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DECEMBER 2013

ISSUE 10

Hermes Airports: New Prospects for Cyprus’ Tourist Industry The management of Hermes Airports successfully participated in this year’s World Routes 2013 conference in Las Vegas, US.

An important workshop entitled ‘Extending the Tourist Season and Facing Seasonality’ was organised by Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) at Filoxenia Conference Centre in Nicosia.

03 The Royal Apollonia Officially Opened Louis Hotels inaugurated its five-star The Royal Apollonia, which had undergone extensive renovations, with an official ceremony.

13 IN THIS ISSUE MARKET UPDATE GENERAL WEDDINGS TOURISM BOARDS NAUTICAL SPORTS AIR ACCOMMODATION NEWS & EVENTS TRAVEL CHANNELS RENDEZVOUS TRAVEL TALK RENDEZVOUS

02 03 04 05 08 09 10 12 15 16 17 18 19

CTO Summons Stakeholders to Discuss Winter Tourism

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MARKET UPDATE

TRAVEL TRADE CYPRUS MANAGING EDITOR Mary Kammitsi mary@traveltradeweekly.travel COPY EDITOR Mario Hajiloizis SENIOR JOURNALIST Rita Kasziba JOURNALIST Maria Kazeli PRESS 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 info@traveltradeweekly.travel sales@traveltradeweekly.travel editorial@traveltradecyprus.travel

Louis: H1 Records Improvement For the period ending June 30, Louis registered a significant growth in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation.

C

ompared to the corresponding period of 2012, this year the company achieved a EUR8.2 million profit, whereas in the first half (H1) of 2012 losses reached EUR1.1 million. The group’s turnover for H1 increased by seven percent, a fact attributed to activities of Louis Cruises (up by 15 percent), mainly in charter services and enhanced sales in Piraeus, Greece. The company’s hospitality subsidiary, Louis Hotels, however showed a decrease of seven percent due to four of its hotels in Limassol, Paphos, and

Austrian Airlines: Positive Operating Results

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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Austrian Airlines

Austrian Airlines has significantly improved its earnings in the second quarter of the year to EUR21 million from EUR12 million in the corresponding period of 2012 through substantial cost reduction measures. As Jaan Albrecht, CEO, Austrian Airlines, noted, the carrier is on its way to achieve a turnaround this year after recording an operating result improvement of EUR20 million in the first half of the year. Meanwhile, during the six-month period, Austrian Airlines carried a total of 5.3 million passengers, marking a slight drop of three percent, as the airline reduced the number of aircraft in use on a number of routes, which on the other hand pushed load factor to 75.7 percent, up 1.7 percentage points.

Tsokkos: Turnover Down Six Percent in H1

T PICTURE OF THE MONTH

Larnaca being closed in parts of H1 for renovations. The surge in turnover and the simultaneous reduction in operating expenses resulted in a significant increase in operating profit before interest, taxes, depreciation, and hotel rents for H1, which amounted to EUR12.4 million compared to just EUR4.2 million in 2012, registering an improvement of 197 percent. Specifically, Louis Cruises grew its operating profit from EUR1.8 million in 2012 to EUR9.6 million this year, while Louis Hotels reached EUR3.6 million, after a growth of nine percent.

sokkos Hotels presented its half year (H1) results for the current year which show a decrease of EUR713,445 in turnover, down six percent from 2012 when the company had accrued EUR12.7 million. This outcome is a result of the reduction of income from the land development sector which was zero in H1, compared to EUR860,870 in the corresponding period in 2012. The decline was offset to a small extent by an increase to the hotels’ income, as revenue from the company’s accommodation units rose by EUR147,425 to reach EUR11.9 million due to

improved occupancy. Compared to a loss of EUR1.1 million in the first six months of 2012, this year the net foreign exchange profit amounted to EUR1.7 million, including exchange loss of EUR 12.4 million resulting from the conversion of a company loan from Swiss Franc to Euro. As Tsokkos Hotels’ announcement underlines, the results are affected by the seasonality of the tourism industry, and the group effectively obtains the greatest amount of revenue and operating profit in the second half of the year.

DECEMBER 2013


MONTHLY NEWS Hermes Airports: New Prospects for Cyprus’ Tourist Industry The management of Hermes Airports successfully participated in this year’s World Routes 2013 conference in Las Vegas, US. To reinforce Cyprus’ presence, Konstantinos Petrides, undersecretary to the president, Cyprus, Stelios Himonas, permanent secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Alecos Orountiotis, chairman, Cyprus Tourism Organisation, also joined the delegation. Petrides gave a presentation about Cyprus’ tourism strategy and the country’s development plans in light of the global economic crises, whilst the contingent held over 20 meetings with various airlines. As a result, four airlines have entered into advanced negotiations for commencing flights to the island, and preliminary discussions have also taken place regarding the launch of services between Cyprus and countries which do not currently fly to the country, including Kazakhstan, and China, amongst others.

CTO Summons Stakeholders to Discuss Winter Tourism

Marios Hannides, director general, CTO

German Market Suffers The losses in one of Cyprus’ traditional feeder segment, that of Germany, are huge and the island can not afford to lose it, according to Alecos Orountiotis, chairman, Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO). In August alone the year-on-year decline in tourist arrivals from the western European country surpassed 36 percent. Orountiotis suggested that the limited air connectivity and the unwillingness of travel agents and tour operators in committing, due to the recent instability on the island, has had a negative effect on the arrival figures since the beginning of the year. In 2012, CTO had undertaken the task to bring together an airline and a tour operator in order to push the parties to come to an agreement and mitigate the risks of low passenger load factors, but the plan ultimately collapsed following the economic uncertainty earlier this year. CTO stated that the organisation will try to relaunch the initiative in 2014. Alecos Orountiotis

DECEMBER 2013

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An important workshop entitled ‘Extending the Tourist Season and Facing Seasonality’ was organised by Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) in October at Filoxenia Conference Centre in Nicosia. The event was attended by public and private sector experts, who received extensive briefing by the organisation regarding the loss of winter tourists. During the workshop, participants were grouped in individual working teams and discussed the proposed general strategic directions of the working document prepared by CTO to extend the tourist season and deal with seasonality. Moreover, they had the opportunity to introduce additional mitigation measures and practices concerning the issue.


