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Pafos Zoo Announces New Arrivals The bird and wildlife park, Pafos Zoo, announced in late February, the addition of three more animals, as the red kangaroo family welcomed the birth of three joeys.
Cyprus has long been committed to the sustainable management of its resources, and the ‘Artificial Reefs in Cyprus’ project is set to mark another important step in the country’s environmental protection policy.
04 Rendezvous with Jochen Niemann Londa Beach Hotel promises to continue delivering the true magic of Cyprus. Here Jochen Niemann, general manager, Londa Beach Hotel, shares his thoughts on how to turn challenges into opportunities.
19 IN THIS ISSUE MARKET UPDATE GENERAL NEWS TOURISM BOARDS AGENT NEWS ACCOMMODATION NEWS & EVENTS INTERNATIONAL NEWS WHO’S MOVED TRAVEL TALK RENDEZVOUS TRAVEL CHANNELS
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Reclaiming Biodiversity, Boosting Tourism
TRAVEL TRADE CYPRUS MANAGING EDITOR Mary Kammitsi firstname.lastname@example.org JOURNALISTS Stefanie Saghbini Rita Kasziba Dominique Christou Maria Kazeli
Cyprus Airways: Viability Dependent on Turnaround Plan Cyprus Airways posted a loss after tax of EUR55.8 million for 2012 in comparison to a loss of EUR23.9 million registered in 2011.
SALES & MARKETING Maria Demetriadou Pauline Shahabian DESIGN & LAYOUT Elena Stylianou DIRECTORS Andreas Constantinides Mary Kammitsi HEADQUARTERS T.T.W. Travel Trade Weekly LTD P.O. Box 25255, Nicosia 1308 Cyprus Tel: +357 22 021607, Fax: +357 22 210466 WEBSITE www.traveltradecyprus.travel EMAILS email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com PRINTED IN CYPRUS Cyprint Plc P.O. Box 58300, CY-3732, Limassol, Cyprus Tel: +357 25 720035, Fax: +357 25 720123 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
s a result of the reduction in passenger and freight revenue, following the abandonment of unprofitable routes, limited demand due to the economic downturn, and intensifying competition, the company’s total revenue dipped 17.6 percent, or EUR37.4 million, to EUR175.5 million, while operating losses almost doubled from EUR25.5 million in 2011 to EUR49.7 million. According to Cyprus Airways, the viability of the airline is largely dependent on the final ruling of the European Union on the state aid application submitted in
Top Kinisis Travel: Financial Crisis Affects Gross Profit At a meeting held late February, Top Kinisis Travel’s board of directors examined and approved the indicative results for 2012, which included the performance of the company and all its subsidiaries. According to the results, the group’s turnover showed a decrease of 16.04 percent with respect to 2011, something the company attributes to the negative impact of the economic crisis. The travel group’s gross profit for 2012 dropped 9.1 percent, reaching EUR2.9 million from EUR3.2 million recorded in 2011. However, the gross profit margin for the year under review improved, reaching 8.54 percent compared to 2011’s 7.88 percent. On a positive note, as a result of the effectiveness of the cost cutting measures adopted by the management of the group, administrative and selling expenses for 2012 were reduced by EUR382,023 and EUR238,252 respectively in comparison to 2011.
Accurate as of
December 2012 in the form of rescue aid, which forms part of the company’s Turnaround Plan. To secure long-term viability, Cyprus Airways is already in the process of implementing the measures, which include the provision of funding to the company, reduction in the number of employees, outsourcing of specific departments, reductions in the employees’ emoluments, expansion in the larger and less seasonal Greek market, and improving the product and image, all of which are expected to lead to a drastic reduction in operating losses.
Louis Reports Recovery in Losses
Photo: St. Gerardi
PICTURE OF THE MONTH
t a meeting held on February 26, the board of directors of Louis examined and approved the indicative results for the year ended December 31, 2012. The company notes that the group’s main trade activities, which include cruising, chartering of ships to third parties, and operation of hotels, did not present any changes over 2011. Louis announced that the loss attributable to owners was reduced from EUR82.7 million in 2011 to EUR30.4 million in 2012, and 2011’s loss is due to non-
recurring charges concerning depreciation in value of assets, cancellation of ship contract, and bad debt provisions. The company indicates that the annual results were heavily affected by the group’s cruise activity in Piraeus. The decrease in passengers resulted in a decline of the operating profit from EUR24.7 million to EUR14 million year-on-year. The group’s hotel activities presented slight improvement, reporting net profit of EUR1.2 million in 2012 compared to a loss of EUR1.8 million in 2011.
MONTHLY NEWS Middle East’s Visitors Exceed 60,000 According to exclusive data revealed by the Middle East and Arabian Gulf office of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) to Travel Trade Cyprus, the island received 60,370 travellers from the region in 2012, surpassing for the first time the 60,000 mark. An increase of 7.3 percent was experienced over 2011 figures with the highest growth observed from the Lebanese market, which exhibited an 18 percent year-on-year rise. Traffic from Lebanon surged through charter flights to Paphos and also due to civil marriages, which was a specific target the regional office promoted since 2007, according to Vassilis Theocharides, director, Middle East and Arabian Gulf office, CTO. “The main trigger is still our fantastic clean beaches, which lure the Middle Eastern travellers, as well as the family aspect of Cyprus and the proximity,” Theocharides further commented, adding that Cypriots have many years experience with visitors from the region.
Cyprus Digital Guide in Progress IMH, an organisation of knowledge transfer and information management in the Cypriot market, has announced that in collaboration with T.C. Geomatic, a Cyprus-based leading cartographic company, it has undertaken the development of a digital satellite tourist guide, which will use a personal GPS navigation system offering interaction with the user. According to its developers, the suggested system is a pioneer product for the island as it will use high-tech services from smart phones, enabling visitors to the country to come in contact with the cultural, historical, and religious sites of Cyprus. The project, which is expected to be completed by January 2014, is part of the Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Innovation 2009-2010 of the Research Promotion Foundation and is sponsored by the government of Cyprus and the European Regional Development Fund.
