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JANUARY 2014

ISSUE 11

Creation of Tourism Observatory in Cyprus Cyprus Tourism Organisation has launched a database initiative, to facilitate planning and targeting, as well as to improve tourism offerings.

Kings Avenue Mall has opened its doors, bringing an array of new retail outlets, restaurants, cafes and entertainment facilities to Paphos.

04 Successful Presentations by CTO in India Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) in collaboration with Gulf Air, organised a roadshow in the Indian cities of New Delhi and Mumbai.

05 IN THIS ISSUE MARKET UPDATE GENERAL TOURISM BOARDS AGENT NEWS SPORTS AIR ACCOMMODATION TRAVEL CHANNELS RENDEZVOUS TRAVEL TALK RENDEZVOUS NEWS& EVENTS

02 03 05 07 09 11 14 16 17 18 19 20

Kings Avenue Mall Opens

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2

MARKET UPDATE

TRAVEL TRADE PUBLICATIONS MANAGING EDITOR Mary Kammitsi mary@traveltradeweekly.travel COPY EDITOR Emily Millett

Louis Reports EUR2.9 Million Profit Revising 2012’s results, Louis posted a net profit of EUR2.9 million for the period between January and September 2013, compared to a net loss of EUR8.5 million in the corresponding period in 2012.

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SENIOR JOURNALIST Rita Kasziba

ouis’ results were boosted by a 4.5 percent growth in turnover which rose from EUR165.3 million in 2012, to EUR172.8 million in 2013. The increase was mainly due to the activities of Louis Cruises, up six percent, from chartering services and improved sales from Piraeus port. The group’s operating profit before interests, taxes, depreciations and hotel rents climbed 40.3 percent from EUR36.5 million to EUR51.2 million.

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 103607 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

EXCHANGE RATES

Accurate as of

The Royal Apollonia

Lordos Hotels’ Nine-Month Turnover Reduced According to Lordos Hotels’ second interim management statement for 2013, the company’s turnover decreased by approximately EUR725,000, or 8.3 percent, to EUR7.95 million during the first nine months of 2013. Moreover, the cost of sales fell 4.9 percent, to EUR4.11 million due to the group’s lower turnover. Administrative expenses increased 1.4 percent attributable to higher depreciation and amortisation, while other operating expenses saw a growth of 2.3 percent, from January to September 2013. Overall, profit before tax, decreased to EUR965,202, and total revenues for the period under review deflated by EUR388,310. The results for the first nine months of 2013 are thought to have been impacted mainly by a reduction in overnight stays being booked across Cyprus in general. Based on figures and indications, the group expected that 2013 would prove beneficial, but with a significant reduction in profitability compared to 2012.

18/12/2013 COUNTRY

CURRENCY

1EUR=

US (USD)

1.37

UK (GBP)

0.84

Switzerland (CHF)

1.22

Japan (JPY)

141.56

PICTURE OF THE MONTH

easyJet: Cyprus Offers Further Opportunities

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ith 56 percent of its passengers originating from outside the UK, easyJet is strengthening its position in Europe, with Greece and Cyprus proving lucrative markets for the airline, due to the limited low-cost carrier penetration in both countries. This news was revealed by Mike Campbell, group director, Europe, easyJet, who further disclosed that during 2013, the company transferred 537,000 passengers to and from Cyprus, four percent more than 2012, while for this year easyJet will offer 597,000 seats to the island, marking a two percent year-on-year increase. Following the addition of services to Liverpool in late 2013, easyJet is ranked third among the airlines in Cyprus in terms of capacity, with Paphos – London Gatwick being the most popular amongst the routes offered by the carrier to and from the island. This year is set to see the network expand further with the planned introduction of flights from Larnaca to Basel in April.

Commenting on the carrier’s overall success and increasing popularity in various markets, Campbell concluded, “easyJet has changed the face of travel and democratised the landscape within the airline industry.”

easyJet

JANUARY 2014


MONTHLY NEWS

3

Paphos Units Bid to Remain Operational in Winter

Paphos

Boasting the conditions and comparative advantages needed to offer year-round services, Paphos has been hailed as one of the best tourist destinations on the island, following a meeting of the Cyprus Hotel Association (CHA)’s local committee. However, in recent years a large number of units have been forced to suspend operations during the winter season, incurring negative effects on both hotel business and the local economy. Themis Philippides, chairman, Paphos district committee, CHA, stressed that much needs to be done regarding this situation, both on the part of the properties themselves, but also by the state, local governments, and the Cyprus Tourism Organisation. At the meeting, hoteliers in the area welcomed the Ministry of Labour’s position in favour of keeping hotels operational for as long as possible, while simultaneously carrying out staff training, whether the units are closed or partially running.

Cyprus Continued Losing Passengers in Q3 2013 European airport trade body, Airports Council International Europe (ACI EUROPE), released the first comprehensive report of airport traffic performance for the third quarter (Q3) of 2013, recording all scheduled air traffic at airports across the continent. According to Olivier Jankovec, director general, ACI EUROPE, Cyprus, Spain, Italy and Greece continued to lose passengers, although at a slower pace. “European passenger traffic is getting more surefooted, thanks to the improving performance at EU airports which started at the end of the winter. However, the recovery remains quite soft, and generally contrasted between Southern Europe and the rest of the continent,” he added. Overall passenger traffic at Europe’s airports registered an increase of 3.2 percent during Q3 2013, compared to the same period in 2012. At European Union (EU) airports passenger traffic soared1.8 percent, while non-EU airports led by Turkey, Russia, Iceland and Norway reported growth of 8.8 percent.

JANUARY 2014

Leptos Group Hosts Russian Journalists A large team of journalists, representing some of Russia’s leading political, economic and touristic publications, visited Cyprus for a five-day familiarisation trip following an invitation from the Public International Office. During their stay, the reporters had the chance to meet Nikos Anastasiadis, president, Cyprus, Harris Georgiades, minister of finance, Cyprus, as well as Ioannis Kasoulides, minister of foreign affairs, Cyprus, who briefed them on the latest developments relating to the country’s economy. In addition, the bespoke programme included excursions to various places on the island, tours to archaeological sites, and visits to a number of luxury hotels and resorts. Leptos Group also invited the journalists to visit some of the properties under its umbrella in Paphos, including Coral Beach Hotel & Resort and Thalassa Boutique Hotel & Spa, where they also had the opportunity to dine with the group managers while enjoying the hotel’s services and amenities. Leptos Group’s initiative was in line with the company’s commitment to reinforcing the government and Cyprus Tourism Organisation’s efforts to attract more Russian visitors as well as buyers and investors to the island.