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MONTHLY NEWS

Weddings

First Civil Wedding at Cape Greco

Wedding at a Greek Island

Destination Wedding in Greece and Cyprus

The establishment of wedding planning companies offers a positive perspective to the tourism industry in Greece and Cyprus, a recently established destination wedding planning e-business highlighted. As Mae Mavroudis, destination wedding coordinator, Greek Weddings, explained, the company is mainly organising events in Greece, but has several requests for bachelors and/or wedding ceremonies in Cyprus, as well as from clients that come from the country and wish to get married in Greece. Greek Weddings offers a full range wedding planning services from the day of the proposal till the honeymoon, including budget planning and inspection; pre-wedding timeline plan; full concierge services; venue and ceremony selection and decoration; bride and groom suits buying consultancy; and rehearsals coordination, to mention a few.

Cyprus Leads in Wedding Tourism On the occasion of Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) at a UK wedding exhibition, Antigoni Kapodistria, officer A, CTO, revealed that Cyprus ranks first among European and Mediterranean wedding destinations. Reportedly some of the reasons for this are the direct flights from major and provincial airports of the UK; the easy and fast application process and submitting documentation to secure the marriage license; the sun and sea; English language knowledge; wedding planning according to the tourists’ requirements; professionalism and experience of wedding organisers as well as wedding officers at municipalities; enriched product aside municipality halls which includes hotels, beaches, castles, yachts, wineries, and museums; and the lower cost of organising wedding ceremonies in conjunction with holidays. Annita Demetriadou, director of tourism, strategy and research department, CTO, added that the goal should be to intensify efforts and in collaboration with the private sector to further increase arrivals to maintain Cyprus’ leading position within this industry.

One of the new wedding venues created and customised by Agia Napa Municipality, was launched with the first civil wedding taking place at Cape Greco in September. The first couple to enjoy the beauty of the cape’s scenery was Αnton Skebtson and Yulia Voinova from Russia, while the ceremony was officiated by Yiannis Karousos, mayor, Ayia Napa. Agia Napa Municipality has its own dedicated department for organising weddings, and aside the town hall, venue options include a wide variety of local hotels. Moreover, the recently announced locations for holding ceremonies also feature the Juniper Tree by Cape Greco, Ayios Epifanios, Thalassa Museum, and Ammos. The contracting of civil marriage in Cyprus has been valid since 1923. As the procedure is simple, many couples chose the island to celebrate their marriage and combine it with a holiday. Couples may only apply after their arrival in Cyprus, personally, to the marriage officer of the municipality of their choice, in order to go through certain formalities.

Perfect Honeymoons Abroad Features Cyprus UK-based overseas wedding specialist, Perfect Weddings Abroad, has launched its first stand-alone honeymoon website, promoting Cyprus, among others, as an ideal destination for newlyweds. “As an award-winning weddings abroad specialist, the company has always offered a great range of honeymoon packages. Now with record sales and customer satisfaction levels in the UK, we feel it is the ideal time for Perfect Weddings Abroad to widen its portfolio and launch Perfecthoneymoonsabroad.co.uk,” commented Richard Calbert, CEO, Perfect Weddings Abroad. The new platform features a collection of the best honeymoon hotels and destinations around the world, including Cyprus, which is being promoted as the ‘island of love’.

DECEMBER 2013


Tourism Boards

MONTHLY NEWS

Paphos Opening up Danish Market Prompted by the appointment of Paphos and Aarhus as European capitals of Culture 2017 and in view of the relationship that should thrive between the two cities, Pafos Regional Board of Tourism initiated contact with Danish tour operators which arrange flights to Cyprus as well

Famagusta Tourist Assosiation Held First Workshop

Workshop

Famagusta Tourist Commercial Industrial Association organised its first workshop in Frenaros’ community hall, under the title ’Trade and industry in Famagusta: Current needs and conditions for reorganising local companies.’ The event was attended by officials of the Ministry of Commerce, Energy, Industry and Tourism, as well as representatives of the Department of Public Works. The main objective of the workshop was to discuss and highlight the problems faced by businesses in the district. Participants dealt with difficulties posed to traders and industrialists such as the high cost of electricity, value-added tax, high rents in industrial and trade zones, and lack of project grants, to mention just a few. A number of other similar initiatives took place throughout October in Derynia, Sotira and Paralimni, while the results of the workshops were presented in detail in a large conference held in November.

DECEMBER 2013

as with local partners, in order to examine the launch of routes to and from Cyprus and tourism development between the two destinations. Paphos annually attracts about 20 percent of the Danes visiting the island, a total of 6,000 tourists out of 31,000.

Aarhus

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MONTHLY NEWS

ECTN Conference in Paphos Following efforts by the Pafos Regional Board of Tourism, the annual meeting of the European Cultural Tourism Network (ECTN) took place on October 25 - 26 at Almyra. Titled ‘Cultural Tourism in the Experience Economy’, the conference attracted an international range of speakers and dozens of participants from more than 13 countries, as it presented important aspects of the new trends and the relationship between destination, cultural heritage, economy, and sustainable development. ECTN is composed by regional tourism development agencies from various countries, educational institutions, cities, communities, cultural institutions, while its aim is the exchange of knowledge and networking with a focus on the development of regional economies through cultural tourism.