Tour Guide School Launched Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) has announced the instigation of a tour guide school after a relevant decision by CTO’s board. The programme, which started on February 11, will last until April 2014. The school’s relaunch was deemed necessary since a lack of guides, especially Russian speaking, was observed, given that CTO expects more than 500,000 tourist arrivals from Russia this year. The curriculum taught at the school has been prepared in cooperation with the University of Cyprus and is based on European standards, while it is expected to be accredited by the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations. Andros Papageorgiou, senior tourism officer, CTO, upon welcoming the students, stressed that the organisation’s goal is to provide high quality services and underlined the important role which the guides play in forming impressions for the country. Students of the Tour Guide School
Pafos Zoo Announces New Arrivals
The zoo continuously sees to the expansion of its animal family with the last addition being that of two Asian small-clawed otters
CTO Targets Honeymooners and Easter Holidaymakers Revealing that almost a million British visitors chose the island for their holidays in 2012, Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) issued promotional announcements urging honeymooners and Easter holidaymakers to visit the Mediterranean island, as it offers stunning five-star beachfront hotels and secluded agrotourism properties in its mountainous interior, while the destination guarantees over 300 days of sunshine a year. For the Easter break, CTO suggests hiking across the Troodos mountain range, visiting the six dedicated wine routes, or enjoying a day at the Pafos Zoo or a local donkey farm, where visitors can experience local customs. In addition, CTO advises couples on honeymoon to choose Cyprus as it is the birthplace of the goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation, Aphrodite, and proposes a Cypriot wine-tasting session at the 40 boutique wineries scattered across the island, a private romantic boat ride, or a refreshing spa treatment at one of Cyprus’ award-winning institutions.
The bird and wildlife park, Pafos Zoo, located in Paphos district, announced in late February, the addition of three more animals, as the red kangaroo family welcomed the birth of three joeys. The zoo hosted just two species of marsupials; the wallaby and the red kangaroo, but later acquired a colony of normal silver wallabies and a colony of albino wallabies after two normal coloured wallabies gave birth to an albino. The zoo continuously sees to the expansion of its animal family with the last addition being that of two Asian small-clawed otters, after months of work on the pound and surrounding area near the facility’s entrance in order to provide a suitable home for them. Pafos Zoo started as a private collection of birds, which was later opened to the public in September 2003 and became a fully licensed zoo, hosting a variety of animals such as meerkats, raccoons, ring-tailed coati, Siberian tigers, white lions, gazelles, giraffes, moufflons, llamas, and zebras, just to name a few. The park also features an array of facilities for its guests, like a souvenir shop, natural history museum, art gallery, amphitheatre where parrot and owl shows take place, restaurant, snack bar, and children’s farm. The zoo is open 365 days a year until late-afternoon depending on the season, while a transfer bus is available from Paphos, Polis, Latchi, and Limassol.
Larnaca Tourism: Steady Rise At a recent press conference, Othonas Theodoulou, chairman, Larnaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry, briefed the attendees on local infrastructure projects and local economy indicators. Amongst others, 2012 saw the beginning of reconstruction works in Piale Pasha Street, which are expected to boost the city’s image. Theodoulou also referred to figures provided by the Statistical Service of Cyprus, which reveal that an approximate 10.5 percent of the country’s incoming tourism is diverted to Larnaca. This figure is representative of the last three years since in 2009 tourist arrivals to the district reached 10.1 percent , in 2010 soared to 10.7 percent, and in 2011 dropped slightly to 10.5 percent. For 2011, Larnaca received visitors from the UK, amounting to 34.1 percent of the total, while Germany and Greece climbed to 11.4 percent and 9.7 percent respectively, exhibiting figures greater than the country average. Moreover, cruise ship passengers arriving to Larnaca increased by 2.5 percent, while the region has the lead in agrotourism, with a rise of 36.9 percent over 2010.
MONTHLY NEWS Cyprus Folk Art Museum Presents New Exhibit
Russians Expected to Boost Tourism
Cyprus Folk Art Museum
At a press conference held in February by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Cyprus, and the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, Neoklis Sylikiotis, former minister of commerce, industry and tourism, revealed that the Russian market occupied a huge portion of the incoming tourist flow to the island in 2012 and is expected to do so this year as well. According to Sylikiotis, 2012 saw a year-on-year increase of 11 percent in tourism income, while international arrivals grew by three percent, something which is credited to the tourist flow from Russia, which rose by 42 percent in the year under review. On another note, the parliament’s decision to extend the period for charter flights from Russia is set to increase the number of Russian arrivals by 100,000 - 150,000 International arrivals grew for this year and boost tourism by three percent, something income by EUR120-170 million. which is credited to the Supporting this forecast, recenttourist flow from Russia, ly published results for 2012 by which rose by 42 percent in Transaero Airlines, a Russian carrier, indicated that passenger trafthe year under review fic to Cyprus rose by 56 percent.
The donation of a traditional kerosene stove made in July 2012 by Myrianthi Louroutziatis, in memory of her husband, became the exhibit of the month of March at the Cyprus Folk Art Museum, housed in the premises of the old Archbishopric Palace in Nicosia. The private museum, which has been operating in Cyprus since 1936 and today boasts representative artefacts from all over the island, was founded by a group of pioneering Cypriot scholars, and belongs to the Society of Cypriot Studies. One of the main objectives of the society is the gathering of works and material of Cypriot folk art in the framework of research and the preservation and projection of the Cypriot traditional culture.
Swiss Tourists to Exceed 50,000 An official Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) delegation headed by Andreas Filokyprou, member, board of directors, CTO, visited FESPO, a tourism exhibition in Zürich, Switzerland, which took place between January 31 and February 3. During the visit, the team held meetings with major travel agents and tour operators in the country. According to valid indications, the good results on display for 2012 are expected to continue this year as well, with an increase of eight to 10 percent in visitation results from Switzerland predicted. This growth is translated to more than 50,000 Swiss tourist arrivals, a figure which illustrates the best performance in the last 10 years. According to the data, daily expenditures of Swiss tourists per capita are significantly higher than the average tourist’s visiting Cyprus over the last few years.