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MONTHLY NEWS

Kings Avenue Mall Opens

Kings Avenue Mall

Kings Avenue Mall has opened its doors, bringing an array of new retail outlets, restaurants, cafes and entertainment facilities to Paphos. Being described as the most contemporary mall in Cyprus, the complex features some of the largest fashion chains for women, men and children, while a plethora of home decor, electronic devices and gadgets are also available. Kings Avenue Mall also boasts a supermarket, a variety of international restaurants and cafes, as well as activities specifically designed for the younger clientele such as a video arcade and a cinema. To celebrate the launch of the mall, which is open seven days a week, the management organised a myriad of activities and amusements for visitors of all ages, which included music and dance, puppet shows, a shadow theatre, magicians, jugglers, face painting and more.

Great Satisfaction over Arrivals and Tourism Revenues Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) has expressed great satisfaction in the significant growth in both tourist arrivals and revenue during the last months of 2013. According to official data, a year-on-year increase of 4.4 percent was noted in incoming travellers in October 2013, while proceeds for August 2013 registered a surge of 12 percent compared to revenue in August 2012. Furthermore, revenue in September 2013 recorded a rise of 22 percent when compared to September 2012. Alecos Orountiotis, chairman, CTO, stated that the statistics generated, highlight the important role of tourism in boosting the country’s economy. “These results are concrete proof that tourism continues to be a stirring engine for our economy, and with the cooperation of all tourism stakeholders [this year] we will manage to have another good year with an improvement in the field of seasonality,” he said.

Attracting Tourists from Kuwait Speaking at a presidential visit to Kuwait, Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, minister of commerce, industry and tourism, Cyprus, confirmed that an agreement has been signed to attract more tourists from the Gulf nation. Opening up bilateral flights between Cyprus and Kuwait in order to improve tourist arrivals in both countries was also discussed during the visit. “We hope that we will have representation from the [Kuwaiti] government in Cyprus soon, so that we can investigate a number of other investments, mainly in the private sector, in major projects which need funding, such as marinas, golf courses, medical tourism, and renewable energy,” added Lakkotrypis.

Creation of Tourism Observatory in Cyprus Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) has launched a database initiative, to facilitate planning and targeting, as well as to improve tourism offerings by registering, collecting, analysing and diffusing data and statistics from Cyprus, Crete and Kos, to stakeholders within the travel and tourism sectors and beyond. Original sources for the database will include the Statistical Service of Cyprus, Hermes Airports, the Department of Civil Aviation, touristic accommodation facilities, data from international organisations, and primary research. According to Constantinos Chappas, tourist officer, CTO, the project will provide a central point of reference for individuals, researchers, hoteliers, and tourism professionals.

Tourists in Troodos

JANUARY 2014


Tourism Boards

INTERREG IVC Project Met in Paphos

MONTHLY NEWS

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Successful Presentations by CTO in India

Paphos recently hosted a workshop titled ‘Place Marketing’, for delegations from 13 partner organisations, across 11 countries, as part of the continued implementation of Project CHARTS (Interreg IVC). This interregional cooperation initiative aims to transfer good practices in culture and heritage as an added value to sustainable tourism policies in regional development. Led by the Municipality of South Pelion, Greece, partner members include Pafos Regional Board of Tourism, as well as stakeholders and local governments from UK, Ireland, Sweden, Italy, Latvia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Spain. Interreg IVC has already achieved significant results including improved regional culture, heritage and sustainable tourism policies; the protection and preservation of culture and heritage sites and landscapes, and the better use of European Union funds for regional operational programmes. Running for 30 months, the project is set to conclude by the end of the year. The total budget is approximately EUR1.5 million, with Paphos expected to absorb an allocated amount of EUR195,000.

Cyprus was represented by Angelos Odysseos, mayor, Polis Chrysochous, and Michalis Pavlidis, mayor, Yeroskipou, at the summit of the World Agritourism Cities (Districts) Union, organised by the World Agritourism Development Forum. Held in Changsha City, Hunan Province, China, the inaugural event hosted official missions from 30 countries including mayors, ambassadors, and agritourism associations, following a formal invitation from the Friendship Communication Organization of Ambassadors and Madams on Knowing Chinese Culture. During the forum, participants discussed the establishment of an alliance to develop rural tourism on a more global scale. Various countries contributed their own ideas and experiences regarding agritourism and its development in their respective destinations. Finally suggestions were put forward on the subject of cooperation to achieve tourist exchange collaborations. Participating destinations gave presentations to communicate their national agritourism offerings. Moreover, the forum also presented the opportunity for individual one-onone meetings with representatives from other cities. Through this initiative the two Cypriot municipalities hope to further develop their agritourism products, and promote Cyprus as a rural tourism destination, while also increasing opportunities for cooperation, investment and trade through the direct export and import of agricultural products.

JANUARY 2014

Mumbai, India

Paphos Represented in China

Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) in collaboration with Gulf Air, organised a roadshow in the Indian cities of New Delhi and Mumbai, to showcase the island’s tourism offerings and convenient travel options when visiting from India. Presenting to over 200 Indian travel agents and tour operators who gathered for the events, Vassilis Theocharides, director, Middle East and Arabian Gulf office, CTO, analysed Cyprus’ advantages as a destination for conference, incentive and wedding tourism, referring to the organisation’s plans to further attract these segments. “Cyprus is a popular holiday destination for the Indian market with many varied offerings for families and leisure travellers. From beaches, to museums to archaeological sites, Cyprus is the ideal year-round vacation destination. We appreciate Gulf Air’s support through their sponsorship of our roadshow and look forward to working closely with them again in the near future to promote Cyprus,” commented Theocharides. Also in attendance were Cypriot travel companies such as Smart Events, Amathus Destination Services and SEA-HAT Travel & Tours, whose focus is on destination management.


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MONTHLY NEWS

Tourism Boards

CTO: Russians to Reach 800,000 This Year A delegation from Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) headed by Alecos Orountiotis, chairman, CTO, visited Russia for a series of meetings with tourism stakeholders. Following the decision for an open skies agreement with Russia, the CTO team met with major tour operators in Moscow and St. Petersburg in order to clarify the number of airline seats to be added to Cyprus during the winter season. As a result of the meetings, two major tour operators already active in Cyprus have announced plans to increase their offerings to the island, while another one expressed the desire to start operations in the country. CTO estimates that the influx of Russian visitors to Cyprus for this year will reach 800,000, marking a 25 percent year-on-year increase, while arrivals during the current winter season are predicted to be significantly improved compared to 2012/13. According to statistics, arrivals from Russia exceeded 600,000 in 2013, a figure which positioned the segment as the second biggest after the UK.

