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AUGUST 2013

ISSUE 06

The Mall of Cyprus to Expand At the annual general meeting of ITTL Trade Tourist & Leisure Park, it was announced that The Mall of Cyprus area is set to be further enlarged.

Cyprus Marine Environment Protection Association has acknowledged this year’s eminent coastlines by presenting 57 beaches on the island with the Blue Flag.

03 Interview with Andreas Christodoulides Andreas Christodoulides, general manager, Alexander The Great Beach Hotel, shares his views on the recent happenings at the property and across the island.

19 IN THIS ISSUE MARKET UPDATE GENERAL NEWS TOURISM BOARDS AGENT NEWS NAUTICAL NEWS ACCOMMODATION INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL TALK TRAVEL CHANNELS RENDEZVOUS NEWS & EVENTS

02 03 05 07 08 12 14 15 18 19 20

Cyprus Awarded 57 Blue Flags

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MARKET UPDATE

TRAVEL TRADE CYPRUS MANAGING EDITOR Mary Kammitsi mary@traveltradeweekly.travel COPY EDITOR Stefanie Saghbini

Hermes Airports: Passenger Traffic Surges Hermes Airports has reported a 5.5 percent improvement in passenger traffic for May at Larnaka International Airport and Pafos International Airport.

SENIOR JOURNALIST Rita Kasziba JOURNALIST Maria Kazeli

C

PRESS Maria Demetriadou Pauline Shahabian Derek Lainsbury 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

raig Richmond, CEO, Hermes Airports, noted that although the results so far create a feeling of relief, the industry is still faced with challenges. “We know very well that this year’s projections suffered a serious blow in March due to the painful economic developments; however, we believe that with everyone’s collaboration we could even turn things around completely.”

In order to increase tourist flow to Cyprus, Hermes Airports has already outlined new incentive schemes for airlines, which include discounts on landing fees for additional flights, discounts based on the load factor for selected routes at Larnaca, as well as marketing support, while the company also continues to offer the three previous incentive schemes, which include the support of new routes, support of winter incremental passengers, and long-term volume related agreements.

WEBSITE www.traveltradecyprus.travel EMAILS info@traveltradeweekly.travel sales@traveltradeweekly.travel editorial@traveltradecyprus.travel PRINTED IN CYPRUS Cyprint Plc P.O. Box 58300, CY-3732, Limassol, Cyprus Tel: +357 25 720035, Fax: +357 25 720123 Email: info@cyprint.com.cy

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131.20

PICTURE OF THE MONTH

Louis: Q1 Turnover up by EUR3.9 Million The cruising and hospitality giant, Louis, announced its financial results for the first quarter (Q1) of the year, with the company’s revenue registering a significant increase of 24.7 percent compared to the same period in 2012, since Q1’s income rose to EUR19,827,000, while for Q1 2012 the figure was limited to EUR15,906,000. According to Louis’ announcement, this surge resulted from the activities of Louis Cruises (up 62 percent) because during most of this year’s Q1, there were two ships compared with only one in the corresponding period in 2012. Regarding Louis Hotels, turnover showed a decrease of 46 percent due to four hotels in Limassol, Paphos, and Larnaca not in operation during Q1, mainly due to renovations. The significant swell in the total earnings resulted in the reduction of operating loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and hotel rents for the period under review. The operating loss this year amounted to EUR2.3 million compared to EUR5.4 million in the corresponding period in 2012, registering an improvement of 56.6 percent.

AUGUST 2013


MONTHLY NEWS The Mall of Cyprus to Expand

The Mall of Cyprus At the annual general meeting of ITTL Trade Tourist & Leisure Park, it was announced that The Mall of Cyprus area is set to be further enlarged. As Marios Panayides, chairman, ITTL Trade Tourist & Leisure Park, pointed out in his speech, an application for a town planning permit for the expansion of the shopping mall by around 4,000m2, with additional parking spaces and for the creation of new commercial spaces, will soon be submitted. ITTL Trade Tourist & Leisure Park, owning company of Shacolas Emporium Park, which includes The Mall of Cyprus, IKEA, as well as other buildings and offices, enjoyed a satisfactory and profitable 2012, with operating profits reaching EUR9.7 million, compared to EUR9.1 million in 2011, thus signalling a 6.2 percent increase. The company attributes this to the new wing in the mall being operational for a full calendar year.

AUGUST 2013

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Hermes Airports Attends Routes Europe 2013 Hermes Airports, the operator of Larnaka International Airport and Pafos International Airport, took part in Routes Europe 2013, the region’s annual route development forum, which, this time, was hosted by Budapest, Hungary.

Policy leaders and aviation stakeholders gathered together to explore business opportunities, network, and discuss their future plans. Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, minister of commerce, industry, and tourism,

Cyprus, who was a key speaker at the event, took the opportunity to meet with a large number of airline representatives and tourism stakeholders to promote the island and demonstrate the significant benefits of expanding to Cyprus.


MONTHLY NEWS

CTO: Good Perspectives for Tourism During his speech at the annual general meeting of Larnaka Tourism Board, Alekos Orountiotis, chairman, Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), expressed his optimism for the island’s future tourism potentials, stating that at this difficult time for the economy, the tourism sector bolsters Cyprus, while he emphasised the need for continued effort, dedication, and professionalism from everyone to achieve results that will meet local expectations. Concerning Larnaca, Orountiotis commended Larnaka Tourism Board’s remarkable work in various arenas, like promotion and marketing, development of the tourism product, ensuring the quality of services offered, coordination for implementation of various infrastructure projects, and attracting new airlines thus generating new routes at Larnaka International Airport.