Ayia Napa to Improve Accessibility Ayia Napa Municipality has announced that the proposal ‘Agia Napa - Rethymno: Fully Accessible Cities’, jointly submitted by the Greek National Confederation of Disabled People and the Municipality of Rethymno, Crete, was recently approved and will receive funding by the European Regional Development Fund and the Cyprus government. The EUR1.05 million, two-year project is aimed at at developing infrastructure and accessibility of disabled people, thus resulting in reinforcing the attractiveness and competitiveness of the tourist product in the two cities. According to its developers, the project comprises all necessary actions concerning accessibility improvement, which will lead to increasing competitiveness, promoting natural and cultural resources, and enhancing mobility and safety. The municipality cites findings of the European Network of Accessible Tourism, which indicate that 70 percent of disabled persons are able and financially capable of travelling, but are not willing to do so unless they find destinations that meet their needs, while the total gross profit of this market is more than EUR80 billion per year.
Paphos at National Wedding Show in the UK
Paphos municipalities’ representatives attended the National Wedding Show in Birmingham, which took place between March 1-3. Coordinated by the Pafos Regional Board of Tourism, with a joint representation and a common theme pavilion, the delegation managed to impress and attract a large number of visitors. During the exhibition, informative material was distributed to visitors who showed a serious interest in weddings or honeymoon trips to the coastal city, and many bookings were made. Additionally, the board had the chance to contact wedding organisers in the UK and exchange views on the further promotion of Paphos mainly through the hosting of journalists from various wedding magazines and specialist tour operators who organise weddings. The whole effort was materialised with the support of Cyprus Tourism Organisation and with the help of local authorities, hoteliers, and wedding organisers.
Larnaca: New Promotional Brochure The Larnaka Tourism Board has published a new promotional brochure entitled ’Top-10 reasons to visit Larnaka’ presenting the comparative advantages of the city as a tourist destination. The publication, which has been released in English and Russian, will be distributed at major international tourism fairs as well as through tour operators and other partners in Cyprus and abroad. The board is also preparing the material in other languages, according to the city’s priority markets. The 10 advantages are also promoted in the new video clip prepared by the board, titled ’Charming Larnaka - Real People, Real Stories’, which was released in January. The clip presented statements by tourists as to why they prefer Larnaca as a tourist destination while the background music was written specifically to represent the city’s tourism branding.
MSC Lirica Calls in Limassol
Top Kinisis Travel has released its latest cruise brochure for this year’s season, which also includes MSC Cruises’ latest itinerary from Limassol. The new booklet, titled ‘Luxury Cruises 2013’ includes some of the most fascinating destinations and attractive offers from the world-renowned cruise companies, including MSC Cruises, Princess Cruise Lines, Cunard Line, Royal Caribbean International, and Celebrity Cruises. Travellers have the choice of a variety of destinations, including Eastern and Western Mediterranean, the Baltic Sea, Norwegian Fjords, Bermuda, Caribbean, Alaska, and Panama Canal, as well as a12-day roundtrip from Limassol onboard MSC Cruises’ luxury ship, MSC Lirica. Running between June and September, the cruise welcomes both adults and children with a myriad of entertainment and relaxation options, including a number of restaurants, bars and lounges, further to a theatre, casino, disco, and wellness centre. The cosmopolitan itinerary includes visits to scenic and interesting ports in Israel, Greece, Italy as well as Turkey, before returning to Limassol.
ACTA: Travel Agents Face Problems In a recent announcement, the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (ACTA) underlined that the financial recession has brought problems to the field of travel agencies, however the agents’ role is being further hindered by issues such as the Internet, piracy, high fees, and support of low-cost airlines. As the association claims, today’s technology gives the opportunity for online bookings on air tickets and hotels, something that has limited the agents’ flow of business. The Internet has also proven to be a trap for many customers who have filed numerous complaints with ACTA with regards to their bookings having gone missing upon arrival thus forcing them to pay double for their stay. Piracy is yet another problem, since many individuals, who are not licensed by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), get paid illegally to book tickets online. On the contrary, travel agents pay high fees to CTO and the International Air Transport Association in order to be allowed to issue tickets, something that restricts their business cash flow. According to ACTA, in 2012, the government supported a low-cost airline, thus created unfair competition for Cypriot tour operators and other airlines.
Aeolos Travel Debuts Audio Guiding System Aeolos Travel will offer a brand new excursion experience during this spring and summer season. Members of the Aeolos team have already taken part in a trial of the new audio guiding system that allows visitors to explore the most attractive tourist sites at their own pace while still benefitting from expert local insights and information. The new system, which combines GPS technology with a hand-held personal audio guide, was designed with the needs and requirements of today’s independent traveller in mind. Aeolos staff tested out a Nicosia walking tour which allowed them to visit some of the capital’s main tourist sites, learn about the history of the city and discover places off the beaten track.
Agios Ioannis Cathedral, Nicosia
Rodos Cup 2008
Koursaros Yachting Announces Tour Plans
Santa Marina Retreat Reopens
The park for alternative activities, Santa Marina Retreat, which is located in the Limassol district, reopened in February, after being closed for a short period of two weeks, and will remain available to its visitors for the rest of the year, from Wednesdays to Sundays. Santa Marina Retreat hosts the largest horse farm on the island with more than 200 horses, while activities offered include guided tours, horse riding, wall climbing, mountain biking, archery, and more. The park’s latest feature, Skytrail, was introduced in 2011 and is the first twolevel high ropes course in Cyprus, which is 11m off the ground, two levels high, and offers 14 challenges. It is a development activity ideal for families, schools, youth groups, and corporate visitors, since the facility can also offer a variety of team building and incentive activities.
The yacht charter company based in Larnaca, Koursaros Yachting, has revealed this year’s sailing tours where participants gain nautical knowledge and new experiences, while they actively involve themselves in the navigation procedures. In April, the company will be sailing to Peloponisos, Greece, visiting places such as Epitavros, Ydra, Nafplio, Kyparissi, Kithira, Monemvasia, Spetses, and Poros. Koursaros Yachting is also planning two trips to Beirut over the summer, as well as participation in the pan-Cyprian offshore races where a number of sailing regattas take place between May and September. The sailing company’s team is also poised to take part in international regattas like Rodos Cup, Aegean Regatta, and Emir Regatta. Koursaros Yachting has been active in the island’s sailing industry since 2006, while its main markets are the UK and Russia regarding chartering services, with leisure options including full-day cruises, half-day cruises, fishing, and sunset cruises.
