Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/28/2014 -- The Cypriot travel and tourism sector was adversely affected by the eurozone crisis in 2009. Despite recovery in 2010-2011, the financial crisis in the country in 2012-2013 led to a further fall in the sector in 2013. Initiatives by the Cyprus Tourism Organization (CTO) to promote domestic and international tourism, and government plans for the development of tourism infrastructure facilities and increasing foreign investments are expected to attract more tourists over the forecast period.
In October 2013, the CTO entered the Indian market by conducting roadshows in Mumbai and Delhi. The organization showcased its tourism products for corporate meetings, and leisure and incentive travel to attract Indian tourists. It also hosted an event in Dubai in April 2013 to target the business market in the Middle East.
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Tourist arrivals from traditional source markets, such as the UK and Germany, declined with 13% and 36% respectively from January to August 2013. However, tourists from Russia, Ukraine and Israel grew by 25%, 85% and 22% respectively. The CTO forecast that Russian tourists to Cyprus in 2013 would reach 600,000. The Russian market has become the second-largest source market, after the UK with approximately 50% of total inbound tourists accounting for 900,000 arrivals. Russian tourists to the country are expected to reach 800,000 in 2014, a 25% increase over 2013. Ukraine tourists reached 35,000 in 2013 and are expected to reach 100,000 by 2016. Kazakhstan is also an emerging market, with around 10,000 tourists expected in 2014.
In December 2013, Hungarian airline Wizz Air announced two new routes from Larnaca to Belgrade, Kiev and Donetsk from April 2014, which is expected to contribute 250,000 passengers to Cyprus. Qatar Airways is also continuing its expansion plan for 2014, with the announcement of new flights from Larnaca to Doha, commencing April 2014. A new agreement was also made to expand air routes offered by the Norwegian Air to Cyprus by the end of 2014.
In July 2013, the Cypriot government unveiled its plan to grant one license for an integrated casino resort in the country, at an investment of around EUR600.0 million (US$791.5 million). It will be targeted at tourists from Russia and the Middle East. Cyprus Hotel Association (CHA) welcomed the decision, as it will strengthen the country's attractiveness as a tourism destination, thereby encouraging more tourist arrivals.
The new road tax charge for vehicles registered from 2014 will depend on CO2 emissions. However, the House Finance Committee is planning to lower the cost by making changes to the road tax bill. Car rental companies have expressed their concern that the increased costs would result in a 200% rise in daily rates paid by consumers.
Companies Mentioned in this Report: Cyprus Airways, Ryanair Holdings plc, A. Tsokkos Hotels Public Ltd, Atlantic Hotels and Resorts Cyprus, Louis Hotels Cyprus, Aqua Sol Hotels Public Company Ltd, D.H. Cyprotels Plc, AVIS Rent a Car Cyprus, Hertz Cyprus, Budget Rent-a-Car Cyprus, Europcar Cyprus ASG Ltd, Sixt Rent a Car Cyprus, Top Kinisis Travel Public Ltd, Aeolos Travel, Korona Tours & Travel Services Ltd, Varianos Travel
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