Pafos 2017 Visits Slovakia An informal meeting concerning the European Capital of Culture title was hosted recently by Košice, Slovakia, the holder of the title for 2013. The meeting was attended by participants from 19 countries including Paphos, which was represented by newly-appointed Marios Ioannou Elia, artistic director, European Capital of Culture – Pafos 2017. During the conference, information and experiences were shared among other capitals of culture regarding the preparation of the host city. Another issue that received particular attention was the movement of artists through the ‘Artists in Residence’ scheme, and their appearance in various host cities.

Košice, Slovakia

Czech Journalists Visit Cyprus Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) hosted a familiarisation trip for a group of Czech journalists from a variety of widely known and specialised media channels, in order to introduce them to the country’s existing tourism product, as well as to communicate the prospects and potentials that exist in Cyprus for the future. The bespoke programme of events especially set out for the group, included a number of daytrips around the island, organised to allow the media representatives to get to know the wide variety of landscapes, activities, and experiences available in Cyprus. The members of the Czech press were reportedly impressed by the multitude options that the country has to offer within a relatively small geographic area. This overall optimism suggests that CTO was successful in its endeavour to utilise the trip as an important tool to highlight the touristic advantages and beauties that Cyprus has on display. Team of Czech Journalist JANUARY 2014


Agents

The SunConnect Concept

Thomas Cook to Launch Digital Concept in Protaras

Top Kinisis Travel Closes US Office Following a meeting with the board of directors from Top Kinisis Travel, the company has announced plans to suspend the operations of its subsidiary Kinisis Travel & Tours in the US, and will close its offices in New York. The decision was made after a gathering of company representatives examined and approved the interim management statement for the nine months prior to September 30, 2013. Findings from the statement recorded continued losses from the US-based arm of the business over the past two years. The group’s turnover during the first nine months of 2013 amounted to EUR23.7 million compared to EUR33.5 million in the corresponding period of 2012, registering a drop of 29.3 percent. The company witnessed a significant revenue reduction, with operations recording a decrease of 27.8 percent in Cyprus, 74 percent in Greece, and 61.1 percent in the US, resulting in total losses of approximately EUR9.8 million, or 29.3 percent compared to the same period in 2012.

JANUARY 2014

MONTHLY NEWS

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Thomas Cook Group has revealed plans to introduce a digital hotel concept for those who want to stay connected on their travels. The group will initially introduce the SunConnect Resorts concept across 10 top resorts in time for this year’s summer season, including SunConnect Protaras Beach. SunConnect utilises digital technology to offer a user-friendly website, free Wi-Fi connection throughout the resortsites and to enable guests to browse and book daily activities through their smartphones and tablets. Customers will be supported by a web-savvy holiday host who will facilitate digital activities such as geocaching and Xbox gaming. “Following the extensive survey of leisure travellers we undertook [in 2013], we found there was an increasing need for connected holiday experiences which was not being addressed,” said Harriet Green, group CEO, Thomas Cook Group, adding that the project is about listening to the customers, and providing them with a high-tech, hightouch experiences.

TUI’s CEO at Hotel Management Forum InterContinental Aphrodite Hills Resort Hotel, Paphos, hosted the two-day Mediterranean Hotel Management & Investment Forum in November 2013. The event featured an array of international high-calibre speakers, among which was Peter Long, CEO, TUI Travel. In his analysis regarding tour operators, Long focused on how working hand-in-hand, over many years with destinations and hoteliers, TUI Travel has proven that long-term commitment, investment, and relationships, are key elements for success. In November 1996, Long was appointed group managing director of First Choice Holidays and became CEO in September 1999. Prior to joining First Choice, he was the CEO of Sunworld Holidays. Long joined TUI’s board in 2007 as CEO and more recently, in October 2013, was appointed president of the Family Holiday Association, a UK-based charity which provides short breaks away from home for more than 2,000 disadvantaged families. Peter Long


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MONTHLY NEWS

Nautical

MSC Fantasia

Top Kinisis Travel Promotes Cruise Holidays

Top Kinisis Travel has organised a tour of Piraeus port as part of a familiarisation trip for a group of travel agents from Greece and Cyprus, as well as representatives from local authorities. The experience gave the group an opportunity to inspect MSC Cruises’ MSC Fantasia and get to know the cruise ship’s itinerary for this year’s summer season. It was arranged in line with the company’s efforts to provide better information and training to travel agents in the cruise sector. Built in 2008, the 333m-long luxury MSC Fantasia features 18 decks and boasts a capacity of 4,363 passengers and 1,722 crew members. During the upcoming summer season, the ship will sail from Piraeus, with ports of call in Greece, Italy and Croatia.

TUI Conference Successfully Concluded An increase in tourist arrivals from the UK to Ayia Napa for the upcoming season is expected after the conclusion of TUI’s UK and Ireland Retail Conference held in November, 2013, at the coastal resort. The event was attended by around 900 people, of whom 700 were in charge of TUI branches from around the UK. The rest were senior managers of the company, as well as TUI partners in Cyprus and abroad. The conference included presentations on Cyprus and its quality tourism product, and participants were given the opportunity to exchange views and develop partnerships. David Burling, managing director, TUI UK and Ireland, reaffirmed Cyprus’ good prospects, as well as the company’s commitment to further enhancing tourist arrivals to the island. TUI Conference

Dutch Agents Welcomed by CTO Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) has hosted a group of travel agents from The Netherlands, during a period considered to be outside of the usual high season of the European summer. This move comes on the back of a decision to specifically showcase the comparative advantages of Cyprus’ tourism product and the unique experiences offered on the island at any time of the year. The hospitality programme included excursions to various parts of the country so that CTO’s guests could become personally acquainted with the great variety and quality offered by the island despite its small size in geographic terms. Among other destinations, the Dutch travel agents visited the rural village of Vasa Kilaniou to experience the traditional lifestyle of an authentic, picturesque Cypriot community. The foreign visitors were said to have been delighted by the hospitality, the weather and the overall tourism experience offered by Cyprus. Hosting tour operators, foreign media, and travel agents is an important tool used by CTO in order to promote and display Cyprus’ dynamic product to an international market.

JANUARY 2014


Sports

Pafos Sprint Triathlon Successfully Held

Pafos Sprint Triathlon

The inaugural Pafos Sprint Triathlon, organised by Bikin’ Cyprus Event Management with the support of Paphos and Yeroskipou municipalities and Pafos Regional Board of Tourism, was successfully held in November. In a joint effort to promote the region as an ideal destination for sports tourism during the winter season, all stakeholders contributed to supporting the event which saw participants swim for 750m, ride their bikes for 18km and run for the remaining 5km. Pafos Sprint Triathlon is considered part of the preparations for the International Triathlon Race that will take place in April in the coastal city. Pafos Regional Board of Tourism took the opportunity to thank the police officers for flawless traffic management, as well as the volunteers, and hoteliers for their support.