CTO Reveals New Cycling Route Cyprus Tourism Organisation has announced a new addition to the existing Troodos cycling routes which is expected to offer cyclists a new set of challenges. Plans for creating a second signposted route, starting from the centre of Limassol leading through picturesque villages into the mountains, are already under way, with the route scheduled to open in autumn this year. Additionally, for those who desire to satisfy their competitive edge, Cyprus is host to various international challenging cycling events throughout the year, such as the Cyprus Sunshine Cup, which is one of the most famous mountain bike series in the International Cycling Union’s calendar and takes place between late February and early March; the Volkswagen Cyprus Tour, the Tour of Cyprus, and the Cycling Challenge all in March; the Polis-Akamas Mountain Bike Challenge in September; and the White Rocks X-Cyprus Triathlon in October.
Cyprus Airways: Fastest Growing Airline in Greece
Hermes Airports Honoured with Best Public-Private Partnership Award Hermes Airport has received yet another award for the high level assessment of the public-private partnership in relation to the granting and management of Cyprus’ international airports. As Iacovos Iacovou, chairman, Hermes Airports, noted, the distinction represents an important recognition of the joint efforts by the company and the state to conclude a functional, effective, and fair agreement based on the principle of mutual respect, and is an excellent example of genuine co-operation between the public and the private sectors.
The national airline of Cyprus was named the fastest growing carrier in Greece in 2012 among the 10 operators that recorded the highest passenger movement in 2012 and which are active at Athens International Airport. Cyprus Airways was granted the distinction by the Greek airport’s management, which held a special ceremony for handing out the awards. The event took place at the 13th Airline Marketing Workshop, organised by Athens International Airport, and was attended by senior representatives of airlines and tourism industry professionals in the country. On behalf of Cyprus Airways, the award was received by George Antonaros, sales manager, Greece, Cyprus Airways, who stressed that the company is developing at a great pace in the country.
The distinction represents an important recognition of the joint efforts by the company and the state Through a constructive cooperation with all the stakeholders of the country and the society, Hermes Airports reaffirms its commitment to the continuous improvement of the already high level of services provided at Larnaka and Pafos International Airports, Craig Richmond, CEO, Hermes Airports, further added.
BA Improve Summer Schedule
British Airways (BA) has introduced its new and improved summer schedule for Larnaca. As of April, BA’s flights from Larnaca to London will be departing daily at 11:05, reaching Heathrow Airport at 14:05, while the return service will take off at 22:35 and will arrive in Larnaca at 05:05, local time. Along with the new schedule, the carrier announced that flights from Cyprus’ airport will move from London Heathrow’s Terminal 3, to one of the most praised terminals in the world and BA’s exclusive home, Terminal 5. Travellers can take advantage of BA’s connections of return flights from Larnaca to long-haul destinations in the North Atlantic, flying with BA, Iberia, and American Airlines.
Louis Hotels Receive Distinctions The fully renovated and upgraded lti Louis Grand Hotel in Corfu, Greece was voted ‘Best Evaluated Hotel of the World’ by Holiday Check, one of the most popular websites in Europe for hotel reviews by guests. Additionally, Louis King Jason and Louis Ledra Beach in Paphos received fourth and 19th places, respectively, in TripAdvisors’ category ‘Travelers’ Choice – Top 25 Hotels in Cyprus’. The hotel chain, Louis Hotels, which is a subsidiary company of Louis, made the announcement in late February, highlighting that evaluations by hotel guests are an important tool for management teams which respond to each comment individually, thus staying close to their guests’ needs, who, in turn, reward them with their choice.
Leptos Estates Launches New Project
Seafront Villas at Coral Bay
Paphos-based property developers, Leptos Estates, has announced that properties at the new company’s project, the Coral Seas Villas, are now available for purchase. The villas comprise three-, four- and five-bedroom seafront homes ideally located between the sea caves area and the sandy beaches of Coral Bay. The contemporary Mediterranean villas have unobstructed panoramic sea views, advantageous landscaping, exclusivity of terraces, privacy and the single residence feeling, simple and modern architectural lines, natural materials, thermal insulation, and large covered outdoor spaces, something which the company’s management deems to be a fresh, practical, green, and an up-to-date approach to modern living. The property complex is located only minutes from Paphos town, while shopping centres and other amenities, such as golf courses, are available to the villas’ residents. Activities like swimming, fishing, scuba diving, walking, sailing, or exploring are also options for adventure lovers.
Elysium Claims Worldwide Recognition The five-star luxury hotel located in Paphos has been awarded the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award. The distinction was based on comments and experiences of the hotel’s guests, which were posted on TripAdvisor’s website. The property’s team supports that the particular award reflects the excellent quality of holiday and the variety of facilities offered at the hotel as well as the efforts made for providing a high level of service set in beauty, comfort, and luxury. Elysium’s management expressed its gratitude to its guests and remains committed to continuing its efforts in preserving the hotel as one of the top in its category worldwide.
Louis Launches Mykonos Theoxenia
St. Raphael Resort Reaches Highest Occupancy to Date
Alongside its 25th year anniversary, the popular Limassol property, St. Raphael Resort, witnessed the highest occupancy figures ever recorded at the hotel, during 2012. Farah Shammas, business development director, St. Raphael Resort, commenting on the hotel’s highlights, said, “We are proud to boast an abundance of facilities that cater for all needs; from our huge grounds and landscaped gardens, awardwinning beach, six restaurants, three bars, private marina, sea view rooms, new Serenity Spa, welcoming service, and much more. Shammas further explained that Cyprus is a destination for longer holidays as well as weekend breaks offering great potential in visits to the island throughout the whole 12 months of the year. She supported that weather is wonderful all the time and there is much to offer at various periods of the year such as Christmas, New Year’s celebrations, the carnival in February or March, the Limassol Marathon, the popular Wine Festival, various music festivals, concerts, just to name a few.