Tourism Boards

Satisfaction over Summer Tourism Revenue Great satisfaction was expressed by Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) in relation to tourism revenues for June. According to official data of the statistical service, a 2.1 percent increase in revenue was recorded for the month under review. CTO considers more important the fact that there was a simultaneous boost in expenditure per visitor at 9.3 percent, while also encouraging is the fact that the growth in spending stems from both the increase in length of stay, and from the rise in the daily payments. In his statements, Marios Hannides, director general, CTO, stressed that the authority will continue to work tirelessly and intensively, in close cooperation and coordination with other stakeholders in the tourism operators, to achieve good results in the future. He added that recording growth in revenues clearly shows that despite the difficulties tourism can resist the economic crisis.

Conference on Local Products Under the theme ‘Tourism and Local Products: Good prospects of horizontal networking’, Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) held a workshop aiming to examine ways for planning, programming and implementing actions by the authority and the department of agriculture, towards a more integrated approach, management and promotion of local products and gastronomy. The event included presentations by various European food and local product associations’ representatives, such as Margareta Reichsthaler, chairwoman, Austrian Region of Delight; Franz Bertl, deputy chairman, Austrian Region of Delight; and Eveline Bimminger, chairwoman, Best Austrian Hospitality. Annita Demetriadou, director of tourism, strategy and research department, CTO, underlined that the event and its theme were fully integrated into the tourism strategy 2011 - 2015.

DECEMBER 2013


MONTHLY NEWS

7

Cyprus Ranks Fifth in Global Lifestyle

A report from Knight Frank, the London-based independent global property consultancy, assessed culture, education, and cost of living in a guide to global lifestyle, positioning Cyprus in fifth place after Dubai, Mallorca, Cayman Islands, and Geneva. The review which compared a total of 23 international destinations, also took into account factors such as climate, leisure pursuits and the availability of top quality restaurants, with traditional locations like London, Paris and New York scoring well in a number of these areas. However, the report showed that the key to a high lifestyle ranking was consistency in every aspect across the spectrum. Alexander Koch de Gooreynd, partner, Knight Frank, commented that when comparing each location, it was obvious that there were certain factors that motivate different clients, depending on their reasons for relocating.

Attracting Tourists from Kuwait Speaking to the press on the sidelines of a presidential visit to Kuwait, where separate meetings were held with ministers of the government, Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, minister of commerce, industry and tourism, Cyprus, referred to the agreement on tourism signed on the day saying that it aims at attracting more tourists from the Middle Eastern country. Additionally, Lakkotrypis held a meeting with officials of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Commerce and Industry, where the parties discussed the issue of opening up flights to and from Cyprus and Kuwait, in order to improve tourist arrivals in both countries.

Cypriot Hoteliers Launch the Biggest Holiday Competition in the World Building on the island’s famed hospitality, over 50 four- and five-star hotels across Cyprus have united to roll out what is hailed as ‘The Biggest Holiday Competition in the World’. Launched during this year’s World Travel Market at Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO)’s stand in London, the competition runs for 50 weeks, offering the opportunity for 50 lucky winners to enjoy 50 seven-night holidays on the island. In conjunction with CTO, Cyprus Hotel Association and the Association of Cyprus Tourist Enterprises, the ‘Summer in Cyprus’ campaign is being promoted through a dedicated microsite as well as social media channels, and entrants are invited to visit www.summeriscyprus.com on a weekly basis for a chance to win a holiday in one of the participating hotels.

DECEMBER 2013


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MONTHLY NEWS

Nautical

Flavio Gonzaga Nunes (centre)

FIABCI Visit at Limassol Marina

Large Attendance at Maritime Cyprus 2013 The 13th edition of Maritime Cyprus, which took place between October 6 - 9, attracted a large audience, underscoring the vast importance and reputation of the event as a global shipping conference. Addressing the delegates at the opening reception Nicos Anastasiades, president, Cyprus, remarked on the long-standing position of the island as a renowned international maritime centre combining a sovereign flag and a resident shipping industry with high quality services and standards of safety and security. “Today, the island’s international ship register is the third largest in Europe and the 11th largest in the world, while Cyprus is also one of the largest ship-management centres worldwide and the largest in Europe,” noted Anastasiades, adding that in this current economic climate the government is confident that shipping will retain and even further advance its leading role towards achieving growth and attracting foreign investments. Nicos Anastasiades

Flavio Gonzaga Nunes, world president, International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI), visited Limassol Marina during his four-day trip to Cyprus. Nunes, who arrived to the island following an invitation by Lakis Tofarides, president, FIABCI-Cyprus, held a number of important meetings with state officials, organised bodies in the real estate market, as well as university institutions that are academic members of FIABCI-Cyprus, and his itinerary also included tours in Nicosia, Limassol and Paphos, where he was briefed on the latest developments and projects, including the Eleftheria Square in the capital city as well as Limassol Marina. Nunes was impressed by the quality of the new artery of the coastal city and expressed confidence in the continued increase in sales volumes at the marina, stressing that Cyprus has the prospects to enter a new era of stability and growth.

Holland America Line Announces 2014 Mediterranean Cruises Holland America Line’s ms Noordam is set to bring thousands of visitors to the Mediterranean region with the new itineraries including calls at a number of Greek ports. The new cruises will allow passengers to explore some of the most intriguing destinations in the area with the ship’s 11-day itineraries between April and October 2014 featuring a combination of calls in Spain, France, Italy, Malta, Morocco, Tunisia, Greece, Croatia, Montenegro and Turkey. The Adriatic Dream voyage will for example sail from Civitavecchia to Venice with calls at Argostolion and Kerkyra in Corfu among others, while the Mediterranean Dream cruise, which will take passengers from Venice to Civitavecchia, will feature six calls throughout the Greek Isles, including Katakolon, Navplion, Piraeus, Mykonos, Rhodes and Santorini, and the Venetian Adventure voyage will also allow travellers to immerse themselves in the beauty of Kerkyra.