Cyprus Awarded 57 Blue Flags

Flag Raising

Cyprus Marine Environment Protection Association (CYMEPA) has acknowledged this year’s eminent coastlines by presenting 57 beaches on the island with the Blue Flag; a voluntary eco-label awarded to more than 3,850 beaches and marinas in 48 countries across the world, in a ceremony held at Kourion seaside in June. While awarding the prizes to the communities, Michael Ierides, general secretary, CYMEPA, thanked Cyprus Tourism Organisation for its role as a national coordinator and sponsor of various projects which contribute to the success of the scheme in Cyprus. Ayia Napa was in primary position with its beaches securing 14 flags, while Paralimni and Ayios Tychonas, Limassol followed with nine and seven, respectively.

Awarding Ceremony for Paphos Coastline QualityCoast Award Ceremony

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In an official ceremony held in June, Paphos received its award in recognition for being one of the 20 most sustainable tourism destinations in Europe thus securing a gold medal in the QualityCoast competition. Attendees at the event included members of the international committee of QualityCoast, representatives of the national jury, all the mayors of the province, municipalities that participated in the competition, Paphos’ tourism industry professionals, as well as officials of Pafos Regional Board of Tourism. The QualityCoast award is attributed on the basis of information to be provided by the applicants, while the selection of the regions is based on the performance of the candidates in 20 criteria covering five thematic areas, which mainly focus on clean environment, nature and its conservation, local identity, destination management, and rich natural and cultural heritage. AUGUST 2013


Tourism Boards

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Larnaca Castle Open on Weekends

Larnaca Medieval Castle

CTO and CIMA in Conference on Congress Tourism In an effort to promote conference tourism, Cyprus participated in CONFEC Blue, an event which brought together top international agencies and corporate and incentive organisers with international hotel chains, individual properties, unusual venues, convention bureaus, tourist boards, and destination management companies to participate in a series of one-onone meetings. At the forum, which was There was an intense presen- held in Rhodes, Greece, betation of Cyprus’ potential as tween June 13 - 16, Cyprus was a destination for meetings represented by Annita Demetriand incentives tourism, as adou, director of tourism, stratwell as a tourist destination egy and research department, Cyprus Tourism Organisation in general (CTO), and Christos Petsides, general secretary, Cyprus Incentives and Meetings Associates (CIMA). In the context of meetings arranged by the event’s organisers, there was an intense presentation of Cyprus’ potential as a destination for meetings and incentives tourism, as well as a tourist destination in general. CTO and CIMA deem that interest in Cyprus was very satisfactory since many of the participants expressed the wish to include the island in their programmes.

AUGUST 2013

Larnaka Municipality and Larnaka Tourism Board welcomed the decision of the Cypriot Ministry of Communications and Works and the Department of Antiquities concerning the operation of the Larnaca Medieval Castle on weekends as well. According to the new arrangement, the castle now remains open on working days from 08:00 to 19:30 during summer time, and on weekends from 09:30 until 17:00. The opening of the fort seven days a week was a long-standing demand of both authorities as the monument is situated in the busiest area of the city, at the coastal front. With the extension of the hours of operation, a greater number of local and foreign tourists can now visit the historic site, since it is being hailed as one of the most remarkable attractions in Larnaca.

Larnaca Owes to Overcome Obstacles Larnaka Tourism Board held its second annual meeting at Sandy Beach Hotel to identify the district’s potentials in the tourism sector and suggest ways to overcome difficulties to enhance its tourism product. In his speech, Dinos Lefkaritis, chairman, Larnaka Tourism Board, stressed the city’s advantages and indicated the three main reasons which hinder Larnaca’s ongoing touristic development is its image between the tourist area of Pyla/Voroklini and Larnaca with the existence of oil storage tanks; the lack of a modern road, sidewalks, and bike lanes in the Dhekelia tourist area; and the lack of sunbeds. Lefkaritis, however, appeared optimistic for the city’s future since upcoming developments will improve its tourist image. Such projects include the creation of a new, 3km tourist area, the joining of beaches through a lane for pedestrians, new golf course, theme park in Voroklini, amphitheatre, salt lake environmental centre, and more. During the meeting, the board honoured easyJet with the Larnaca Tourism Development Award for adding new services to Larnaka International Airport. Larnaka Tourism Board Annual Meeting


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MONTHLY NEWS

Tourism Boards

C&A Tourist Apartments, Polis Chrysochous

Accessible Tourism Contest by CTO

The competition ‘European Destinations of Excellence EDEN VI’ on accessible tourism organised by Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), following an initiative by the Tourism Unit of the European Commission, was recently completed. The municipality of Polis Chrysochous was declared the winning destination, as it represents the theme of this year’s competition and the entire community has been developed in such a way so as to be accessible to all visitors, regardless of their physical condition, age or disability. Within this framework and in collaboration with other stakeholders, CTO has prepared standard guidelines for the proper adaptation and evaluation of the accessibility of hotels for use by individuals with disabilities. Moreover, in partnership with local authorities, CTO has implemented a pilot programme to install access facilities for disabled people at the beaches of Cyprus.

Pafos 2017 Board Held Meeting A gathering of the Pafos 2017 board was organised in May at the Amathus Beach Hotel, which was attended by Savvas Vergas, mayor, Paphos, members of the municipal council, Christos Patsalides, chairman, Pafos 2017, as well as members of the board. The municipalities of Yeroskipou, Peyia, and Polis Chrysochous, along with the Paphos Chamber of Commerce and Industry were also represented. The main objective of the meeting was to plan the next steps to begin the implementation of the obligations of Paphos based on its candidacy file for European Capital of Culture.

Green Holidays by CTO In line with its commitment to lead sustainability issues in tourism, Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) launched the campaign ‘Make Holidays Greener’, which was aimed at creating awareness on sustainable holidays ‘Link to What’s Local’. The initiative, which ran through July, intended to encourage both the tourism industry and tourists to contribute to making holidays greener, while it was based on the promotion of all local aspects of the tourism product, such as culture, local cuisine and carvings, history, the environment and above all the local population. According to Marios Hannides, director general, CTO, many Cypriot hotels are family businesses with staff from neighbouring towns and villages, and the fresh local products play a huge part in the island’s culinary experience.

