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Paphos hopeful Ryanair hub will take off

Hotels in Paphos are already taking tourist bookings from new destinations for the coming summer season.

This increase is the result of low cost carrier Ryanair’s decision to base two aircraft at Paphos International airport, making it the airlines 50th hub, offering over a dozen new destinations from April.

Secretary of the Paphos hoteliers association, Evripides Loizides said: “We’ve seen bookings coming in from countries such as Norway and Italy, which are serviced by the airline, but it’s too early to say yet how many new customers we will gain from the Ryanair flights.”

He added: “It’s a very positive development. Most of the bookings we have already taken are for July, August and September, but I believe people generally book late when using this airline.”

A representative of the Paphos tourist business association, Demetris Smyrlis said that many tourists have made their reservations without going through travel agents.

"Reservations from the English market are limited, but there is certainly a continuous progression from the Russian market, this year we have several reservations from Russians,”
Smyrlis said. “Bookings are likely to increase after Easter.”

Smyrlis said that expectations are that this year Paphos will also see more bookings from the German market and Nordic countries.

“Paphos is a city that relies on tourism to meet its needs and this year we hope to achieve just that, " he said.

According to Loizides, Ryanair uses the booking.com website for hotel reservations, so it’s not always clear that particular reservations are as a direct result of the Ryanair flights.

“Every day we have new bookings, but we don’t have a year on year comparison as this is a new venture. The problem is that in the last couple of months we have seen bookings from the UK market really slow down. But I think this year; there will be tendency towards late bookings, as people want the best deals in the current economic climate.”

He added that most of the hotels in Paphos were now open- some were closed for the winter season- and all will be open and operational by the middle of April.

“The airport operators Hermes, are giving good incentives to airlines for this season as well as the winter period and we hope this will encourage more airlines to commence new flights using Paphos airport,” he said.

He remained optimistic about the coming summer season saying: “If the reductions from the UK market are not too drastic, we should have a much better this year than last year.”

Ryanair will invest close to €110 million in their new venture in Paphos. They will create 600 jobs and fly to 14 destinations, offering 80 flights a week. They expect to handle 600,000 passengers a year.

The destinations include, Patra, Chania, Frankfurt Hahn, Kaunus, Krakow, London-Stansted, Memmingen, Bergamo, Oslo, Pisa, Rome, Stockholm, Thessaloniki and Treviso.

For further information look at www.ryanair.com

Source: Cyprus Mail

31 March 2012