Andreas Ioannides Race 2013

Limassol Marina Sponsors Sailing Race

Limassol Marina was one of the main sponsors of the Andreas Ioannides Race 2013. The regatta was organised by the Famagusta Nautical Club, in memory of the late navy commodore, Andreas Ioannides who died in the July 11, 2011 explosion at Mari Naval Base. In support of the race, Limassol Marina offered berthing to the participating boats, and the management expressed delight at being involved in such a distinguished event. Founded in 1960, Famagusta Nautical Club is considered the most historic club of the island, and has played a key role in watersports development.

JANUARY 2014

MONTHLY NEWS

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Aphrodite Hills and Eléa Estate Partner for Golf Event Two of the island’s five-star golf courses, Aphrodite Hills and Eléa Estate have teamed up to co-host a black tee challenge for golf aficionados. Sponsored by Austrian Airlines and spearheaded by Dave Stone, head of golf operations, Aphrodite Hills, and Maria Robinson, assistant manager, golf operations, Eléa Estate, the event was aimed at showing unity within the golfing market of Cyprus, and reinforcing the importance the country attaches to this growing market segment. The first day of the challenge, which took place at Aphrodite Hills, saw participants from various countries, including Germany, Russia, the US and Cyprus, fighting against some unfortunate weather conditions, however even the rain could not dampen the players’ spirits. Day two was held at Eléa Golf Estate and although the rain held off, the winds made some of the shots from the black tees quite challenging. The programme was followed by a lunch, prepared by Eléa Estate’s food and beverage team, and the announcement of the winners.


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MONTHLY NEWS

Ayia Napa Monastery

Ayia Napa Holds Cultural Winter

Cultural activities and events are on display in Ayia Napa in an exhibition titled ‘Cultural Winter 2013 - 2014’, organised by the town’s municipality in collaboration with Cyprus Tourism Organisation. The annual event, which started in November 2013, will last until the end of March aims to present and showcase Cypriot culture to local and foreign visitors, as well as to enrich the regional winter tourism product. The cultural season will see events being held every Thursday, and was launched by the municipality’s dancing group who presented Cypriot and Greek folk dancing. All activities are being held in the Ayia Napa Municipality’s closed hall and admission is free for everyone.

Encouraging Tourists to Use Public Transport Larnaka Tourism Board and Zinonas Buses have prepared a leaflet showing the major public passenger routes used by tourists in the Larnaca district. Created in the hopes of encouraging more visitors to use public buses, the brochure comprises services from Phinikoudes and the Voroklini/Pyla tourist area and covers attractions including the Church of Our Old Lady Aggeloktistis, Kiti; the Salt Lake; villages such as Lefkara, Skarinou, Zygi, Athienou; and popular tourist spots like kitesurfing beaches and the Mackenzie coast. The document is posted on the board’s website, and is available in hotels and the Cyprus Tourism Organisation information offices in Larnaca.

Nicosia Mayor Meets Egyptian Ambassador

Cyprus Participates in Ocean Conservation Conference Nicos Kouyialis, minister of agriculture, natural resources and environment, Cyprus, represented the island at the World Ministerial Conference on the Conservation of the Oceans at the end of October in Ajaccio, France. The event brought together representatives of 130 countries and international organisations to discuss issues related to the goal of protecting 10 percent of the world’s oceans and coastal areas by 2020, through a coherent network of marine protected areas. In his speech, Kouyialis informed the congress on the progress recently made in the Mediterranean area to identify possible ecologically and biologically significant marine locations.

Constantinos Yiorkadjis, mayor, Nicosia, had a formal meeting with Heba Salah Eldin El Marassi, ambassador of Egypt to Cyprus, in November 2013 at the capital city’s Town Hall. During the meeting the two officials exchanged views on issues of common interest relating to the local government, and discussed ways to improve cultural exchanges between the Embassy of Egypt and Nicosia Municipality.

JANUARY 2014


Air

Qatar Airways to Link Larnaca and Doha

MONTHLY NEWS

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Transaero Airlines Launches Moscow – Paphos Route Transaero Airlines has announced its new winter schedule offering broader travel options on 146 routes, including a new service between Paphos and the Russian capital city. The airline has increased operations from Vnukovo International Airport, now linking it with 60 destinations, 20 of which are new routes. The Russian carrier has also expanded its first-class offering on mediumrange routes, so passengers travelling

Qatar Airways Airbus A320

Passengers travelling onboard Boeing 737-800 aircraft on the Paphos – Moscow route can now enjoy the Imperial Class service

Qatar Airways is to launch scheduled services to Larnaka International Airport, marking the Middle Eastern carrier’s entry into the island. Commencing April 29, the route will be operated four times a week by an Airbus A320 aircraft, offering 12 seats in business class and 132 in economy class. The new service will be Qatar Airways’ first-ever regular flight to Cyprus, offering leisure as well as business tourists convenient travel options to the Middle East and beyond, on the airline’s fast-growing international network. Qatar’s national carrier currently operates to over 130 key leisure and business destinations globally and is also a member of the oneworld alliance, enabling customers to benefit from almost a thousand airports in more than 150 countries.

onboard Boeing 737-800 aircraft on the Paphos – Moscow route can now enjoy the Imperial Class service, previously only available on long-haul flights. “Imperial Class is our unique product. Since its launch five years ago more than 52,000 passengers travelled in Imperial Class,” asserted Olga Pleshakova, CEO, Transaero Airlines, adding that the change is part of the company’s strategy to enhance client services.

NIKI Lands in Cyprus German carrier, NIKI celebrated its 10th anniversary in November 2013 with a special flight between Vienna and Cyprus, ahead of the launch of scheduled services between the two cities. Welcoming the first 189 NIKI passengers at Larnaka International Airport, Hermes Airports organised a hospitality event in the arrival area, with traditional Cypriot music and local sweets. Commenting on the soon-to-be-launched route, Wes Porter, CEO, Hermes Airports, said, “Cyprus is enriching its air route network with Austria. Both Cypriots wishing to visit Vienna, as well as tourists who wish to visit Cyprus can now take advantage of a worthwhile, affordable and quality option.” The new service will also offer passengers the option of connecting flights operated by NIKI and airberlin through the Austrian capital city. Starting January 31, NIKI will operate twice-weekly services between Larnaca and Vienna, and the German airline has already outlined plans to add another flight to its schedule, effective from March 31. NIKI Touches down in Cyprus

JANUARY 2014


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MONTHLY NEWS

EL AL Check-in

EL AL Returns to Cyprus

Air

Following an interval of seven years, the first EL AL flight from Tel Aviv landed at Larnaka International Airport on November 6, 2013, with the inaugural service carrying 160 passengers. Upon landing, the Boeing 737-900 was welcomed by airport and civil aviation officials. Moreover at the departure gate, the airline hosted a small reception for passengers on the first return flight to the Israeli city. EL AL will operate two services a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, until March. From April 1 the carrier’s frequency is to grow to six weekly flights. The Israeli airline has 35 aircraft, and operates in Europe, America, Asia, and Africa. It aims to be the first choice for Cypriot travellers, offering good connections, reduced fares and excellent service. Since 1984, EL AL’s general sales agent on the island is Kyprotours, a destination management company dealing with conference and incentive groups.