AUGUST 2013


Agents

Dutch and Polish Agents in Paphos Paphos-based tourism professionals and hoteliers have collaborated once again to continue promotional efforts. Pafos Regional Tourism Board in collaboration with Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) and local businesses, hosted representatives of five Dutch football teams and 25 Polish travel agents. The football experts had the chance to experience sports facilities, hotel infrastructures, and Paphos as a tourist destination in general, and expressed the willingness to include the city in their training and preparation programmes for the next season. Moreover, representatives of the Polish tour operator Rainbow Travel enjoyed a day trip in order to experience a few of the city’s attractions and local points of interest, as well as a traditional Cypriot evening. The group of agents expressed satisfaction with the destination and the hospitality offered, and assured that it will strengthen efforts to promote Paphos.

Top Kinisis Travel Showcases the Best of Cuba Top Kinisis Travel, in partnership with the Embassy of Cuba in Cyprus, have organised a Cuban-themed night at the travel company’s headquarters in Nicosia to highlight the countless sights and wonders of the Caribbean island. Top Kinisis Travel, which offers trips to Cuba throughout the whole year, invited representatives of tour operators, partners, and other distinguished guests to enjoy an authentic night of rhythm and dance and the flavours of the famed Cuban cuisine and cocktails. As Aramis Fuente Hernandez, ambassador of Cuba, noted, such initiatives help promote the variety and quality of the Cuban tourist product and further strengthen ties between the two countries. Hernandez further revealed that after welcoming more than two million international visitors in 2012, Cuba now aims to attract three million tourists. Cuban-themed Night

Rocky Mountaineer

Century Travel Partners with Rocky Mountaineer

AUGUST 2013

MONTHLY NEWS

Century Travel has teamed up with Rocky Mountaineer, the largest privately owned passenger rail service in North America, to offer Cypriot travellers an alternative travel concept. With the new partnership, travellers from Cyprus will be able to choose from Rocky Mountaineer excursions that include 45 Canadian vacation packages and four unique rail routes, through their local travel agent or directly with Century Travel. Daniel Essex, director, Century Travel, said, “Century Travel’s new partnership with Rocky Mountaineer will provide travellers in the region the chance to experience something truly special; a luxurious train trip through the Canadian Rockies. Our research shows travellers from the region are looking for unique travel experiences and each of Rocky Mountaineer's packages fulfils this.” Leslie Peden, director, Europe, Middle East, and Africa sales, Rocky Mountaineer, concurred describing Century Travel as the perfect partner for Rocky Mountaineer's entry into the region.

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MONTHLY NEWS

Nautical

Larnaca Marina to Become a Tourist Attraction Larnaca’s executive development committee recently reaffirmed its commitment to the primarily tourism-orientated nature of the joint improvement of the city’s harbour and marina, as the project is said to be the most balanced option for the rpogress of the local and national economy, as well as the most appropriate planning and spatial improvement that will unify and act as a catalyst in the regeneration of Larnaca’s coastal front. At the same time, the use of the harbour’s land area, its modern and adequate infrastructure, as well as the ability of commercial activity in the northern quay of the harbour, create suitable conditions for housing all executive facilities of the energy sector in Cyprus. The committee expressed its displeasure at the delay which The project is said to be has arisen and continued prothe most balanced op- crastination in signing trade tion for the development agreements for launching the of the local and national project’s implementation and economy assured that it will act towards the plan’s fulfilment.

MSC Lirica Docks in Limassol

MSC Lirica

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On June 9, MSC Lirica arrived in Limassol for the first time and admitted the first Cypriot passengers on a twelve-day cruise to Greece, Italy, Israel, and Turkey. On the same day, Top Kinisis Travel, which represents MSC Cruises in Cyprus and Greece, also welcomed aboard a group of journalists and travel agents to meet and tour the ship. The ship started performing cruises from June in a firstever summer programme to be offered in Cyprus that will run until September 19, while ports visited include Haifa, Zakynthos, Genoa, Rome, Messina, and Marmaris. Built in 2003, MSC Lirica weighs 60,000 tonnes and can carry up to 2,200 passengers, with a crew of 732 people.

Limassol Marina Welcomes High Profile Visitors Tasos Mitsopoulos, minister of communications and works, Cyprus, and Andreas Christou, mayor, Limassol, recently visited Limassol Marina to receive an update on the project’s progress from the management headed by Marios Lanitis, chairman, Limassol Marina. The south eastern breakwater of the development has already been completed and the marina also recently welcomed the first yachts, just months after delivering 94 luxury apartments at Nereids Residences. Boasting a capacity of 650 berths, for yachts up to 115m in length, Limassol Marina is the first full-service superyachts marina in Cyprus, which is expected to position the island on the nautical yachting map, improve the calibre of its tourism, and boost the economy on a wider scale. Its development is said to be creating new prospects for Limassol and Cyprus, as a whole, by upgrading the surrounding area, and reviving the historical centre of town.

AUGUST 2013


MONTHLY NEWS Famagusta Municipalities’ Officials Meet with Minister

Pafos Zoo Welcomes Baby Flamingo

Tasos Mitsopoulos, minister of communications and works, Cyprus, recently held a meeting with officials from the two municipalities of the Famagusta district to discuss the transportation system in the country. Theodoros Pirilli, mayor, Paralimni, and Yiannis Karousos, mayor, Ayia Napa, met with the governmental representative in a bid to explore various scenarios of restructuring the island’s transportation services, aiming to upgrade the current options offered to the public. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Mitsopoulos said, “The mayors and I discussed problems concerning the region, this prominently touristic area of Cyprus, with special emphasis on public transport, buses, and taxis, in an effort to create the requirements and conditions for offering better services to tourists and the local population.”