DECEMBER 2013


Sports

15th World Biathlon – Triathlon Championship

Top Kinisis: Yet Another Successful Event

MOVEWEEK 2013

CSO and Larnaca Held European Sports Week

Cyprus Sports Organization (CSO) in collaboration with the municipality of Larnaca organised the European Sports Week, ‘MOVEWEEK’, an International Sport and Culture Association (ISCA) initiative, held within the wider campaign ‘Now We Move’. The event, which took place between October 7 - 13 in Larnaca, is an annual European campaign which promotes sport and physical activity and their beneficial impact on European societies. The municipality of Larnaca and CSO are partners in the European programme Active Network which is led by ISCA and seeks the involvement of local governments in sporting events and working with sporting bodies, with the aim of increasing the number of citizens who participate in sports and physical activities.

DECEMBER 2013

MONTHLY NEWS

9

Top Kinisis Travel’s incoming and conference departments have organised yet another highly acclaimed event. Coordinated with the Cyprus Modern Pentathlon Biathlon Federation, the 15th World Biathlon – Triathlon Championship, which took place on October 5 - 6 in Limassol, saw some 430 athletes from 25 countries competing. In recognition of the excellent organisation of the event, the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne international association decided to award the company at a special ceremony. Despite the recent setback in conferences and international events on the island, Top Kinisis Travel has undertaken the organisation of a number of local and international events in the past few months in a bid to enhance the country’s tourism product and support its economy in general. In June, the 11th Pan-European University Volleyball Championship attracted some 340 athletes, while in September the 3rd Conference of the Executive Committee of the European Olympic Committees also received high praise.

CTO Welcomed Scandinavian Professional Golfers In a bid to promote Cyprus as a golf tourist destination, Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) hosted on the island a team of professional golfers from Norway and Sweden who visited the country for a familiarisation trip. During the visit, the group not only had the opportunity to enjoy the golf experience offered in Cyprus, but also to explore the area and relish Cypriot hospitality. Cyprus is labelled by CTO as an ideal tourist destination for golf, especially during the winter period, when Scandinavians and other golfers travel to destinations which have milder climates. CTO deems that the Nordic countries are a potential golf clientele with great perspective since they can bring over 600,000 golfers. Along CTO, supporters of the event included the management teams of the golf courses at Aphrodite Hills, Eléa Estate, Minthis Hills, and Secret Valley, as well as InterContinental Aphrodite Hills Resort and Alexander The Great.


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MONTHLY NEWS

Air

Bulgaria Air: New Schedule on the Paphos Route

Bulgaria Air

Bulgaria Air has changed the timetable for its Sofia - Paphos service which is now operated every Saturday. The flag carrier of Bulgaria has been previously flying to the island only on Tuesdays. The new winter schedule, which came into effect on November 23, however offers passengers the option to travel between Paphos and Sofia on Saturday afternoons with the flight departing from the Bulgarian capital at 10:40 and landing in the coastal city at 12:40, while the return flight takes off at 13:25 and lands at 15:35. In addition to the revised winter schedule, the airline also offers convenient services to and from Larnaka International Airport four times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.

ASG Introduces theGreenParking.com Since October 14 theGreenParking.com is in full operation at Pafos International Airport, with safety and ecological consciousness being its main features. theGreenParking.com is a new ultramodern space for parking vehicles at Paphos airport launched by Andy Spyrou Group (ASG) which operates in a wide range of activities in the fields of tourism, including car rental, travel agency services, outbound tour operating, incoming tourism handling, and incentives and conference handling. According to the announcement, the company’s main concern is the safety of the vehicle and the traveller, therefore strict procedures are followed; the facility is fully fenced, guarded on a 24-hour basis and equipped with security cameras and monitoring. theGreenParking.com provides options for closed, covered, or open parking space, and a host of other services are offered. In a bid to provide exceptional service to the traveller, passengers can choose the delivery of the vehicle at the airport or in the same parking, while free transfers to and from the airport are available.

Cyprus’ Air Traffic Shrinks in August Overall passenger traffic at Europe’s airports registered a 3.9 percent year-on-year increase for the month of August, traffic volumes in Cyprus, however, continued to weaken, according to the Airports Council International (ACI) Europe’s report. While the EU airports recorded a 2.4 percent improvement, mainly driven by significant improvements in Poland, the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, Finland, Portugal, Slovenia, Lithuania, Croatia and Malta, some other countries, including Spain, Italy, Greece and Cyprus kept losing traffic. On the other hand, non-EU airports experienced dynamic growth at 9.3 percent, led by Turkey, Russia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia. Between January and August, ACI Europe registered a 2.1 percent rise in passenger traffic driven by a 8.9 percent jump at non-EU airports, while freight volume and aircraft movements were slightly below 2012 levels.

Heathrow Airport, London

DECEMBER 2013


Air

Wizz Air

Wizz Air Ukraine Connects Donetsk and Larnaca

Wizz Air Ukraine plans to commence direct services between Donetsk and Larnaca, effective from March 30, 2014. Akos Bus, director general, Wizz Air Ukraine, described the launch of the new flight, which will be operated twice a week, as an important milestone for the recently opened new base in Donetsk particularly and the carrier’s operations in Ukraine in general. “With the new route Ukrainians have a low-cost opportunity to fly to sunny Cyprus. We remain highly committed to continue to develop our route network from the Donetsk base and look forward to offer our passengers the best routes and the best price,” commented Bus. Wizz Air opened its second Ukrainian base after Kiev in Donetsk at the beginning of October.

Lufthansa

Lufthansa Offers More Destinations in Winter

DECEMBER 2013

MONTHLY NEWS

11

Minister Congratulates Cyprus Airways Tasos Mitsopoulos, minister of communications and works, Cyprus, through a letter sent to Tony Antoniou, chairman, Cyprus Airways, expressed satisfaction for the very honourable distinction that the airline received at a recent competition held by APG, the Network for Airline Distribution Services, where travel agents around the world placed Cyprus Airways at third position. “This international recognition confirms the quality level of services offered by the company over time and reflects its prestige and credibility on an international scale,” mentioned Mitsopoulos in his letter. He also noted that the distinction comes at a particularly difficult time for the carrier and is another major incentive for effective planning to overhaul the company and its placement on a sustainable path of development.