Gulf Air: New Airbus 320-ER from Larnaca Gulf Air introduced a new Airbus 320-Extended Range (ER) aircraft on its Larnaca – Bahrain route, offering luxury and comfort to the airline’s passengers. Designed specifically for the national carrier of Bahrain, the A320-ER is the only aircraft in its class in the region featuring fully-flat bed seats. The Falcon Gold seats convert into fully-flat beds measuring 1.9m, offering more personal space than the airline’s previous business class product and allowing passengers to sit back and relax in a 56cm wide armchair that converts easily into the passenger’s desired position. Gulf Air has operated in Cyprus since 1976, linking Larnaca and Bahrain.

easyJet Adds Liverpool – Larnaca Route Hermes Airports celebrated the arrival of the first easyJet flight connecting Liverpool and Larnaca. The new route is being operated twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and is expected to fast become popular among both Cypriot and British travellers. Welcoming the first flight from Liverpool, Hermes Airports organised a hospitality event at Larnaka International Airport in collaboration with Cyprus Tourism Organisation. Passengers landing at the airport were offered the chance to indulge in traditional Cypriot flavours such as the famous Commandaria wine, while relishing the sound of traditional Cypriot music.

JANUARY 2014


Air

MONTHLY NEWS

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easyJet to Open Basel Route

easyJet

easyJet will soon be launching a new destination from Cyprus linking Larnaca to Basel, Switzerland. Following the recent introduction of the Larnaca – Liverpool route in November 2013, the airline is to double its destination offering from Larnaka International Airport, giving more options to Cypriot travellers. Mike Campbell, group director, Europe, easyJet, said, “easyJet is pleased to announce [this] new route to Cyprus, which confirms our commitment to the island. Cyprus is one of the most attractive summer destinations in Europe and with great pleasure we contribute to the promotion of tourism by transferring new visitors from around our network – the largest aviation network in Europe.”

AEGEAN Airlines to Launch New Paphos – Athens Route AEGEAN Airlines is starting the new year by adding 15 routes to its network, one of which will be a new service between Paphos and the Greek capital. The expansion, which also includes new flights to Birmingham, Zurich, Hamburg and Abu Dhabi, will bring the carrier’s international network from Athens to 47. Overall, this year 45 - 50 new destinations are expected to be added from the company’s the eight bases in Greece. The expansion follows the recent acquisition of Olympic Air, which, according to Eftychios Vassilakis, vice president, AEGEAN Airlines, has established a stronger carrier. AEGEAN Airlines and Olympic Air jointly cover a network of more than 250 destinations. AEGEAN Airlines Cockpit

JANUARY 2014

airBaltic and Larnaca Salute Yearround Route airBaltic, in collaboration with the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (ACTA) and Larnaka Tourism Board, organised a seminar on the occasion of the airline’s launch of route throughout the year from Riga to Larnaca. Dinos Lefkaritis, chairman, Larnaka Tourism Board, said, “The decision of airBaltic to include Larnaca in its winter schedule gives us great pleasure as it creates favourable prospects for growth in tourist arrivals from Latvia, but also from neighbouring countries with airline connections, such as Estonia and the Nordic countries. The fact that the airline will fly during winter helps our aim to boost winter tourism, including of course other actions underway.” Yiannis Michaelides, director general, ACTA, added that the relatively short distance between Riga and major cities in the Nordic countries, Ukraine, and Russia is expected to provide a satisfactory and practical connection option with Cyprus for tourists residing in these countries.


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MONTHLY NEWS

Accommodation

New Additions at Paradisos Hills Hotel located for travellers who desire a rural holiday, for nature appreciation and active sports such as trekking and mountain biking. Soulla Charalambous, co-owner, Paradisos Hills Hotel, commented, “We offer room-only, half- and full-board accommodation, and often have special offers. For [an affordable] price, two people can enjoy half-board accommodation in a double room, with stunning sea and mountain views. The price also includes a three-hour Cypriot cookery lesson for two, [teaching] classics such as moussaka, traditional meatballs and stifado, as well as salads and breads.”

Paradisos Hills Hotel

A new wing is soon to be completed at Paradisos Hills Hotel, a 15-bedroom boutique hotel, located just outside the traditional village of Lysos in the Akamas Peninsula of estern Cyprus. The new addition will feature 12 new guestrooms, a conference room and a spa. The property looks forward to expanding its inventory in order to better serve guests’ needs, since it also caters for weddings and runs a traditional Cypriot cookery school as well. Offering a variety of accommodation options, Paradisos Hills Hotel is ideally

Kefalos Beach Tourist Village among the Top 10 Kefalos Beach Tourist Village in Paphos has been ranked among the world’s 10 best great-value beach hotels on TripAdvisor. Hailed as the world’s largest travel site, which enables travellers to plan and organise the perfect holiday, TripAdvisor assembled 10 beachside properties from around the world which, based on reviews, offer the best value for the guests’ money. Kefalos Beach Tourist Village has been described by TripAdvisor users as a lovely place and a brilliant complex, boasting an ideal location. These positive comments have earned the property a place among the top 10 favourites in this category. The complex is located on the beach next to the renowned archaeological areas of Paphos the UNESCO Park with its mosaics, the Venetian Paphos Lighthouse and the Tombs of the Kings. Besides Kefalos Group’s hotel, properties from Brazil, Dominican Republic, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Spain, Thailand and Turkey also made it onto the list.

Crowne Plaza Limassol Hosts Belly Dance Festival

Crowne Plaza Limassol played host to the Orient Cyprus 2, International Belly Dance Festival in November 2013. The three-day extravaganza attracted over 120 dancers from Cyprus and abroad and proved a great success. Participants arrived early in the week to combine their love for belly dancing, with a little sun, sea and sand. The workshops began on Friday and continued over the weekend. On Friday night a competition took place in the hotel’s ballroom, where dancers of all ages competed in various categories. The programme continued on Saturday evening with a show, and ended on Sunday with a special gala presenting a variety of dances from belly dance to salsa and tango. “We are very much looking forward to Orient Dance 3, the third International Belly Dance Festival which is scheduled to take place at Crowne Plaza Limassol in November,. Dance tourism is a new challenge for us - a very exciting one” commented Petros Pierides, general manager, Crowne Plaza Limassol.