Jellyfish Monitoring in Cyprus The Oceanography Center of the University of Cyprus has stepped up its JellyWatch research programme, in light of the tourist peak season and the possible appearance of the marine animal during this time of the year. The project, which was launched by the International Commission for the Scientific Exploration of the Mediterranean Sea, currently involves 10 countries, including Cyprus, which, through the Oceanography Center, has been part of the initiative since 2011. As Georgios Fyttis, biologist, special scientist, Oceanography Center, University of Cyprus, explained, the main problem caused by jellyfish is the formation of blooms, which have severe negative impacts on the economy and the tourism industry. “Human health is also affected by jellyfish, because of their sting. Tourism is mostly affected by this particular characteristics of jellyfish [and] as it is wellknown, Cyprus’ economy depends greatly on tourism,” noted Fyttis, ading that the main advantage of the JellyWatch programme is the ‘citizen science’ approach for recording jellyfish, whereby swimmers, tourists, boat owners, as well as beachgoers together with agencies, organised groups associated with the sea are requested to contribute to the initiative by recording species of jellies that are found in our seas.

JellyWatch

AUGUST 2013

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Pafos Zoo has celebrated the arrival of a baby Caribbean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber). The birth marks the first time the zoo has successfully bred any of the two different species of flamingo that have been in Paphos since the establishment’s opening in 2003. In addition, the zoo is looking forward to welcoming a baby Greater Flamingo as one of the females is currently nesting.

Baby Flamingo

New Municipal Theatre in Paphos The board of Pafos 2017 has welcomed the approval of the Cypriot Ministry of Interior to grant land on which the new municipal theatre of Paphos will be built on with work on the upcoming project expected to begin in 2014. Members of the board emphasised that this cultural infrastructure project will help Paphos to achieve its objectives in preparation of the city becoming the European Capital of Culture in 2017, announcing that the municipal theatre is one of the ventures that will define the development and quality of life of the city and district of Paphos. Moreover, the officials expressed their willingness to actively support all municipalities in the district for the implementation of all the urban regeneration plans which were submitted with the Pafos 2017 proposal.

Theatre Rendering


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MONTHLY NEWS

Air

Ryanair: Enhanced Winter Services

Jet2 Advises to Choose Cyprus

Ryanair

British low-cost airline based at Leeds Bradford Airport, Jet2, has released a statement advising Brits to take advantage of the considerably lower prices this year, which is a result of the upheaval in Cyprus’ economy. Jet2 quotes experts who urge tourists to go ahead and book cheap flights to Cyprus while they can, since the tourism aspect of the location is still alive and active despite the downturn.

Pafos Regional Board of Tourism welcomed Ryanair’s announcement for offering a significant number of winter flights to the city. Launching end of October, the new winter schedule will see the two Paphos-based Ryanair aircraft complete 24 inbound services per week, from 11 different airports and eight countries. Specifically, Pafos International Airport will be connected with Norway, Sweden, Germany, and Lithuania once-weekly, while operations to Milan and Rome, Italy, Belgium, and Manchester, UK, will be twice-weekly. Additionally Chania, Thessaloniki, and London will be served with three, four, and five flights per week, respectively. This year’s programme is further enhanced compared to 2012 and members of the board expect a significant increase in individual visitor arrivals in Paphos and Cyprus.

Now is the time to book cheap flights to the island and get a bargain holiday for this summer The airline’s statement advocates that so far, the holiday season in the island has been great, following on from the excellent summer season in 2012, as everything is working as it should be for tourists, adding that now is the time to book cheap flights to the island and get a bargain holiday for this summer.

Air France

Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Offer Inflight Wi-Fi

Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has launched inflight connectivity on two Boeing 777-300 aircraft, offering passengers the chance to stay connected while in the air, by sending messages and emails, browsing the Internet, or watching live television. In partnership with Panasonic Avionics, the airlines will conduct a pilot phase through the rest of the year on the two aircraft which will operate on several longhaul destinations. According to Alexandre de Juniac, CEO, Air France, by jointly launching inflight connectivity and data transmission, the airlines are continuing to innovate. “This inflight connectivity test phase on long-haul flights perfectly integrates our ongoing strategy to offer our customers even more new products and services.” AUGUST 2013


Air

Cyprus Airways: AEGEAN Launches New Routes Updates to Greece In line with its commitment to support the wider Greek reOperations In line with its restructuring plan and in conjunction with the imperative need to impose immediate measures aimed at the fastest possible recovery, Cyprus Airways has made major changes to its flight schedule in Greece. The cancelled itineraries concern return flights between Athens-Thessaloniki, Athens-Heraklion, and Athens-Rhodes, while services modified were Thessaloniki-Heraklion, now operated six times a week, Thessaloniki-Rhodes, and Heraklion-Rhodes, both served three times a week. The international routes affected by changes to Cyprus Airways’ flight timetable are the return flights between AthensLarnaca and Heraklion-Larnaca, now operated with three flights daily, and Thessaloniki-Larnaca, with six weekly connections.

Blue Air Announces Winter Schedule Romanian airline, Blue Air, which is continuing its longterm investment policy aimed at strengthening its presence in the travel industry, has announced its new winter schedule 20132014, for the period starting October 27 and running through to March 28, 2014. For the upcoming winter season, Blue Air will be offering flights from Larnaca to Bucharest four times a week, with services being operated from the Romanian capital’s Henri Coandă International Airport, a development which saw the low-cost carrier transfer its operations from Bucharest’s Băneasa Aurel Vlaicu International Airport.

AUGUST 2013

gion and help boost tourism, AEGEAN continues to expand its network with two new routes. The recently inaugurated Heraklion-Istanbul service is being operated twice-weekly while flights between Athens and Cairo are due to commence on October 3 three times a

MONTHLY NEWS

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week, both onboard a 168-seat Airbus A320 aircraft. “We continue to invest in extroversion, taking initiatives for the development of tourism and the regions of Greece,” stressed Dimitrios Gerogiannis, CEO, AEGEAN, adding that the seasonal connection between Heraklion and Istanbul is an especially positive development.