Louis has announced that Mykonos Theoxenia, a luxury hotel inspired by the ‘60s, now considered a ‘national preserved property’ due to its innovative style and architecture, and a member of the Design Hotels of the World group, is now a Louis hotel. The property was recently refurbished, befitting the retro ‘60s theme, and was restored to its former glory, featuring distinct stone and whitewashed corners which established it as a landmark next to the famous windmills of Mykonos.
The property was recently refurbished, befitting the retro ‘60s theme, and was restored to its former glory The 52-room and suite boutique hotel boasts a large, free -form swimming pool with a Jacuzzi, the bhealthy club offering massages and spa treatments, and a fully-equipped gym, further to two cocktail bars, and a number of food and beverage outlets, one of which serves Greek cuisine and offers views of the island.
Reclaiming Biodiversity, Boosting Tourism As an island country blessed with natural beauty and diversity, Cyprus has long been committed to the preservation of its heritage and the sustainable management of its resources, and the highly anticipated ‘Artificial Reefs in Cyprus’ project is set to mark another important step in the country’s environmental protection policy. Rita Kasziba & Maria Kazeli write
yprus is soon set to welcome long-term benefits for its tourism industry and economy as a whole, with the launch of an innovative, scientific, and ecological adventure. Artificial reefs (AR) are varied, complex, and deliberately submerged three-dimensional structures with flat surfaces and crevices, providing habitats with a large number of sub-marine organisms thus increasing and diversifying marine resources. As Giorgos Bayadas, fisheries and marine research
officer A’, Marine Environment Division, Department of Fisheries and Marine Research (DFMR), explained, the overall goal is to enhance fish stocks by protecting the marine environment and marine life. “The ARs are also expected to serve other objectives such as diving tourism, snorkelling, awareness raising, environmental education, and scientific work,” he added, revealing that the projects are scheduled for completion this year. In line with the general principles of the initiative, these four marine-protected areas are set to be created in Dasoudi, Limassol, Protaras - Paralimni, Ayia Napa and Paphos, with the ARs deployed in close proximity to harbours in a bid to facilitate accessibility, safety, inspection, and control.
Apart from being unique attractions, these innovative projects are envisaged to exploit the areas’ ecological and economic potential, by becoming an awareness tool for all and encourage the general public and targeted groups, including snorkellers, swimmers, divers, and students, to be part of the preservation of the island’s natural wealth. Upon completion, DFMR plans to set up management bodies for each of the areas and initiate a management plan aimed at regulating fishing, inspection and control, safety, diving, access and navigation, further to promoting snorkelling, research swimming, environmental education, and overall awareness, bringing long-term socio-economic benefits to the whole island.
garding the creation of the first AR on the island in Amathus, Limassol, in 2005, identifies various tourism-orientated activities related to such constructed underwater systems. The first leisure use of ARs that appears in the study is scuba diving, which is carried out along Cyprus’ coast mainly in summer, as the researchers point out. “It is known that divers spend a considerably higher amount of money for that specific activity than a regular visitor is spending in Cyprus. Consequently, a longer period of holiday for a visitor will have a direct benefit for the island’s economy; for transport, accommodation, food and entertainment,” Bayadas advocated.
Secondly, passenger boats, which are large vessels carrying 12-150 passengers performing sea trips around the areas, some of which are equipped with an underwater observation facility, can increase their business product offering. Moreover, private and rent boats, which follow the same itineraries with passenger boats and stop in the same mooring areas, may as well be attracted by the reefs’ unique environment. Concluding, Bayadas commented on marketing activities which are expected to attract international visitors, stating that there is a high interest by organised groups, especially divers, tour operators, and the tourism industry, in general, adding that the department will soon be able to announce the activities planned to promote the projects.
According to DFMR, one of the mentioned secondary objectives of the creation of ARs in Cyprus is leisureorientated as it aims to enhance the island’s marine tourist product by suggesting alternative tourism activities and attracting divers. Analysing the project’s overall strategy, Bayadas explained, “The flow of tourism and visitors in general, is a factor that [DFMR] has seriously considered. Our intention is to raise awareness among stakeholders and encourage other potential interested organisations to take advantage of the ARs.” A survey carried out by DFMR and the Marine Biology Unit of the University of Alicante, Spain, re-
Cyprus Grand Prix 2013 Held in Larnaca The largest shooting event of its kind on the island, the Cyprus Grand Prix 2013, was held once again in Larnaca, at the city’s Olympic Shooting Range between February 23 and March 4. The trap games were held on February 25-26, while the double trap was carried out on February 27, and the skeet took place last, on March 2-3. A factor which set apart these games from previous editions was that it was the first international event where the new International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) regulations came into effect, and these will apply until the 2016 Olympic Games. For this reason, the federation sent a team of 14 ISSF officers to Cyprus, which closely supervised the implementation of the new regulations, while a film crew of ISSF TV covered the finals. Among the officials of the federation were Franz Schreiber, secretary general, ISSF, Gary Anderson, vice president, ISSF, Medhat Wahdan, vice president, ISSF, as well as members of the ISSF’s shotgun committee.
EVENTS Mind Body & Spirit Limassol, Cyprus, April 13 – 14, 2013 (www.mbscyprus.com) Visitors will experience hundreds of products and services while wellbeing experts share their experiences and knowledge. 2nd Motorbike Show & Exhibition Nicosia, Cyprus, April 13 – 14, 2013 Organised for the second consecutive year, the event is expected to attract thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the island. 7th International Med Food & Drinks and Hotel Equipment Exhibition 2013 Nicosia, Cyprus, April 19 -21, 2013 (www.medfood-drinks.com) The largest international exhibition of its kind staged in Cyprus, offering a unique opportunity for those involved in the food, drinks and hotel sectors to exchange ideas and conduct business. Taxidi Exhibition Nicosia, Cyprus, April 19 – 21, 2013 (www.taxidiexhibition.com) Organised by the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents in cooperation with Display Art, the exhibition constitutes the ideal forum where travellers can obtain valuable and comprehensive information on tourist destinations and travel packages.
Andreas Chasikos won the silver medal at the skeet games
BoC Honours the Champions
George Constantinou (left) receives award from Andreas Lazanitis, press officer, Cyprus Shooting Sport Federation
At its special annual ceremony, held on Friday, February 22, the Bank of Cyprus (BoC) shooting team awarded the winners of the BoC Shooting Competition 2012, as well as members of the team for their lifelong contribution. BoC Shooting Competition 2012 saw George Constantinou from Paphos Shooting Club winning the elite category, while Andreas Prokopiou and Christos Kittos championed in the first and second categories respectively.