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Accommodation

Anassa Staff Honoured for Sea Rescue

Anassa

Five members of staff at Anassa hotel on the Akamas Peninsula in Paphos, have received honorary distinctions after preventing guests from drowning in rough seas during the summer season. Despite several warnings from the hotel regarding high waves and bad swimming conditions, some guests risked the harsh waters, finding that they were then unable to return to the shore. A ceremony was held at Anassa, a member of Thanos Hotels, the following week to recognise the brave efforts of the staff members, who went above and beyond for the hotel visitors. Congratulations were attributed to George Kastride, George Tzvetkov, Tasos Efstathiou, Kyle Kleyn, and Laurentzou Dimitrou, who have taken the term ‘Employee of the Month’ to a whole new level.

Kanika Hotels & Resorts Hosts Ukrainian TV Show Kanika Hotels & Resorts and Cyprus Tourism Organisation have teamed up with Ukrainian partners to shoot a TV show on the island. The Great Illusion is a family show featuring Ukrainian illusionist, Sergey Savka who travels around Cyprus to meet celebrities, tourists and locals, amazing them with his magic tricks. The programme, which will air between February and April, is expected to attract millions of viewers, and will showcase some of the island’s most picturesque landscapes, famous historical and cultural heritage sites, markets, restaurants and marinas. Alexander The Great Hotel in Paphos hosted the crew members and, according to Andreas Christodoulides, general manager, Alexander The Great Hotel, “The Ukrainian market is an upcoming market, that especially now with the open skies agreement, can turn into something ‘very big’.” “These shows are watched by millions of people and can definitely create a very positive image of a destination,” Christodoulides added.

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Atlantica: TUI Conference Held with Success In November 2013 Atlantica Hotels & Resorts hosted the annual TUI UK Retail Managers Conference at Atlantica Aeneas Resort & Spa, in Ayia Napa. According to an announcement made by the company, the event was deemed a success. The conference has been described as a very important gathering that takes place once a year outside the UK. This is the first time that Cyprus has had the opportunity to hold such a large event of this kind, providing wide spread media coverage to the island from the UK and Ireland. The entire board of TUI UK and Ireland attended the conference, as well as board members of TUI Travel, 1,000 travel agency managers, and cooperators from the fields of sales and tourism from Cyprus and the UK. During the event Atlantica Hotels & Resorts in cooperation with TUI pledged to continue to support the tourism sector in Cyprus.

Amathus Beach Hotel Paphos to Transform Amathus Beach Hotel Paphos has announced plans to terminate operations under the Amathus Hotels and Leading Hotels of the World umbrella in September, following an agreement signed in July 2013 with Kanika Olympic to set up and operate a new company under the name Olympic Lagoon Hotels. After extensive renovations which are estimated to reach EUR13 million, the property will re-emerge as Olympic Lagoon Resort Paphos, and is scheduled to be fully operational as of June 2015. According to forecasts, and based on the performance of the Olympic Lagoon Resort Ayia Napa, it is anticipated that as of 2016 the Paphosbased property will significantly improve its revenue and cashflow. The turnover of Amathus Beach Hotel Paphos decreased 5.6 percent year-on-year between July and October 2013. The hotel has remained closed since December 2013, in preparation to commence operations for the summer period in March. Amathus

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MONTHLY NEWS


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TRAVEL CHANNELS

Polis Chrysochous Received Accessible Tourism Award Angelos Odysseos, mayor, Polis Chrysochous, travelled to Brussels to receive a European Destination of Excellence on Accessible Tourism award.

O Pedro Ortún-Silvan, director, service industries, European Commission (left), and Angelos Odysseos

rganised under the framework of the European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) project, the event held in November in the Belgian capital comprised a gala dinner and an award ceremony held to honour the 19 winners selected as European Destinations of Excellence on Accessible Tourism for their country, among which was the Polis Chrysochous municipality. This year’s competition, in line with EDEN’s constant aim of promoting sustainable tourism development models across the European Union, rewarded

destinations for being barrier-free regarding infrastructure and facilities. Additional criteria included accessibility by transport means suited for all users; high quality services delivered by trained staff; and marketing, booking systems, web sites and services which provide information accessible to all. With this noteworthy award, the municipality has acquired an important angle for the promotion and development of the region. Polis Chrysochous is now also showcased through EDEN’s official website in Cyprus and abroad.

Cyprus Airways Carries Special Cargo Cyprus Airways transferred a flock of 10 Griffon vultures from Crete, in aid of the European Territorial Cooperation Programme ‘Greece - Cyprus’, GYPAS. The airline has now transferred a total of 25 of this rare species, which is threatened with immediate extinction. The mission was launched in June 2012 with the transfer of six vultures, and continued in December 2012, with five more. In January 2013, Cyprus Airways brought four additional Griffon vultures to the island, before this last flock of 10 birds on November 14, 2013. Overseen by the Cypriot Game Service, the main objective of the programme is to rescue the largest wild birds in Cyprus.

Griffon Vultures

Open Skies Policy to Benefit Famagusta In a meeting with local authorities and municipalities of the Famagusta district, including the Famagusta Tourist Commercial Industrial Association, Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, minister of commerce, industry and tourism, Cyprus, discussed the open skies policy signed between Cyprus and Russia. Lakkotrypis said that the ministry is making efforts to secure deals with tour operators and charter flight organisers to attract as many winter

Gulf Air: 37 Years of Commitment to Cyprus Since the launch of its first service between Bahrain and Larnaca in 1976, Gulf Air has gained a large number of loyal customers, with John Strongylos, Gulf Air Falconflyer member, recently celebrating the 30th anniversary of the first ftime he flew with the carrier. On the occasion, he was presented with a complimentary ticket at the airline’s office in Larnaca. “It is our pleasure to honour John Strongylos; he has been flying with Gulf Air since we first started operations to Larnaca,” commented Alexandros Elia, marketing manager, Orthodoxou Aviation, Gulf Air’s general sales agent in Cyprus, adding that since the launch of the route, Larnaca has grown to become one of the carrier’s key European destinations.

tourists as possible. “The [open skies] agreement is expected to benefit the free Famagusta area greatly. According to official results for 2012, Famagusta received a 33.7 percent share of the total arrivals to the island, with the main tourist markets being the UK, Russia and Nordic countries. Notably, about four to five guests in the area came from these three markets ib 2012,” said Lakkotrypis. John Strongylos (second left), Alexandros Elia (right)

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RENDEZVOUS

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Q & A with Ahmed Janahi With today’s tech-savvy travellers increasingly looking for privacy, comfort and ways to stay connected during their trips, Gulf Air lays great emphasis on continuously upgrading its services, both in the air and on the ground to meet passengers’ evolving needs, as Ahmed Janahi, acting chief commercial officer, Gulf Air, explains.