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MONTHLY NEWS

Accommodation

COLUMBIA Hotels & Resorts Sponsors Animation Event

Columbia Beach Resort

Known as a supporter of the arts, COLUMBIA Hotels & Resorts, whose own chapel walls are adorned by fresco paintings, chose to sponsor this year’s International Countryside Animafest Cyprus held from July 18 - 21. This annual event, organised by local artists, ran for the 12th consecutive year and is being supported by COLUMBIA Hotel & Resorts alongside Hellenic Bank. In its capacity as sponsor, the Pissouri Bay resort hosted new screenings along with additional screenings in the village of Prasteio Avdimou, as well as a series of master classes and screenings of children’s animated films. In addition, Animafest Cyprus - Views of the World, the main platform for animated films in Cyprus, introduced a new category for the first time, giving local artists the opportunity to promote their work internationally. One of the main objectives of the International Countryside Animafest Cyprus is the development of awareness for animated filmmaking and to cultivate this field, by providing a platform for young artists, whilst simultaneously educating the public. To achieve these goals, screenings and sidebar events are organised throughout the year.

Opium Health Spa Increases in Popularity Opium Health Spa at Elysium, Paphos has announced a recorded increase in popularity of its spa services this year, with the largest feeder markets hailing from the UK, Russia, Germany, and the Netherlands. Moreover, Christos Opium Health Spa at Elysium Papamiltiadous, general manager, Elysium, confirmed that the facility recently underwent a facelift with a great renovation of the spa, which, he added, included a full refurbishment of all treatment rooms, the reception, and entrance areas, as well as the creation of a Thai massage room. Elysium is situated next to the ancient Tombs of the Kings, and promotes its image as ‘a sanctuary for the body and soul’, while it offers a harmonious blend of luxury, tranquillity, and seclusion with colonnades, mosaics, waterfalls, and pools forming an elegance echoed by a discreet and gracious welcome.

Pergola Grill & Bar Returns at Hilton Cyprus Hilton Cyprus recently announced that its summer restaurant, Pergola Grill & Bar, has made a comeback with a fully revamped menu. During the day, guests can enjoy refreshing cocktails and snacks beside the pool, as the new summer menu promises to delight even the most discerning taste buds, with its rich selection of dishes at affordable prices. In the evenings, the restaurant is transformed offering various options such as salads, delicious pastas, and grilled items, with an emphasis on steaks. Pergola Grill & Bar is also an ideal choice for those searching for a wide and comprehensive wine list and a range of beverages.

Pergola Grill & Bar

AUGUST 2013


Accommodation

MONTHLY NEWS

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Alion Beach Hotel The Classic Hotel Earns Certificate of Excellence among Top 100 The Classic Hotel, a member of GAP Vassilopoulos Group, The prestigious prize is awarded to only 10 percent Alion Beach Hotel has been honoured with the TUI Holly award for the ninth time, reiterating its position among the best 100 hotels around the world as voted by the German tourism company’s customers. Each year, TUI Travel guests decide the winners of the award, making the accolade a testament to the highest guest satisfaction. “Alion Beach Hotel is the only hotel in Cyprus which has been awarded with this prestigious quality award this year, and the only one which has been awarded for the ninth time, positioning Cyprus among the countries with high quality hotel services,” noted Panicos Michael, hotel manager, Alion Beach Hotel.

Amathus Beach Hotel Wins Another Award Amathus Beach Hotel, Paphos, has been awarded for the first time with the prestigious accolade of ‘Destination Spa of the Year - Europe’ at the Pevonia Spa Awards 2012-2013. Held annually, the honour recognises the best Pevonia spas within the UK and across Europe in various categories. Commenting on the accolade, Paul Mason, managing director, Pevonia, said, “We have been working with the Amathus Group Spas, and in particular Paphos, for several years now. [...] Paphos now has a beautiful spa and has been rewarded for this effort with an impressive increase in spa goers, outstanding commercial success and now, the very welldeserved Pevonia ‘Destination Spa of the Year - Europe’ Award.”

AUGUST 2013

was honoured with the Certificate of Excellence award for the second consecutive year by travel site, TripAdvisor. This recognition, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is offered to qualifying businesses that meet the necessary requirements.

of the companies that have achieved the highest performance, out of the 2.5 million companies that are listed on TripAdvisor worldwide. The Classic Hotel in Nicosia has 57 modern, fully renovated rooms and four conference rooms that can accommodate groups from 10 to 150 people.


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MONTHLY NEWS

International

Salt Lake, Sárvár

SPA-CE Moves to Hungary

This year’s SPA-CE, the trade show of spa and wellness tourism in Central Europe, will be held between October 3 - 5, in Hungary. The fifth edition of the event is set to attract more than 30 exhibitors from Central Europe and some 50 hosted buyers from all around the world to Sárvár, Hungary, which is among the top five countries worldwide with the most abundant thermal water resources and one of the top 10 medical tourism destinations in Europe. As Csilla Mezősi, health tourism and spa tourism advisor, Hungarian National Tourism Board, explained, the Visergrad cooperation’s goal is to make SPA-CE 2013 the main spa event and workshop of the year.

MedCruise: Challenges and Opportunities The 42nd general assembly of MedCruise, the association representing cruise ports in the Mediterranean and its adjoining seas, focused on discussing and advancing best practices in the region. Panels discussed during the two-day event, which was held in Madeira, Portugal, highlighted various challenges of cruise port management, including accommodation of increased traffic, new itineraries, new practices, infrastructure and services demands, programming, as well as cancellations. Participants also exchanged views on berth allocation schemes and cruise port developments, and the ways in which ports can adapt to the changing deployment trends. During the event, where Vassilios Gazikas, senior general manager, marina operations, Louis Cruises, was a guest speaker, participants decided on a number of activities for the coming months, including a strategy for promoting MedCruise ports and destinations in new source markets such as China.