Lufthansa and Germanwings have marginally expanded their services in the winter flight schedules. Their joint capacity in terms of available seat per kilometre increased overall by 1.1 percent, while this growth is attributable to the deployment of larger aircraft. The new winter timetable launched on October 27 and will run until March 29, 2014, whereas in combination with Germanwings, the airline is offering customers an even wider choice of destinations reaching 211 in 81 countries. Of the total, Lufthansa is serving 199 routes, while Germanwings is operating services to 64 destinations. The two highly modern flagships in the carrier’s long-haul fleet, the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 747-8, will be deployed on further connections to Shanghai, Mexico City, and Chicago. Additionally a dedicated connection to Sochi, Russia, hosting the Winter Olympics and Paralympics, will be operated from January 24 to March 17, 2014 by an Airbus A321. Moreover, an additional 23 destinations in Europe previously served by Lufthansa out of Hamburg and Berlin will be transferred successively to Germanwings in the winter timetable. Flights operated through the Frankfurt and Munich hubs remain under Lufthansa.


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MONTHLY NEWS

Accommodation

Le Méridien Limassol Spa & Resort

Le Méridien under New Strategic Investor

C.C.C. Tourist Enterprises Public Company announced that it has reached an agreement with its subsidiary, L’Union Nationale (Tourism and Sea Resorts), owning company of the luxurious hotel complex, Le Méridien Limassol Spa & Resort, and Emerald Coast Properties. Under the new deal Emerald Coast Properties becomes an investor in the mentioned subsidiary, which upon increasing the capital by EUR20 million, it will issue shares for the benefit of the investor. Following the new status changes, C.C.C. Tourist Enterprises Public Company and Emerald Coast Properties will each have 50 percent stake in L’Union Nationale (Tourism and Sea Resorts). The completion of the agreement is expected to be finalised by January 31, 2014, while the issue proceeds will be used primarily for the renovation of Le Méridien Limassol Spa & Resort.

‘I love Cyprus’ Tour at Aphrodite Hills Resort Five cyclists of Cypriot origin, who wanted to prove how much they love Cyprus but also their passion for cycling, teamed up to combine the two by embarking on an island-wide tour entitled ‘I love Cyprus’. The team, which included cyclists of various ages, most of which live in London, started the tour at Aphrodite Hills Resort on September 15 and finished at the same point exactly one week later after cycling the full perimeter of the island clockwise executing over 700km. During the adventure, the cyclists passed the ancient ruins at Paphos, Soloi, Salamis, Amathus and Curium, and witnessed the legacy of the Crusaders and the Franks at St. Hilarion, Kantara and Kolossi, while also enjoying the views of Paphos castle, Kyrenia harbour and the walls of Famagusta. The team also visited a number of churches and monasteries as well as Aphrodite’s Rock at Petra tou Romiou, Aphrodite’s baths near Latsi, Aphrodite’s sanctuary in Kouklia, and Akamas.

I love Cyprus Team

DECEMBER 2013


Accommodation

MONTHLY NEWS

13

The Royal Apollonia

The Royal Apollonia Officially Opened

In late October, Louis Hotels inaugurated its five-star The Royal Apollonia which had undergone extensive renovations. The ceremony was officiated by the head of the Cypriot Orthodox Church, Archbishop Chrysostomos II, and Nicos Anastasiades, president, Cyprus, who underlined that the rebirth of the hotel is another step along the path Louis Loizou, founder, Louis Group, opened up since 1935 and has made him known as ‘the father of Cyprus tourism’. “Given his all-important contribution to the development of the tourism and hospitality industry, I am sure he would have been proud for the multilayered work, development and range which the group has achieved so far,” he added.

SENTIDO to Further Expand in Cyprus SENTIDO Hotels & Resorts is to continue its growth path with 13 more hotels in popular holiday destinations joining the franchise brand from the start of the 2014 summer season, while four properties will be adults-only. Since the company is planning to expand its existing portfolio in Cyprus which now includes SENTIDO Kouzalis Beach Hotel, two of those new properties will be located on the island, namely SENTIDO Cypria Bay in Paphos and SENTIDO Sandy Beach in Larnaca. Most of the new hotels, five in total, will be in Turkey with Bodrum, Izmir and Dalaman being the three new holiday destinations on the Turkish west coast.

Leptos Group Invites Egyptian Journalists Leptos Group organised a four-day trip for a group of 15 Egyptian journalists from Cairo and Alexandria in a bid to promote the various attractions of Paphos and Limassol. During their stay, the journalists visited several property developments, the Neapolis University of Pafos, Iasis Hospital, as well as a number of hotels and holiday resorts operated by Leptos Group in the two coastal cities. In addition, the Egyptian media representatives also had the opportunity to meet Yiannakis Omirou, president, house of representatives, Cyprus, and Makis Rousis, vice mayor, Paphos, and learn about the island’s history and culture by visiting archaeological sites, museums, old shopping centres, and getting a taste of the nightlife of Paphos. The initiative was taken by Leptos Group to further strengthen the efforts of the government and Cyprus Tourism Organisation in order to attract more Egyptian tourists as well as real estate purchasers and investors. Egyptian Group

DECEMBER 2013


14

MONTHLY NEWS

Mapping the Cultural Routes of Stroumbi

July’s Tourism Revenue up by 12.3 Percent Data revealed that income from tourism in Cyprus reached EUR338.6 million in July compared to EUR301.5 million in the corresponding month of 2012, recording an increase of 12.3 percent. The growth is even more important given the fact that visitor arrivals for the month under review were reduced by 2.7 percent. The per-day expenditure of visitors rose by 3.7 percent year-on-year, from EUR86.1 to EUR89.4. Similarly,