Travel Trade Cyprus: Please tell us about Gulf Air’s business class cabin. What are the main tangible and intangible advantages of it? Ahmed Janahi: The Falcon Gold premium cabin on Gulf Air’s new A320-Extended Range (ER) aircraft has been designed specifically for Gulf Air, integrating features based on feedback from the airline’s customers. From the soft-finishes such as the seat fabric and carpet to the hardware supporting the in-flight entertainment system, no expense was spared by the airline in its endeavour to create the perfect business class product for its passengers. A considerable amount of time was spent designing the seat which, for the first time ever in an A320 family aircraft, converts into a fully-flat bed measuring 1.9m in length at the touch of a button, guaranteeing a comfortable night’s sleep. The configuration of the new Falcon Gold cabin also allows for more space between seats than the airline’s previous business class product, allowing passengers to sit back, relax and enjoy more personal space in a 56cm wide armchair that converts easily into their desired position. Travel Trade Cyprus: How does this cabin help your passengers stay comfortable and productive at the same time during their flight? How does it differ from other business class seats? Ahmed Janahi: As mentioned previously, Gulf Air’s Falcon Gold seats convert at the touch of a button into fully-flat beds. The new seats, which boast a pitch of 56cm, convert easily into the passenger’s desired position for maximum comfort whether sleeping, watching a movie or working. For further comfort, armrests are fully adjustable to different heights making dining, reading or sleeping more comfortable. There is significant storage space including a shoe packing pocket and a side compartment specifically designed for laptops. A massage at 9,000m is now a reality with an in-seat massage facility- the perfect way to relax on a long flight. For optimum onboard entertainment, the Falcon Gold seats come with complete audio-video on demand (AVOD) features, an individual 38cm touch screen in every seat and high quality noise cancelling headphones. A suite of movies, video and audio titles in several languages are available, in addition to

games. USB, AC power and audio jack sockets are also available in every seat to allow passengers to easily charge electronic devices and ensure additional connectivity options during the flight.

Ahmed Janahi Acting chief commecial officer, Gulf Air

Reflecting this trend was Gulf Air’s recent introduction of mobile check-in facilities. Customers can now log onto gulfair.com from their Internet-enabled mobile phones, enter booking details and choose their seats. A barcode will appear on the mobile screen, which the customers can show at the boarding gate after completing the immigration checks. Another area of growth in recent years is the use of online communication channels by customers to obtain information for a range of topics from flight departures and arrivals to job enquiries. Catering to this requirement, Gulf Air has created a cross-functional 24-hour team, to communicate with passengers through online channels. The airline currently has a presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, as well as Google+. [...] In terms of its network, Gulf Air is currently transitioning from a period of restructuring, to one of growth and development. The airline has recently announced the launch of its flights to three new destinations; Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai, Mashhad [in Iran] and Thiruvananthapuram in India [all of which commenced in December 2013]. Over the next few years, the airline will continue to deliver on its promise of improving all aspects of its product and service offerings to its passengers.

Travel Trade Cyprus: On which routes can passengers take advantage of the full flat-seat business cabin? Ahmed Janahi: The new A320ER aircraft is enjoyed by all passengers flying to and from Gulf Air’s European network, with the exception of the airline’s London Heathrow route, which predominantly operates with an A330. The aircraft is also scheduled on some regional flights within the GCC and Middle East and North Africa networks. Travel Trade Cyprus: Gulf Air has long been committed to providing excellent service experiences both on the ground and in the air. What is next for the airline? Ahmed Janahi: One of the key components of Gulf Air’s new business strategy is to focus on improving the airline’s products and services both in the air and on the ground to meet passengers’ evolving travel needs. With customers becoming more and more tech-savvy, airlines need to adapt. Gulf Air

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travel talk is your space

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TRAVEL TALK SPYROS KARAOLIS

THEMIS PHILIPPIDES

Executive chairman, Kanika Group.

Chairman, Paphos district committee, Cyprus Hotel Association.

“The aim of Kanika Group is the diversification and upgrading of facilities and services, as well as the promotion of our culture. Our human resources are an important contribution to the success of the group. The success of the group is due, to a large degree, to in human resources staffing the hotel units. Our employees are the face of Kanika Hotels & Resorts. Our diversity is mainly due to their excellent behaviour and contributions.”

CHRISTIAN LESJAK Managing director, NIKI.

"We are very happy to include Cyprus in our flight schedule. We are sure that our guests will embrace the new route to and from Vienna. Flight guests from Cyprus will have the opportunity to take advantage of the airberlin group’s wide route network within Europe, and easily connect via Vienna to numerous cities in Europe.”

We are sure that our guests will embrace the new route to and from Vienna

“We look forward to an innovative waste management unit, such as those operating successfully in many European countries. Tonnes of solid trash produced by hotels in Paphos, which now end up in the landfill, will be collected and through ecological ways and particular treatment processes, energy will be produced. We hope to succeed in this ‘green’ effort for the benefit of the economy and the environment, especially now that most countries are trying to shrink the amount of trash, and protect our planet.”

HUSSAIN ABDUL RAHMAN Country manager, India, Gulf Air.

“We [were] delighted to partner with Cyprus Tourism Organisation for their India roadshow in Delhi and Mumbai to promote Cyprus as the perfect holiday destination. Gulf Air offers convenient flight schedules and excellent connectivity, within three hours, to Larnaka International Airport in Cyprus through its hub in Bahrain.”

We [were] delighted to partner with Cyprus Tourism Organisation for their India roadshow in Delhi

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 JANUARY 2014


RENDEZVOUS

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Q & A with Dinos Lefkaritis Having created innovative programmes that intend to enrich Larnaca’s tourism product and reduce holiday costs for guests, the local authority hopes for a successful year ahead, according to Dinos Lefkaritis, chairman, Larnaka Tourism Board.