Flower Festival Limassol, Cyprus, May 12 – 13, 2013 (www.limassoltourism.com) Yermasoyia celebrates the arrival of springtime with its annual flower market and a spectacular parade of flower decorates floats. Cyprus International Fair Nicosia, Cyprus, May 24 – June 2, 2013 (www.csfa.org.cy) The largest trade show in Cyprus with hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of visitors. Aphrodite FIVA World Rally 2013 Limassol, Cyprus, May 26 – June 2, 2013 (www.fivawrcyprus2013.eu) Organised by the Cyprus Federation of Classic Vehicles, the event will show participants the beauties of Cyprus.
The Gloriette, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna
Vienna Tourism 2012: Best Year Ever
The 150th birthday of Gustav Klimt no doubt contributed to the result
From January to December 2012, the Austrian capital city, Vienna, witnessed a record number in overnight stays with results exhibiting a 7.5 percent year-on-year increase, with 12.3 million overnight stays. Norbert Kettner, director, Vienna Tourist Board, attributes these achievements to two main factors. “In 2012, Vienna continued to develop its international outlook as a destination. The 150th birthday of Gustav Klimt no doubt contributed to the result.” The main feeder markets for the city once again included Germany in first place, with 2,399,000 overnight stays, equivalent to a one percent increase over 2011 levels, followed by Austria, with 2,241,000 overnight stays, jumping seven percent, and Italy, which, despite dropping two percent over 2011, contributed to 643,000 overnight stays. Meanwhile, tourists from Russia made up 634,000 overnight stays, soaring 22 percent over 2011, and a 10 percent increase was seen from visitors from the US, whose overnight stays amounted to 618,000. In sixth to 10th place were the UK, Switzerland, Spain, France, and Japan. Moreover, Vienna’s accommodation capacity grew between December 2011 and December 2012 by 2,600 beds to around 55,000 beds, but despite this, there was still a slight increase in the average bed occupancy rate to 56.7 percent, compared to 56.5 percent in 2011.
Pop-up Hotels Enter the Market An unconventional hotel operates in Antwerp, Belgium, namely Sleeping Around, regarded as a unique pop-up hotel delivering a strong element of surprise. Sleeping Around, is a village of four hotel rooms, fitted into four seperate containers, a breakfast/lounge container, and a sauna container, and is said to be attracting travellers seeking something different for their stay. It offers guests a compact yet luxurious hotel room, equipped with all the modern conveniences, including a box-spring bed, rain shower, iPod docking station, and air conditioning, all placed into a recycled sea container measuring approximately 6m, which is, in turn, placed wherever the customer desires. Produced in China, these containers are usually used for worldwide transport which are often left behind in ports as it is not always profitable to return them, and it is this fact precisely which generated the initial idea for the hotel.
Viking Shipwreck Exhibited in Denmark The wreck of the longest Viking ship in the world is soon set to become the main attraction at a major international special exhibition, entitled ’VIKING’, at the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen. The 37m-long wreck, found in Roskilde, which lies on one of the country’s islands, Zealand, will be on display between June 22 and November 17, while the exhibition will include a number of unique and new finds, which have never been displayed before. Additionally, ’VIKING’ will touch upon themes such as war and expansion, power and aristocracy, rituals and beliefs, as well as cultural contacts and trade, and will also include a large new hoard of gold and silver from Yorkshire, UK, and those found in Russia and Norway. ’VIKING’ is organised by the National Museum of Denmark, the British Museum, London, and the Museum of Prehistory and Early History, Berlin, which will be displaying the exhibition during 2014 and 2015.
RASHED SAIF AL SHABI Rashed Saif Al Shabi has been named general manager for Cyprus at Etihad Airways. Having held several key positions in the UAE and abroad, Al Shabi brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the role. After gaining experience at the Dubai Islamic Bank in various management positions, he joined the national carrier in July 2009 as business development manager.
He then moved to the airline’s Amman office before being appointed general manager for the Seychelles, where he was instrumental in establishing the station as well as in developing and implementing Etihad Airways’ partnership with Air Seychelles. Al Shabi succeeds John Evans, who becomes the general manager of the UAE national carrier for the Philippines.
IRINA IONKINA Irina Ionkina has been appointed account sales manager for Russia and the CIS markets at InterContinental Aphrodite Hills Resort Hotel. Ionkina, who will be based in Moscow, began her career as director of the Cyprus department at Supernova Travel Agency, before becoming the business development manager of the Cyprus division at another Moscow-based company, IntelService Center
Travel Group. She then worked as the head of the marketing department at Zeus Travel, and later as the head of the incentive travel department at Business Travel Assistance, Moscow, before joining Slavyanka hotel chain. In March 2012, she became the executive director of MIBS Travel, where she was also in charge of the operations of the company’s Moscow, Kiev, and Larnaca offices.
travel talk is your space
TRAVEL TALK STAVROS STAVROU
Chairman, Cyprus Airways.
Head of sales and marketing, Greece, Cyprus Airways.
“Today, the company has a totally renewed fleet. Our new aircraft, all of the Airbus family, have the most advanced navigation systems and are configured to provide enjoyable, comfortable and above all safe and secure flights. The modern electronic services that are already available to passengers [...] include mobile check-in and checking in machines known as CommonUseSelfService. This latest service is not only available at Larnaka Airport, but also at the airports of Athens and London with plans to expand to other airports soon.”
“The launch of our partnership with the Hellenic Basketball Clubs Association (ESAKE) and becoming the official carrier of the Association is particularly important to us, especially during this period, as we continue to expand our network in Greece.”
We continue to expand our network in Greece
CEO, Hermes Airports.
Chief commercial officer, Etihad Airways.
“I am very excited at the prospect of working for Hermes Airports, having met members of the board and management team on various occasions and having heard such great things about working and living in Cyprus.”
