The Cypriot government is expected to spend approximately €18 million on airline and travel agency incentives for the entirety of 2023, after a recent approval by the House of Representatives, as part of an ongoing effort to boost tourism arrivals to the island.
The decision, disclosed during a session of the House Finance Committee, focused on the release of an €8.7 million fund earmarked for campaigns to increase arrivals, grow tourism revenues, and extend the tourist season. Initiating discussions, an official from the Deputy Ministry of Tourism clarified that the initially budgeted fund for 2023 underwent adjustments during the original budget planning hearings. They further explained that an amendment was introduced to the state budget, necessitating parliamentary approval for the remaining 50 per cent of the fund following an initial payment. Moreover, the official mentioned that the increased amount was imperative due to additional needs arising from a substantial surge in tourism, particularly from destinations collaborating with the Deputy Ministry of Tourism.
In the face of challenges posed by the war in Ukraine and its repercussions, the ministry official told the participating committee members that the ongoing year has emerged as one of the best for tourism, witnessing a remarkable 21 per cent increase in arrivals compared to the previous year. Moreover, in response to queries from members of the House, the official attributed this success to partnerships with travel agencies, tour operators and airlines, emphasising their important role in driving tourism growth in Cyprus. At the end of the session, the House Finance Committee, through a majority vote, approved the release of the allocated fund.
It should be noted that tourist arrivals in Cyprus during the first ten months of 2023 soared by 21.1 per cent compared to last year, according to a report released on Friday by the Cyprus Statistical Service (Cystat). In October 2023 alone, tourist arrivals amounted to 426,272 visitors, showcasing a 6.4 per cent increase from 400,628 in October 2022. For the period of January to October 2023, tourist arrivals totalled 3,562,417, compared to 2,941,182 in the same period of 2022, marking a substantial 21.1 per cent surge.
The report highlighted that arrivals from the United Kingdom constituted the primary source of tourism in October 2023, accounting for 36.2 per cent (154,373) of the total arrivals. Arrivals from Germany accounted for 7.1 per cent (30,178), and arrivals from Poland amounted to 6.7 per cent (28,649).
Source: Cyprus Mail