s from 100,000 to 150,000 just for a month.”

And remembers with nostalgia 2019, which brought the Cypriot economy more than 2.5 billion euros in the tourism sector. And this is about 15% of the country’s GDP.

However, according to the statistical service of Cyprus, the flow of tourists to the republic in the first 5 months of 2022 amounted to almost 850 thousand tourists, which is 5 times higher than in the same period in 2021, when only 156 thousand tourists visited the country. This was reported on June 29 by the newspaper Cyprus Mail. According to the publication, the first place in the top was taken by travelers from the UK. From the coast of foggy Albion to Cyprus from January to May came 126 thousand people, accounting for 40% of the total tourist flow.

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