I am very excited at the prospect of working for Hermes Airports
“The Larnaca - Abu Dhabi route plays an important role in Etihad Airways’ network and provides a vital trade, tourism,and cultural link between the UAE, the GCC, and Cyprus. Rashed Saif Al Shabi [the recently appointed general manager for Cyprus] has a proven track record within the industry and great passion for what he does. We are looking forward to his leadership and commitment bringing even greater results to our operations in the Cyprus market.”
TRAVEL TALK IS YOUR SPACE – this is a casual forum for travel industry professionals to discuss current issues and share stories. We want to hear from you, so send your comments, questions, frustrations and observations to email@example.com APRIL 2013
Q & A with Costas Hadjicostis Following months of hard work and anticipation, GrandResort Limassol is set to reopen its doors on April 1, welcoming returning and new guests, as Costas Hadjicostis, general manager, GrandResort Limassol, reveals, with a myriad of new amenities and perks.
Travel Trade Cyprus: What kind of initiatives and improvements have been implemented during the winter months in order to further enhance guest experience?
market will overpass the arrivals of the UK market. This is the result of the ongoing recession in the European Union, including the UK, therefore affecting all our traditional tourist markets.
Costas Hadjicostis: We would like to start by emphasising that at the GrandResort our main priority is to exceed our customers’ expectations. Until the re-opening of the hotel on April 1, all our staff will undergo an intensive training programme in order to enlarge and improve their work knowledge. Certainly, this is an ongoing, continued effort in order to improve the high standards of our service at GrandResort. We are also extending our Kyma Poolside Restaurant in order to increase our guests’ comfort as well as seating capacity. In addition, we are also relocating our fine dining Kohili Seafood Restaurant, overlooking the sea, and all rooms will be supplied with new laptop-size digital safes and LED TVs. Free Wi-Fi will also be available for our guests throughout the hotel, whether in the room, by the sea, the pool, or in public areas. We believe that in this fast-changing world, Internet is a necessity and not a luxury. Needless to add that all rooms as well as public areas will be maintained in detail so that everything will function perfectly during the year. Nationally, but also internationally, there is a healthy competition between luxury hotels, thus creating the need of continuously not only upgrading the facilities of the hotel but also improving the service that we offer to all our guests. There is always a must and a need to be ahead of the competition. We must also always follow the changes and the trends of our industry. Hoteliers that fail to improve, upgrade, or renovate their property continuously, will fall behind and eventually go out of business.
Travel Trade Cyprus: How do you utilise the power of the Internet to engage with guests and reach out to potential customers?
Costas Hadjicostis General manager, GrandResort Limassol
Travel Trade Cyprus: What are your expectations and plans for the upcoming summer season?
Costas Hadjicostis: In order to keep up with all online resources, we have introduced a new position of e-commerce sales executive. The main duty is to manage daily all online resources, including social media as well as online review sites.
Travel Trade Cyprus: What are your top source markets? Costas Hadjicostis: Our top markets include Russia, UK, Germany, and Cyprus. Over the past few years, the UK market was well ahead of all others. However, since 2010, the numbers from the UK are declining and at the same time the numbers from the Russian market are increasing. We are reaching the point where soon the Russian
Furthermore, our own website was upgraded two years ago, in order to be customer-friendly, and our potential guests are able to book easily and directly with the hotel. There is a continued need and effort to keep all these providers well-informed with the correct pictures, description, as well as rates and offers, so that the hotel is always competitive not only locally but also globally. I would also like to point out that in 2012 we have been awarded, by TripAdvisor, with the Certificate of Excellence and [we also received the] Travelers’ Choice 2013 award.
Let us all work towards the benefit of our country and our economy
Costas Hadjicostis: Our prediction for the upcoming season is that there will be a drastic increase from the Russian market. Open skies [policy] has been introduced from Russia for the period between March 15 and November 15, instead of June 1 and September 20 as in 2012. We expect that the British market will reach similar arrivals as in the last two years with a possible minor increase. For the rest of the markets in Central Europe, we have a disadvantage due to the lack of direct flight connections. Certainly, we will focus on the Russian and British markets, and at the same time [we will] keep in continued contact with the traditional markets, including Germany, Austria, France, and Italy, just to name a few. Travel Trade Cyprus: How do you foresee the Cypriot tourism industry’s future? Costas Hadjicostis: Having said all the above, it will be a big minus and will greatly affect the tourist arrivals if, because of the economical problems, strikes start resulting in guest dissatisfaction and negative media reports abroad. Let us all work towards the benefit of our country and our economy, before taking any drastic actions that will affect our tourism industry. We believe that the tourism industry can flourish and reduce unemployment [and] become the main source of foreign currency coming into Cyprus. In conclusion, for the short term, tourism is the only industry that can help Cyprus overcome the economical crisis.
First Sustainable Tourism Observatory in Europe
The Monitoring Centre for Sustainable Tourism Observatories has been inaugurated by University of the Aegean on the Aegean Islands, the main archipelago of Greece.
his is the first sustainable tourism observatory in Europe, and it joins the five existing sustainable tourism observatories established in China under the auspices of World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). With the support of the Ministry of Tourism of Greece, the centre will monitor the environmental, social, and economic impacts of tourism in the archipelago, implement sustainable tourism practices in close cooperation with the public and private tourism in the area of the Aegean, and serve as a model to expand the concept to a national level. Describing Greece as a country endowed with a rich cultural and natural heritage, Olga Kefalogi-
The centre will monitor the environmental, social, and economic impacts of tourism in the archipelago
anni, minister of tourism, Greece, pointed out, “It is evident that the relationship between tourism and the environment is a central concern for our national strategy. Set in the framework of Greece’s special action programme, in collaboration with key environmental partners such as the Academy of Athens, any initiative contributing to this purpose finds the active support of the Ministry of Tourism,” she added. Moreover, expressing optimism for the new centre, Taleb Rifai, secretary-general, UNWTO, said, “The establishment of the Aegean Observatory will provide critical information to better manage the advancement of sustainability in one of the prime destinations of the Mediterranean. Only by better understanding the interaction between tourism and its surrounding, can we improve existing sustainable tourism initiatives and ensure that tourism continues to work for the local population and the destination as a whole.”