Athens International Airport Received Environmental Award Athens International Airport (AIA) has been recognised for its innovative environmental programmes and initiatives with the Eco-Innovation Award at the Airports Council International (ACI) Europe Best Airports Awards ceremony at the 9th ACI Europe / World Annual Conference & Exhibition in Istanbul. The distinction highlights the airport’s leading approach to environmental protection and reflects AIA’s continuous efforts to deliver environmental management systems that go well beyond regulatory requirements. Highlights of the airport’s initiatives include the construction and operation of an 8.05 MWp Photovoltaic Park, the implementation of a series of energy-saving measures targeting a 25 percent reduction in CO2 emissions under AIA’s direct control by 2020 using 2005 as a baseline year, and a number of other actions such as information campaigns and financial incentives for the recycling of the waste produced at the airport, which helped increase recycling rate from three percent in 2001 Yiannos Paraschis, CEO, Athens International Airport, to 53 percent in 2012. and Frank Brenner, director general, EUROCONTROL

AUGUST 2013


TONY ANTONIOU

MICHAEL IERIDES

Chairman, Cyprus Airways.

General secretary, Cyprus Marine Environment Protection Association (CYMEPA).

“The purpose of this initiative [which saw the gathering of local tourism professionals and business organisations] was to update tourism partners of our country about the current situation of Cyprus Airways. Moreover, we asked their support to the carrier with the ultimate goal to assist tourism, which Cyprus needs so much these days [...]. I want to send the message to all Cypriot citizens that Cyprus Airways is still here. With the government’s support, the airline’s board does everything possible in very little time to reorganise Cyprus Airways, to the point that they can be attractive to prospective investors.”

ALEKOS OROUNTIOTIS Chairman, Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO)

“Larnaka Tourism Board has made remarkable promotion and visibility efforts [for the city] in Cyprus and abroad; such were the implementation of promotional campaigns in cooperation with tour operators, the utilisation of electronic marketing and social media, the production of printed and audiovisual materials, hosting journalists and sports teams, participating in tourism fairs in priority markets, organising events, and more. These actions maintain a supportive role in CTO’s overall efforts for promoting Cyprus and we therefore believe that these are consistent with the strategic tourism plan, also contributing to the achievement of the board’s objectives.”

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 editorial@traveltradecyprus.travel AUGUST 2013

“[This year] Blue Flag completed its 26 years internationally and its 18 years in Cyprus, thus contributing to knowledge, and right attitudes and values, which are necessary to promote sustainable development practices and sustainable exploitation of beaches by local authorities.[...] A Blue Flag is valid for only one season; if during that period one or more key criteria are violated, the municipality or the community shall lower the flag. CYMEPA, as the national operator, as well as the international coordinating office, visit the beaches during the season to determine that beaches meet the criteria.”

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VAIDA RICKUTE

DINOS LEFKARITIS

Marketing director, Zening Resorts Elia Village Latchi.

Chairman, Larnaka Tourism Board.

“We [at Zening Resorts Elia Village Latchi] welcome guests 18 and above. No hard liquor is served though a selection of wines is served for limited hours. No red meat is provided. We have vegetarian and seafood kitchens, two juice bars, one late night café and two restaurants. Spa and beauty salons provide therapeutic and beauty treatments with use of essential oils, herbs, and natural products. Accommodation is provided in 135 suites, one-bed and maisonette apartments in 17 clusters. The resort is located on a Hill of Flowers by the pristine sea beach of Chrysochous Bay, just yards away from Latchi yacht marina with numerous dining options.”

“If [certain] vulnerabilities were dealt with, our district could as well become a modern model destination as we seek to be. Because only then, we will achieve the great potential that we expect, of course in connection with certain micro-interventions to a number of other problems, which are not difficult to be solved and often require no cost whatsoever. Our country has faced adverse circumstances and we experience that everyday. The current economic crisis and some projects’ delay must not be an excuse to leave things as they are.”

SOPHIA PARASKEVA Public relations officer, Limassol Marina.

“From Limassol Marina’s perspective, the project is ideally positioned as a stop over, or home port, for yachts with Middle East owners who transition between the Gulf, Red Sea, and the Mediterranean. It is also only a short flight away for business, pleasure, and for second home or yacht owners visiting throughout the year. It has already established itself as one of the most exclusive waterfront developments in the Med, through the various International yacht shows and an extensive marketing campaign, and it will become the must-see destination for all visitors and tourists to the island.”

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 editorial@traveltradecyprus.travel AUGUST 2013


RENDEZVOUS

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Q & A with Dr George Georgiou Blessed with year-round sun and embraced by the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus is not only filled with genuinely hospitable people but also offers an ideal place to combine a relaxing holiday with a therapeutic treatment. Here, Dr George Georgiou, holistic health practitioner, Da Vinci Holistic Health Centre, talks about the island’s yet untapped potential.

Travel Trade Cyprus: Da Vinci Holistic Health Centre caters to medical and wellness tourists from all over the world. Based on your opinion, what are the unique advantages of Cyprus as a medical and wellness destination? George Georgiou: Apart from the obvious advantages of the sun and the sea, along with good quality food, there are a number of excellent doctors on the island who have qualified from some of the top universities in the world. Regarding the Da Vinci Holistic Health Centre, most international patients come here because they find answers to their health problems; we genuinely try to understand the causes behind the disease and the symptoms, not simply suppressing symptoms using drugs or even natural remedies.

where there is a concentration of affluent clients, such as Russia, Middle East, China, Kazakhstan, UK, and some part of Europe. Travel Trade Cyprus: How do you aim to attract new markets? Are you collaborating with other organisations, travel agents or hotels? George Georgiou: Yes, there are collaborations with hotels attracting medical tourism and health spas where the clients will come first to the Da Vinci Holistic Health Centre, have a number of assess-

Dr George Georgiou Holistic health practitioner, Da Vinci Holistic Health Centre

Travel Trade Cyprus: Da Vinci Holistic Health Centre was established over 25 years ago. What kinds of treatments are available?

ments, including identifying food intolerances, nutritional deficiencies, and designing a bespoke spa week including therapeutically herbal juices and smoothies to facilitate healing. Le Méridien Limassol Spa & Resort is one of the best providing medical spa holidays with a unique holistic perspective for optimal wellness and health. We are also presently working with marketing and search engine optimisation experts to tweak the Da Vinci website to make it more targeted to medical tourism.