Stroumbi Village

Belgian tourists were the big spenders since their expenses reached EUR153.5 per day, while the Swiss and Russians followed with EUR123.5 and EUR110 respectively

Through a brand new innovative joint project, founded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, the Ministry of Interior and Stroumbi village, cartographic company, SELAS, undertook the mapping of the cultural routes within Stroumbi. The map will be accompanied by a contemporary travel guide with the main purpose of the project being to preserve the rich cultural, historical and religious wealth of the region and ultimately enhance the competitiveness of the Cypriot tourism product. Additionally, the initiative also fosters the development of alternative forms of tourism such as cultural tourism, and the diffusion flow of tourists to the mainland, while it also helps prolong the touristic period even further.

the spending per person rose to EUR936.8, compared to EUR811.8 during the same period in 2012. Belgian tourists were the big spenders since their expenses reached EUR153.5 per day, while the Swiss and the Russians followed with EUR123.5 and EUR110 respectively. Greeks appeared to have been the most restrained, using just EUR44.2 daily and EUR492.7 per person.

Enhancing UAE Business A governmental delegation headed by Tasos Mitsopoulos, minister of communications and works, Cyprus, paid a visit to the UAE to participate in an international conference on piracy titled, ‘Countering Maritime Piracy: Continued efforts for regional capacity building’ . The event was the third in a series of high-level conferences held in the emirate of Dubai, which provided a platform for constructive debate between the public and private sector in order to address the problem of maritime piracy at international and regional levels. On the sidelines of the event, Mitsopoulos also attended a high-profile dinner hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the UAE. He also met with executives of Falcon Aviation Services, which is soon set to start operations to Cyprus, as well as with other airline representatives to investigate the possibility of the commencement of flights to the island and the extension of the tourist season. Countering Maritime Piracy Conference

DECEMBER 2013


NEWS & EVENTS CHA at Mediterranean Luxury Travel Summit Haris Loizides, chairman, Cyprus Hotel Association (CHA), was among the speakers at Mediterranean Luxury Travel Summit 2013 held in Athens, Greece on October 7 - 8. Loizides proposed a plan with six pillars with which Cyprus will be able to gradually return to past levels, when summer visitors contributed 75 percent of total revenue, while tourists at other times of the year accounted for the remaining 25 percent. The six pillars are adopting a policy of open skies for connection to nonEU countries, simplifying visa procedures for citizens outside the EU, granting incentives to airlines and travel agents to have year-round programmes, assisting the hotels to become more competitive in winter, encouraging local authorities to organise more cultural and other events during winter, and speeding up authorisation procedures for creating casino resorts, golf courses and dedicated spa centres.

Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2014 Announced

Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2013

Preparations are underway for the next edition of Cyprus Sunshine Cup, which will include two races between February and March 2014. The first, Afxentia-leg of the competition, which will run between February 27 March 2, 2014, will take cyclists from Lefkara to the Macheras Mountains. On the second day participants will enjoy stunning views along the road from Lefkara to Skarinou, while the third day will include a large loop from Lythrodontas through the Macheras Mountains back to the starting point, and the competition will conclude with a cross country race on the fourth day. The second stop of the series will then take place a week later, on March 9, 2014, in Voroklini as a cross-country race.

CSO: Cyprus Has Sports Infrastructure The hosting of the Panathinaikos - Laboral Kutxa Vitoria basketball match for the second game of Euroleague in October confirmed that Cyprus is well-equipped regarding sports infrastructure, remarked Pambos Stylianou, president, Cyprus Sports Organisation (CSO). At the same time he underlined the importance of the event for Cyprus and its athletic world due to the visibility the game secured to the country, its adequate facilities, and its capability to host competitions of the highest level. The Greek team was playing its first home game of the season at Tassos Papadopoulos – Eleftheria, Nicosia as a result of a Euroleague disciplinary sanction at the end of last season.

DECEMBER 2013

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EVENTS The Cyprus Investors Show Nicosia, Cyprus, December 4, 2013 Dedicated to providers of professional services from both Cyprus and abroad, analyzing various issues from family businesses to private banking structures. Musical Journey in the Mediterranean Nicosia, Cyprus, December 6, 2013 (www.cyso.org.cy) A concert for the whole family, which will be followed by a community outreach concert series under the same title, with the support of Cyprus Tourism Organisation, between December 10 -13. The Threepenny Opera Limassol, Cyprus, December 10 – 11, 2013 (www.rialto.com.cy) Following successful shows in Paphos, Famagusta and Larnaca, the world famous musical by Bertolt Brecht and composer Kurt Weill moves to Limassol. The Wedding Exhibition Nicosia, Cyprus, January 11 – 12, 2014 (www.georgallisfair.com.cy) The show, which has been organised since 1994, is set to attract more than 100 companies and some 6,000 visitors from all over Cyrpus.

Cyprus Sunshine Cup Cyprus, February 27 - March 9, 2014 (www.cyclingcy.com) The competition, which continues to grow in popularity year after year, returns in 2014 with two stages challenging amateur and professional riders from all over the world.


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TRAVEL CHANNELS

European Mobility Week in Larnaca

Gastronomy is Cyprus’ Hidden Card

During the European Mobility Week, which is held each year since 2002, Larnaca held a series of events from September 16 - 22.

A

mongst these, the most important of which being the ‘Car-free Day’ during which specific urban regions were laid and circulation was allowed only to pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport

vehicles. This year’s message was ‘Clean Air – It’s your Move’, which aimed to motivate people start using alternative mobility means, like cycling, walking, public transportation, hybrid cars, and limit the use of their private vehicles, something which will result in a significant reduction in air pollution and fewer health problems for everyone. The initiative is an important institution aim-

ing to promote sustainable mobility patterns that contribute to the formation and development of environmental ethics, whereas action is undertaken each year to encourage European local authorities to implement effective measures and policies of sustainable transport. In 2012, more than 2,150 cities in 39 countries participated actively in European Mobility Week, including Larnaca. Each year the city with the best performance in promotion of sustainable, alternative transport modes, and citizen’s active involvement, is awarded, and Larnaca was classified to be among the top 10 finalists for 2012, while in 2011 the city ranked in an impressive second place.