BA Helps Nervous Passengers A new book, based on British Airways (BA)’s course for nervous flyers, will help thousands of customers conquer their fears. Co-written by Steve Allright, pilot, BA, who has been working for the UK’s national carrier since 1980, the book takes information from the airline’s one-day ’Flying with Confidence’ course, which has helped more than 45,000 people over the past 25 years.
Steve Allright, pilot, BA
European Tourists to Increase Travel Budget Half of the respondents polled by TripAdvisor from all over the world plan to increase their travel spend this year. TripBarometer by TripAdvisor, considered the world’s largest accommodation and traveller survey, which is based on input by over 35,000 travellers and hoteliers, revealed that 44 percent of European respondents said they would spend more on travelling. According to the report, European accommodation owners appear to be the least optimistic about profitability, with only 54 percent of them expecting positive financial results compared to the global average of 68 percent. Correspondingly, European accommodations are the least likely to increase their room rates in the coming months, with only 32 percent of the respondents, polled in Europe, planning to offer higher rates versus 40 percent of hoteliers globally. The study also revealed that when it comes to research and planning, travellers are increasingly relying on online channels, with respondents listing travel review websites, webbased travel agencies, and travel operator websites among the three most ‘useful’ sources. Worldwide, the majority of travellers book accommodation via web-based travel agencies (27 percent), closely followed by accommodations’ own websites (23 percent). In Britain, for example, only seven percent of the respondents used a high-street travel agent to book their last trip, reaffirming the online channels’ increasing significance.
Launched on March 7, the book addresses a number of areas of concern including how an aircraft operates, the normality of turbulence, as well as advice from clinical psychologists including breathing and relaxation techniques, and things to do onboard.
The book takes information from the airline’s one-day Flying with Confidence course, which has helped more than 45,000 people over the past 25 years “As pilots, we want every customer to have a safe and enjoyable flight. We understand that flying can be a daunting prospect for some and hope that British Airways’ Flying with Confidence course and book can help to alleviate those concerns,” indicated Allright. British Airways launched an in-flight video version of its ’Flying With Confidence’ course on its flights in September 2012.
Q & A with Jochen Niemann Hailed as one of the most beautiful boutique properties on the island, Londa Beach Hotel promises to continue delivering the true magic of Cyprus. Here Jochen Niemann, general manager, Londa Beach Hotel, shares his thoughts on how to turn challenges into opportunities.
Travel Trade Cyprus: Since its opening in the 1980s, Londa Beach Hotel, Limassol, has welcomed guests from all over the world. How would you describe the past 12 months? Jochen Niemann: As a consequence of the global financial situation, 2012 started off a bit slow but by December we had achieved the highest occupancy and revenues Londa has ever experienced. This confirms that we are still the preferred choice for the boutique hotel traveller coming to Limassol. [During] the second half of 2012, when Cyprus was holding the rotating European Union presidency, Londa enjoyed particular popularity, which was a highlight for the team and myself. In 2012, we also saw the arrival of our new Italian executive chef, Giovanni Caracciolo. He has created a truly authentic menu for our Caprice restaurant and has succeeded in building a high reputation in a short time. Giovanni and his cuisine are the perfect addition to our overall unique atmosphere which Londa is known for and loved.
also concentrating on smaller size incentive groups as well as the local weekend leisure business. Travel Trade Cyprus: Over the past few years, a number of new airlines, including low-cost carriers, launched direct services to Cyprus. How have your key source markets changed?
Jochen Niemann General manager, Londa Beach Hotel
Travel Trade Cyprus: Located on the island of the birthplace of Aphrodite, the hotel offers an ideal venue for weddings. What kind of tailored services does the hotel offer to ensure couples, planning to get married, the most memorable day at Londa Beach Hotel? Jochen Niemann: For those contacting us directly, we offer special wedding packages as well as the services of a wedding planner we collaborate with. This way we can make every wedding unique to the wishes of the couple. With the help of our municipality, we are able to perform the actual civil service wedding ceremony at our hotel, and follow it up with the reception, the dinner, and accommodation for the couple, their families, and friends.
Travel Trade Cyprus: Following an extensive makeover in 2005, Londa Beach Hotel became the first design boutique property in Cyprus. How did the public respond to the concept back in the ‘80s, and how popular is the boutique concept today? Jochen Niemann: The concept back in the ‘80s was not known as ‘boutique’. Londa opened as an apartment suite hotel and attracted many repeat tourists and corporate guests alike who enjoyed the very personalised service and the charm of a smaller property. Entering the 21st century, these adjectives became more and more popular, and by adding the design factor with our renovation, a new niche was created. The concept turned out to be very successful. We are offering an alternative to the larger hotels as many of them lack the charm due to their sheer size. Travel Trade Cyprus: How would you describe your target market? Jochen Niemann: Our guests are mostly couples already familiar with the design boutique concept, but we also attract the individual corporate traveller who prefers intimate surroundings and highly personalised service. We continue to target these market segments,
Jochen Niemann: As much as this made news when first announced, some of these new low-cost carriers proved not to be very reliable with their schedules often changing or even being suspended on a very short notice. Therefore, we consider it too risky to invest into new markets only serviced by new airlines, since their services may not materialise the following season. Our key source markets have remained the same; UK, Germany and Central Europe, Russia, and the local market. Recently, we have noticed an increase in travellers from Eastern European countries. This year we will focus on targeting the GCC and Israel more, since Cyprus is the ideal short break destination for those countries thanks to its milder climate and political stability.
Travel Trade Cyprus: What are your expectations for the coming season?
This year we will focus on targeting the GCC and Israel more, since Cyprus is the ideal short break destination
Jochen Niemann: On one hand, this year will prove a challenge for Cyprus due to the impending bailout the island is facing. Unemployment is expected to further increase, austerity measures will impact local salaries, and, as a consequence, the local market will be affected negatively. On the other hand, international tourism figures are expected to surpass 2012’s impressive result with the biggest increase projected from the Russian market. We are confident that our performance will be consistent with 2012’s and by continuing our investment in social media and improving our online presence we plan to improve our market share further.
Published on Apr 3, 2013
Travel Trade Cyprus, is the first and only Cyprus-based virtual, as well as hard copy, publication of its kind, which will be published mon...