George Georgiou: There are a number of treatments and one can read about these on [our website]. One of the unique diagnostic programmes that we have developed is the IDEL diagnostic programme. This is basically designed to elicit the potential causative factors behind every patients’ symptoms. The testing takes a complete morning, about five hours, and outs the patient under the microscope looking at health issues on many different levels such as physical, social, family, spiritual, psycho, emotional as well as energetic causes. People can get chronically sick when there are imbalances on any of these levels. Given our vast experience with chronic health problems, we really specialise in these problems as well as treating other health issues such as digestive problems, Candida, chronic fatigue syndrome, cancer, as well as sexual and psychological problems.

Travel Trade Cyprus: What are your expectations with regards to the future of medical and wellness tourism in Cyprus and what measures are needed to establish the island as a leading medical and wellness destination?

Travel Trade Cyprus: In your opinion, which markets hold the most potential for the Cypriot medical and wellness tourism industry? George Georgiou: In times of global economic recessions, the best international markets would be

AUGUST 2013

We need to provide quality services, focusing on truly helping the patient with compassion and empathy

Da Vinci Holistic Health Centre

George Georgiou: I am optimistic that there is a lot of potential here in Cyprus for medical tourism. It is imperative, however, that this venture is not seen by the doctors involved as being a way of making a ‘quick buck’. We need to provide quality services, focusing on truly helping the patient with compassion and empathy towards their suffering. This ethical and caring approach is what will ensure the long-term success of this venture.


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TRAVEL CHANNELS

Anastasiades: Tourism is Key

100 Civil Weddings in One Day in Larnaca

During the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) delegation’s visit to Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, president, Cyprus, accepted the UNWTO’s and World Travel & Tourism Council’s Open Letter on Travel and Tourism.

A

nastasiades added his voice to those of the world leaders who rally support for tourism as a key for growth and fairer development. Highlighting the tourism industry’s vital role and the existing opportunities to improve the sector, Taleb Rifai, secretary-general, UNWTO, noted that the country is open for business and tourists all year around, and further expressed his confidence that Cyprus would implement policies that ensure the steady growth of the tourism sector, namely in the areas of air connectivity and visa facilitation.

Topics addressed during the meeting with Anastasiades included the importance of visa facilitation and open skies policies as well as the need for product diversification, while Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, minister of energy, commerce, industry and tourism, Cyprus, singled out the significance of mitigating seasonality and offered a diverse product in order to increase the island’s competitiveness. On a positive note, Jürgen Buchy, president, Federal Association of the German Tourism Industry, confirmed that with regards to the German market, bookings to Cyprus remain steady.

Limassol: Film Promotion Underway Newlyweds in Larnaca

Limassol Tourism Board, in collaboration with the company FilmWorks, are shooting throughout the city and district as part of the preparation of a six-minute promotional film. In an effort to reposition Limassol as a tourism destination,

the board’s aim is to attract tourists not only for the sun and sea, but also more specialised tourism segments such as a conference, sporting, cultural, religious, cruise, wedding, medical, and rural tourism. The goal of the six-minute film is to highlight the comparative

Filming in Limassol

advantages and uniqueness that Limassol has as a modern, quality cosmopolitan destination, and is expected to become an important tool to target buyers for exhibitions, informative workshops, as well as for international conferences and tourism seminars.

Larnaka Municipality and Larnaka Tourism Board in collaboration with Israeli tour operator, Natan Uretsky, organised a mass civil weddings event involving 100 couples on June 21. The ceremony, which took place for the third consecutive year, was held in Larnaca medieval castle’s square and included Israeli and Russian couples who arrived by boat at Larnaca’s shores from Haifa. The total number of people who came especially for that purpose was around 300 and included the couples, their relatives, as well as wellknown artists from Israel. Both city authorities took all the necessary steps for the excellent organisation of the ceremony in order to maximise Larnaca’s visibility. The event had already enjoyed great promotion in Israel and is expected to give substantial exposure to the coastal city as a tourist destination since the ceremony was broadcast by the Israeli state TV channel and other media.

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Q & A with Andreas Christodoulides Having worked in the Cypriot tourism industry for three decades, Andreas Christodoulides, general manager, Alexander The Great Beach Hotel, brought a wealth of experience to the luxurious hotel, and here he shares his views on the recent happenings at the property and on the island in general.