Paphos Presented to German Students With a view to getting to know the destination better and evaluate the continued efforts of repositioning Cyprus on the global tourism map, a delegation of 22 students accompanied by two teachers from the University of Trier, Germany visited Cyprus and met with representatives of Pafos Regional Board of Tourism. During a relevant workshop there was a detailed presentation of the structure, function and role of the tourism authority, while an informative session followed, covering the board’s expectations from the Pafos 2017 institution. There was also a constructive debate on tourism promotion, infrastructure development, action for assuring quality service, and more. Both teachers and students expressed their satisfaction for the destination, and at the whole initiative.

Traditional Cyprus Delicasies

During a forum organised by Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), Cyprus’ advantages regarding gastronomy were underlined. Annita Demetriadou, director of tourism, strategy and research department, CTO, indicated that gastronomy is universally recognised as an important factor to enhance the travel experience for all visitors, as it is a major attraction for special interest tourists who choose a destination with gastronomy being the primary focus. Cypriot cuisine has unique qualities which, if used in a creative and imaginative way through synergies, can make the local gastronomy a comparative advantage for the island as a tourist destination, Demetriadou added. Also referring to agrotourism, she said that the development of rural tourism in the country is a good practice, not limited to offering accommodation but an integrated multidimensional experience as well.

Hungarian National Day Celebrated in Cyprus

Balazs Botos, ambassador, Hungary, and his wife (left), Kostakis Loizou, honourary consul general, Hungary, and his wife (middle), Photis Photiou and his wife (right)

The Embassy of Hungary invited policy makers, politicians, representatives of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, and distinguished guests from the island’s economic, social and cultural circles to commemorate the 57th anniversary of the Hungarian revolution of 1956. Addressing the guests at the event, held at Hilton Park Nicosia, Balazs Botos, ambassador, Hungary, remarked on the historical parallels

between Hungary and Cyprus and reiterated his country’s commitment to Cyprus. “The histories of our nations and our people have been intertwined since the 12th century and continue to date, culminating with our simultaneous accession to the European Union in 2004. Since then, Hungary and Cyprus have expanded and intensified their cooperation,” concluded Photis Photiou, minister of defence, Cyprus.

DECEMBER 2013


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Q & A with Lluís de Victoria Tourist regions face congestion because of excessive car use, but the SEEMORE project aims to provide better sustainable transport modes to tourists. Lluís de Victoria, project manager, SEEMORE, explains how this is to be achieved in participating regions, including Limassol.

Travel Trade Cyprus: SEEMORE, amongst others, aims to increase attractiveness of a destination by promoting the use of sustainable transport. Please tell us a few words about this ambitious venture. Lluís de Victoria: SEEMORE is a European project co-financed by the Intelligent Energy Europe programme of the European Commission. It is implemented in eight coastal tourist regions which aim at changing the travel behaviour of visitors towards more sustainable transport modes.

lic transport usage, and new mobility options in the regions.

Lluís de Victoria Project manager, SEEMORE

Travel Trade Cyprus: Following events in Funchal, Portugal; Choczewo, Poland; and Godollo, Hungary, Limassol hosted the fourth consortium meeting of the SEEMORE project between October 8 – 9. Which were the main issues discussed at the forum?

Travel Trade Cyprus: Which are SEEMORE’s main objectives with regards to tourism? Lluís de Victoria: The project has four main objectives. The first one is to increase awareness and information among visitors about sustainable mobility options. Secondly, to establish co-operation protocols between the sectors of tourism and mobility. The other two objectives are to achieve a shift of travel behaviour of visitors, and widely share and communicate the SEEMORE experiences and outcomes with other actors and regions in Europe, going beyond the project’s boundaries. Travel Trade Cyprus: Measures to be implemented in Limassol include discounts at tourist attractions for sustainable mobility users, the creation of a web travel planner for visitors, and trainings on sustainable mobility. What are the additional expected outcomes for each participating region? Lluís de Victoria: We expect to achieve a five to 15 percent reduction of car use by targeted visitors for leisure trips within SEEMORE regions, as well as a five percent increase in non-motorised leisure trips amongst target groups. Another outcome we aim to reach is a total increase of 1.2 million annual public transport passengers, as well as passenger demand in rural public transport routes. In terms of air quality, estimations forecast a reduction of greenhouse emissions of about 23,202 tonnes of CO2 per year by 2020. All these outcomes will be achieved through the introduction of sustainable mobility information and marketing campaigns, incentives for enhancing pub-

DECEMBER 2013

bility model, comparable to other SEEMORE coastal regions. This baseline situation, together with the local will to overcome existing barriers, [such as] traffic congestion and parking difficulties, under-usage of public transport or lack of pedestrian zones and facilities, ensured the presence of Limassol in our project. SEEMORE will guide Limassol to facilitate public transport and soft mobility usage among visitors, and will also support economically the public transport and coach sector by promoting a sustainable urban mobility in the Limassol district.

Travel Trade Cyprus: Which were the criteria that secured Limassol a place as a participating region of the project?

Lluís de Victoria: The discussion of regional implementation strategies, as well as the appropriate methodology to monitor them, were the key issues addressed during the project meeting. Moreover, special focus was paid on local dissemination actions and cross-cooperation with other European projects and entities.

Lluís de Victoria: Limassol is one of the most important tourist destinations in the East Mediterranean region. Its insular character, together with the importance of tourism, results in a very particular mo-

SEEMORE will guide Limassol to facilitate public transport and soft mobility usage among visitors

Cyprus Public Transport


travel talk is your space

18

TRAVEL TALK PETROS LOIS

ORESTIS ROSSIDES

Holder of PwC chair, business research, University of Nicosia.

