The COVID-19 pandemic has caused several casualties – both direct and indirect, and the Cyprus tourism industry is clearly one of them.
The novel coronavirus has been instrumental in the plummeting of what was once the island’s top economic performer to go down to almost zero, as the entire world has gone into various modes and phases of lockdown.
According to Harry Kyrillou, the owner of the travel agency Planet Holidays, not a single booking was made for Cyprus in the month of July. He further expressed his frustration at the situation, saying how they have practically lost the entire year, and that any travel bookings, if made, will be very few. He explained how this has and will continue to affect hoteliers and anyone else who is in the tourism industry.
According to the National Statistical Service (Cystat), the first 6 months of 2020 saw tourism revenue plummeting to €122 million from last year’s €1billion.
It is, therefore. No cliché that the local economy is – and will be bearing the brunt of the loss of tourism revenue. Not only will the GDP be significantly lower, but the level of unemployment for those working in hospitality will continue to be on the rise.
The partial lifting of travel bans haven’t been as much of a help, since there are still strict lockdowns in effect in other countries. Add to that the fact that people are reluctant to move around as freely given the threat of the virus.
In a bid to salvage the situation, the tourist season has been furthered till the end of October. However, there still isn’t much hope for the numbers to dramatically improve.