Something seems to change with the seasonality of tourist arrivals – What needs to be done to eliminate the problem permanently – What initiatives play the most important role in tourism.
Summer may be the first choice for those visiting Cyprus, but it is certainly not the only one. Seasonal tourism gradually gives its place to the tourism that lasts throughout the year, which upgrades the country’s profile as a destination, while at the same time it contributes to the development of the Cypriot economy and the reduction of unemployment.
In fact, Cyprus is turning into a four-season option, with the industry’s protagonists taking specific initiatives to boost this trend. “The next big challenge for all of us is to maintain and further increase numbers, but mainly to prolong the tourist season” Mr. Iason Perdios, CEO of Louis Hotels said, referring to the 3.6 million arrivals in Cyprus, while in Greece, where Louis Hotels is also active, the equivalent figure is around 29 million.
The question is: how are the best performances of Cypriot tourism achieved throughout the year? How do arrives spread all over the months and how does Cyprus and its beauties emerge?
“Certainly, a key role is played by climate conditions. But it is not just these”, Mr Perdios said, continuing: “Cyprus has had mild temperatures during the winter months, but the seasonality of tourism has existed and left the winter months untapped. So, what fights it is a well-designed plan that includes hotel upgrades and support in several areas, such as professional tourism”.
Following relevant studies, having already identified this need and the relative trend and having updated its strategy, Louis Hotels is moving in this direction. “Hotel units turn from being purely summer characterized, into ones that can accommodate tourists and visitors with flexibility even during the winter months. One such example is the creation of indoor spaces that will offer a variety of activities whether if it is heated swimming pools and gyms or other entertainment facilities.
Which are the necessary changes
Originally, the businesses’ culture.
What Louis Hotels did, was to make the big decision. “It was a bold choice to keep more hotels open throughout the winter,” Ms. Popi Tanda, Louis Hotels Chief Officer Sales & Marketing reveals. The risk lies in the fact that the occupations do not fluctuate at high levels during the winter months, while the operating expenses of the hotel units continue to “run”, whether if they are staff costs or heating, electricity, supplies etc.
The all season-high season trend, has begun to produce profit, but needs strengthening to continue. This can be done through lower prices, which is already the case with Louis Hotels accommodation that is constantly upgraded.
The role of the State
Cyprus has already improved considerably in terms of competition, but there is room for improvement. A possible reduction in VAT, the redefinition of municipal taxes, and the revision of the rates of airport charges in the winter months are just some actions that would significantly change the parameters of tourist traffic.
All this prevail, while new, major development projects are expected to significantly boost tourism. The new casino, the new marinas and the new image of Liberty Square in Nicosia, combined with the rest of the infrastructure (e.g. the new Archaeological Museum), will increase state revenues, which will consequently be able to reconsider the most general framework governing tourism.
There is an imperative need to redefine the Cypriot tourist product in order to improve its comparative advantages and for Cyprus to become even more competitive.
Thus, everyone must contribute to this national effort, by utilizing their individual roles.