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Cyprus must exploit climate advantage to attract winter visitors

Cyprus must make the most of its mild climate during the winter season by enhancing niche sectors of tourism, PriceWaterhouseCoopers said.

Enhancing special forms of tourism, such as agrotourism, religious and conference tourism in order to provide incentives to visitors during the winter months is essential, Petros Petrakis, partner in charge of Hospitality and Leisure at PWC, said yesterday while presenting the results of a report on winter tourism conducted by PWC and the Universtity of Cyprus.

The report, “Seasonality and winter touristm – The Cypriot product as seen by tourists”, is based on interviews with structured questionnaires of 500 tourists who visited Cyprus during February and March.

“The survey aimed to record the travel motivation of tourist who had selected Cyprus as their destination for their winter vacations and to compare Cyprus to other tourist markets,” Petrakis said.

The London based World Travel and Tourism Council, estimates that directly or indirectly, the Cypriot travel and tourism industry, which contributed one fifth to the economy last year, will see its contribution rise to around one quarter this year.

Petrakis added that “89 percent of the tourists interviewed, said the sunshine is the main reason for coming to Cyprus,” while 53 percent named as reason their wish to experience the Cypriot culture and 42 percent named health and leisure.

The survey showed that there are special forms of tourism such as agrotourism, religious tourism, conference tourism and mountain tourism, which seem to lag behind in attractiveness over winter months compared to other destinations, Petrakis said adding that Cyprus has difficulties meeting expectations of visitors.

On the other hand, the mild winter climate, the number of days of sunshine and higher temperatures compared to other destinations, particularly of central and Eastern Europe, is the main incentive for visiting Cyprus over the winter months.

“The Cypriot tourism product can be enriched with activities in special forms of tourism and health tourism”, Petrakis said and added that tourists who had an opportunity to experience Cyprus in the winter season, remain loyal to the Cyprus brand, Petrakis added.

Author: Marie Kambas

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