Director, UK, Cyprus Tourism Organisation.

“The Cyprus tourism sector should be treasured. Nobody should and may not remain inactive, so we can move forward with coordinated and decisive steps for maintaining the comparative advantages of the Cypriot tourism product, but also to directly provide solutions which will be the beacon for the future development of this vital sector for the Cyprus economy, as well as its society.”

ANNITA DEMETRIADOU Director of tourism, strategy and research department, Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO).

“CTO, loyal to its obligations to Cypriots, continues from autumn 2008, the very successful ‘Cyprus, Small Escapes, Great Discoveries!’ The programme aims to contribute to the development of domestic tourism and to mitigate seasonality, while motivating Cypriots, and not only, to get acquainted with products and various corners of Cyprus. The last phase of the short breaks scheme was completed in June [this year], and has seen a spectacular increase in participants in relation to the first phase of the programme for the period 2008/2009.”

“Responsible tourism is high on the agenda for Cyprus Tourism Organisation. Ultimately we would like our tourism practices on sustainability to stand out as a unique example of best practice in responsible tourism. The new Destination Guide from The Travel Foundation provides some new and original ideas for enjoying our island responsibly, as well as some very simple suggestions for making a difference during your visit.”

DINOS LEFKARITIS Chairman, Larnaka Tourism Board.

“Larnaca pioneers by creating activities for winter offered to tourists [staying in licensed hotels, apartments and agrotouristic establishments within the region between November 1 until March 31, 2014] free of cost [in the context of Larnaka Winter Experiences, Culture-Fitness-Fun Programme]. We thank the organisations, local authorities and companies that cooperated so we could build an enriched programme. This action will hopefully be embraced by tour operators and individual tourists in order to enhance the experience of tourists in the city and our province.”

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 DECEMBER 2013


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Q & A with Julie Middleton By identifying standards, publishing guidelines and carrying out training, The Travel Foundation has being trying to promote sustainable tourism in Cyprus since 2010, but according to Julie Middleton, industry programmes manager, The Travel Foundation, this is not a fast process.

Travel Trade Cyprus: In 2010, The Travel Foundation entered into a partnership with Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), and Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative (CSTI), which committed to work together on a five-year plan. What were the goals of the partnership and which are the results to date? Julie Middleton: The primary goal of the partnership is to integrate sustainable tourism principles into tourism practice in Cyprus by 2015. A major part of the work we have carried out has been the adoption of minimum sustainability standards within CTO’s quality criteria for hotels, to ensure sustainable practices become embedded in the hotel sector. It is not a fast process. We have identified 15 standards, published guidelines and carried out training and now we are negotiating the process for implementation with the hotel associations. We recognise that hotels will need a grace period before the standards are made mandatory but we are hopeful that this will be achieved by 2015. When that happens, it will place Cyprus in the unique position of being the first destination to have incorporated minimum standards for sustainability within its quality criteria. As our sphere of influence falls solely within the tourism sector it has been very difficult to bring together all the government departments to address national policy on, for example, solid waste issues; as a result we have concentrated on project implementation at the hotelier level. A waste mapping tool has been produced to help hoteliers prioritise areas where simple actions can be taken to minimise waste, save money and achieve lasting improvements to their waste management. We are developing a portfolio of projects to demonstrate best practice – our ‘green beach’ programme being a prime example of this. Two beaches, Nissi Beach in Agia Napa and Fig Tree Bay in Protaras, worked with local residents and businesses to improve beach user satisfaction and beach cleanliness and amenities. A survey in October 2012 showed a year-on-year improvement in almost all key areas, and a positive change in the behaviour of beach users. Due to interest from neighbouring municipalities and beach front businesses, we are now working with CTO to develop a Greening Cyprus Beaches manual.

DECEMBER 2013

Travel Trade Cyprus: One million British tourists visit Cyprus each year. How important are sustainability issues for them?

local crafts and produce. With more than 20,000 copies sold, these routes are helping rejuvenate the rural economy.

Julie Middleton: British tourists do not usually request sustainable holidays, but if you look at all the things that make a holiday special – great quality, clean beaches; availability of fresh local produce and cuisine; and friendly, welcoming local people – sus-

Travel Trade Cyprus: Aside from actions like the Insider Guide to Cyprus published recently and the ‘Make Holidays Greener’ campaign which ran this year, what are the organisation’s plans in Cyprus for 2014?

Julie Middleton Industry programmes manager, The Travel Foundation

Julie Middleton: This year we have commissioned two feasibility studies. One is looking at the possibility of introducing a Cyprus breakfast into hotels in the Paphos region. The breakfast would feature local foods such as halloumi and cold meats served on traditional tableware, with the aim of increasing local supply and inspiring guests to visit local producers. Depending on the results of the study we aim to pilot this project in 2014. We are also looking at ways to optimise all-inclusive customer spend in the Paphos economy. Earlier research has indicated that holidaymakers staying in all inclusive hotels often take spending money home as they cannot find quality produce and crafts to buy in the resort. We have been talking to local businesses, hoteliers and holidaymakers and getting their ideas on how the quality can be improved. This will lead to a pilot project in 2014.

tainability issues are very important. Cyprus also suffers from water shortages, so it is important that efforts are made to conserve water, not just for holidaymakers but for those who live there too. Travel Trade Cyprus: How has The Travel Foundation helped rural mountain communities in Cyprus, with regards to tourism? Julie Middleton: Our delivery partner, CSTI, supports local producers by bringing them together with holidaymakers to sell their goods through producers’ fairs and links with the hotel industry. They have also produced six self-guided village routes which go through the heart of rural Cyprus, giving holidaymakers a chance to connect with Cyprus’ rich cultural heritage, see traditional ways of working, eat in typical country tavernas and buy

A major part of the work we have carried out has been the adoption of minimum sustainability standards within CTO’s quality criteria for hotels


Travel Trade Cyprus December 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...

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