Travel Trade Cyprus: What are your main priorities as the new general manager of Alexander the Great Beach Hotel? Andreas Christodoulides: Three months ago, the hotel completed a EUR7 million renovation which brought the hardware of the hotel to a five-star level. The main priority at the moment is to move a step further by upgrading the software of the hotel as far as culture, approach, and service are concerned. Travel Trade Cyprus: How do these upgrades help further enhance the hotel’s standing as a leading property in Paphos? Andreas Christodoulides: In most of the hotel areas there was a complete renovation. The rooms have been totally renovated including all bathrooms. The outdoor sea front areas have been totally redesigned with a new outdoor swimming pool featuring Jacuzzis, and [others]. A brand new adult’s area and pool have been created as well. Additionally, a brand new pool bar serving drinks, cocktails, and snacks and a new exclusive wedding venue have also been created. The façade of the hotel back and front has also been revamped giving it a more modern and fresh look. All these changes have really established the hotel as the leading seafront escape in Paphos. Further to the above additions, the Alexander bar was totally refurbished and a new smart TV facility has been installed in all the guest rooms, free Wi-Fi network covering the whole hotel and gardens, as well as a dedicated supervised children’s club for ages between three and 12. Travel Trade Cyprus: Guests at the hotel can choose between half board and full board plus options. Please tell us about these promotional offers. Andreas Christodoulides: It is indeed very true that the half board plus concept has been a great success so far with our guest. Simply with the half board plus concept the guests are entitled to a bottle of water for two as well as a glass of wine or soft drink with the evening meal. Most importantly, the guests are entitled to a dine-around option to our three à la carte restaurants. During a seven nights stay, they are entitled to eat once in KIKU, the Japanese restaurant, once in Garibaldi, the Italian restaurant, and once in Limanaki, the Greek tavern. The remaining four nights, they can enjoy our themed buffet at the Roxanne’s restaurant.

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Travel Trade Cyprus: Built on an archaeological site, overlooking a Blue Flag sandy beach, the hotel offers an ideal venue for weddings. How do you ensure a memorable day for the couple and their guests?

Travel Trade Cyprus: This year has brought various challenges for the Cypriot tourism industry. What can hoteliers like yourself do to help attract more visitors to Cyprus?

Andreas Christodoulides: Weddings is one of our priorities at the moment. As I have already mentioned, we have a brand new wedding venue overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. We have a dedicated wedding coordinator to look after all the details of the bride and the groom as well as a dedicated food and beverage team to ensure that the wedding ceremony, cocktail, and dinner are done to perfection.

Andreas Christodoulides: I am a firm believer that the tourism industry is the one that, for years but especially now, has been supporting the Cypriot economy to the maximum effect. It is imperative that the government appoints a sub-minister for tourism so as to dedicate all his time towards improving communication as well as efficiency to tourism matters. This is a top priority. Hoteliers like myself can do a lot of things but I believe that the most important thing is to maintain the standard of the facilities and services offered, so as to retain our existing guests but at the same time attract new visitors to Cyprus.

Andreas Christodoulides General manager, Alexander The Great Beach Hotel

The tourism industry is the one that, for years but especially now, has been supporting the Cypriot economy to the maximum effect

Alexander The Great Beach Hotel


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NEWS & EVENTS

International Tourism Conference by CUT In association with the International Association for Tourism Policy, a non-profit organisation promoting scientific research, Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) held the International Conference on Tourism (ICOT2013) on June 5 - 8. The event was hosted in Limassol at the premises of CUT and dealt with trends, impacts, and policies on sustainable tourism developments, while it also focused on aspects of sustainable tourism development still not well-known and which are said to require further investigation, although many governments, businesses, communities, and tourist operators have turned to such forms of initiatives, as tendencies for mass tourism have created various problems. ICOT2013 aimed to contribute to the ongoing negotiations on issues raised for sustainable tourism developments through presentations given by renowned scholars of international standing, while attendees included about 150 academics, researchers, policy makers, consultants, practitioners, government agencies, and students from areas related to tourism from a total of 39 countries.

EVENTS Lemesos International Documentary Film Festival Limassol, Cyprus, August 1 – 8, 2013 (www.filmfestival.com.cy) A festival dedicated to contemporary creative documentaries in Cyprus. Fengaros Music Festival 2013 Lofou, Cyprus, August 2 – 4, 2013 (www.louvana.com.cy) This year, the programme is enriched with theatrical performances, stand-up comedy, a busking stage and many more surprises.

ISSF Shotgun World Cup Held in Nicosia

Medhat Wahdan, vice president, ISSF

The third leg of this year’s International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Shotgun World Cup officially launched in Nicosia on June 9 by Nicos Anastasiades, president, Cyprus, who welcomed the athletes at the opening ceremony. More than 380 shooters from 58 countries arrived on the island to compete in the five Olympic events of shotgun shooting held from June 10-16. Following Acapulco, Mexico, and Al Ain, UAE, Nicosia was the third stage of this year’s ISSF World Cup Series, after also hosting the 2007 ISSF World Championship and the 2008 European Championship.

Aviation Safety in the Turbulence of the Current Economic Crisis Flight Safety Foundation has organised a two-day international conference under the theme ‘Aviation safety in the turbulence of the current economic crises’. Tasos Mitsopoulos, minister of communications and works, Cyprusm highlighted the island’s strategic importance and role in the region of the Eastern Mediterranean as the country which serves as a bridge between Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. “Events like this also promote regional cooperation in aviation, something that is of paramount importance for the development of the sector. The strategic location of Cyprus and its status as a member of EUROCONTROL [The European Organisations for the Safety of Air Navigation] and the European Union, allows it to play a potential leading role in developing such regional cooperation. Indeed, this is the policy of the Cyprus Government,” stressed Mitsopoulos, adding that world economy and social interaction are now depending heavily on the performance of the industry.

Fengaros Music Festival

1st Music Festival ’Riverstock’ Yermasoyeia, Cyprus, August 10 - 11, 2013 A two-day event dedicated to Greek rock music fans. Limassol Wine Festival 2013 Limassol, Cyprus, August 29 – September 8, 2013 (www.limassolmunicipal.com.cy) Set within the city’s municipal gardens, situated near the sea, this year’s wine festival celebrates its 52nd edition, once again reviving ancient festive manifestations. The Elixir of Love (Pafos Aphrodite Festival) Paphos, Cyprus, September 6 – 8, 2013 (www.pafc.com.cy) This year’s event will open with Donizetti’s masterpiece, The Elixir of Love, and is expected to attract music lovers from across the island. Cyprus International 4-day Challenge Paphos, Cyprus, November 21 – 24, 2013 (www.cypruschallenge.com) A four-day event offering participants an adventurous challenge with four difference races.

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Travel Trade Cyprus August 2013