Travel Trade Cyprus: How would you describe 2013 in terms of overall tourist visitation figures? Did you observe growth compared to 2012? Dinos Lefkaritis: The overall tourist arrival numbers to the Larnaca region in 2013 were reduced in comparison to 2012, and this was expected after the March Eurogroup decision for Cyprus. Despite the difficulties faced during 2013, due to timely interventions made by the government and Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) as well as the tourism boards and the private tourism sector, the reductions were of a lesser extent. As far as accommodation overnights in Larnaca are concerned, the German and Central European markets were the ones mostly affected and had significant decreases compared to 2012, whereas the UK market was generally reduced but not to a great extent. Visitor numbers from the Russian market in Larnaca were quite satisfactory. The rest of the markets remained relatively stagnant. I would, however, like to point out that Larnaca’s demand is rather diverse, and this relies mostly on the region’s distinctiveness to attract individual travellers by a remarkable percentage of 75 percent. Naturally, this necessitated extra efforts on behalf of Larnaka Tourism Board and the local hoteliers through a number of channels and in various directions to try and convince potential tourists to visit our charming region. Travel Trade Cyprus: Among the board’s many promotional activities in 2013 was the launch of the Larnaka Winter Experiences programme for tourists staying in establishments within the region which runs until March 31. How has this enhanced Larnaca’s winter tourism product and what are the results of the programme until now? Dinos Lefkaritis: This innovative programme that we have created intends to enrich Larnaca’s tourism product during the winter as well as reduce the holiday cost for the guest. It is our intention to establish this programme every winter so the visitors can plan their winter vacations and daily activities in advance. Through these complimentary activities the board wants to brand Larnaca as an all-year-round destination where there is lots to see and do and where the visi-

JANUARY 2014

tors can never get bored, but on the contrary, they can gain a meaningful holiday experience that involves acquaintance with our culture, as well as fitness and fun activities. The results so far are very positive especially for the Saturday excursions to Larnaca’s picturesque villages where we have had to place extra buses due to increasing demand. The Athienou traditional day on Thursday is very successful as guests are provid-

Dinos Lefkaritis Chairman, Larnaka Tourism Board

as nearby destinations such as Lebanon and Israel. Regarding the special interest target markets, the board is concentrating on particular sections in which Larnaca has a competitive advantage. These are diving, mainly due to the existence of the Zenobia wreck which is ranked amongst the world’s best wrecks; agrotourism, since the Larnaca region has the most agrotourism establishments in the whole of Cyprus, as well as religious and cultural tourism. Sports tourism is also of great importance in Larnaca as it is an all-year-round tourism product. The specific sports we are focusing on due to Larnaca’s acknowledged competitive advantage are football, shooting, cycling, beach tennis, beach volley and sea sports including sailing, windsurfing and kitesurfing. Therefore, for this year the board will be targeting the aforementioned segments through a number of marketing actions and techniques. It is imperative to underline that these actions are implemented with the cooperation of CTO, the hoteliers and the local authorities of the region. Travel Trade Cyprus: How is the board planning to enhance the regional tourism product for this year, and what activities and additions will this involve?

ing excellent feedback on their experience with halloumi and bread making. Guests are also enjoying the free lessons of rejuvenating beach yoga on the Foinikoudes sands on Monday and the Greek and Cypriot traditional dance lesson on Friday and of course the wine tasting at the Medieval Castle Pier. Travel Trade Cyprus: Which segments do you see as rising markets for this year and how will these shape your marketing activities? Dinos Lefkaritis: Larnaka Tourism Board has a targeted action plan focusing primarily on geographic segmentation, together with psychographic according to the potential guests’ activities and interests. Concerning the targeted countries, this year we will be focusing on the British, Russian, German, Scandinavian and Eastern European markets as well

Dinos Lefkaritis: Since our establishment, we have been making a great effort to improve Larnaca’s tourism product and enhance the image of the destination through common actions with the local authorities. We are constantly on the go to solve any issues that negatively affect tourism which derive from feedback we get from hoteliers in the region, tour operators and tourists. For this year we are planning to introduce some new initiatives towards the enrichment of our tourism product such as the implementation of audio guides for our Larnaka Cultural Walk, the creation of a boules court on Phinikoudes beach which is very popular amongst Scandinavian and French tourists, improvements in the appearance of the Larnaca - Dhekelia road and many more which will help achieve our vision for Larnaca. This is to establish Larnaca as a quality tourist destination which will add value to every tourist’s experience.


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NEWS & EVENTS

CTO Displayed at UITM Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) successfully participated in the Ukraine International Travel Market (UITM) exhibition confirming the upward trend of the destination. The presence of the organisation at the event was boosted by a well-designed stand. The Ukrainian market is demonstrating positive results regarding tourist arrivals to Cyprus, as between February and September 2013, there was an increase of over 66 percent year-onyear, while in September the figure rose 78 percent. Following various meetings that were held between the CTO delegation, major tour operators and Ukraine International Airlines, the authority is expecting this to be a very good year, with incoming travellers from Ukraine predicted to reach 50,000. During the winter season flights between Larnaca and Kiev are operated by the Ukrainian national carrier, while an important improvement to the market will be the introduction of services to Donetsk by Wizz Air starting in March.

EVENTS Lefkosia Loop Festival Nicosia, Cyprus, January 3 – 4, 2014 (www.lefkosialoopfestival.com) Two days of musical extravaganza with dance performances and video collaborations of visual artists and looping musicians. 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.

CTO’s Stand at UITM

Famagusta Exhibited in Rome In the context of the Week of Cypriot Culture, Alexis Galanos, mayor, Famagusta, inaugurated the photographic exhibition ‘Famagusta, Città Europea Fantasma’ at Pietro Canonica Museum in Rome, Italy. The event included photographic archive material from the thriving Famagusta of the 1960 – 1974 period, as well as more recent photos of the now uninhabited town. The display was addressed by Galanos, while brief introductions were made by Leonidas Markides, ambassador, Cyprus, Rome, and Alexandra Zamba, president, Association of Cypriots in Italy. References were made regarding the historical links between Italy and Cyprus, specifically to the relations of Famagusta with Venice, as well as to the presence of Catherine Cornaro who ruled the island in the 15th century.

PCCI Organised Environmental Seminar Paphos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) held a one-day seminar on ‘Sustainable Management of the Environment in the Context of the Environmental Policy and Development Strategy’ in November. In collaboration with the department of environment of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, and the Association of Civil Engineers of Paphos, the programme was presented by senior members of the governmental authority. In his address, George Leptos, president, PCCI, referred to the particular importance corporate environmental responsibility has nowadays, as well as adhering to the Cypriot and European environmental legislations. He also mentioned the need to strengthen sustainable business activities in Cyprus.

21st International Education Fair Nicosia, Cyprus, February 21 – 23, 2014 (www.csfa.org.cy) Hailed as the largest and most well-established annual event for education on the island which sets a unique platform for targeting the Cypriot and overseas students living in Cyprus who wish to study either locally or abroad.

Cyprus Sunshine Cup Cyprus, February 27 - March 9, 2014 (www.cyclingcy.com) The competition, which continues to grow in popularity year after year, returns this year with two stages challenging amateur and professional riders from all over the world. Volkswagen Cyprus Cycling Tour 2014 Cyprus, March 28 – 30, 2014 (www.cyclingcy.com) A three-day road ‘cycling for all’ event where professional and amateur riders will ride shoulder to shoulder.

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Travel Trade Cyprus January 2014