Travel Trade Weekly proudly enjoys readers on average per day
CTO Concludes Middle East Road Show Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) sent a 10-member team of travel industry professionals on a promotional road show to the UAE on March 24.
Zening Resorts Elia Village Latchi, a new wellness resort located close to the Akamas Peninsula, is gearing to launch in the next few weeks.
06 Rendezvous with Tony Antoniou While Limassol continues to gain ground among various niche tourism segments, Tony Antoniou, chairman, Limassol Tourism Board, elaborates on the efforts being made to enhance the city’s image.
19 IN THIS ISSUE MARKET UPDATE GENERAL NEWS TOURISM BOARDS AGENT NEWS ACCOMMODATION NEWS & EVENTS INTERNATIONAL NEWS WHO’S MOVED TRAVEL TALK RENDEZVOUS TRAVEL CHANNELS
02 03 05 07 10 13 14 15 16 17 18
New Wellness Resort to Open in Latchi
TRAVEL TRADE CYPRUS MANAGING EDITOR Mary Kammitsi email@example.com
Cyprus Ranks 29th in Tourism Competitiveness Cyprus placed 29th globally in the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report.
JOURNALISTS Stefanie Saghbini Rita Kasziba Dominique Christou 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
he index, which was based on three main criteria, including travel and tourism framework; business environment and infrastructure; and travel and tourism human, cultural, and natural resources, saw Cyprus outperform a number of other popular destinations in the area, including Greece and Turkey. In addition, it placed Cyprus among the top 30 most competitive destinations once again, similar to 2011 when the island ranked 24th, and to 2009 when the country was listed as 21st. In Europe, Cyprus took the 19th spot, while Greece
was placed 22nd on the continent and 32nd globally. According to the report, the Cypriot travel and tourism industry is estimated to be worth USD1.4 billion (EUR1.07 billion), and WEF projects an annual growth rate of 4.2 percent for the period 2013-2022. Currently, the industry employs some 25,200 people, and over the next decade this number is set to climb 1.8 percent annually. Globally, Switzerland remained the most competitive destination, followed by Germany and Austria, and the top 10 also includes Spain, UK, US, France, Canada, Sweden, and Singapore.
EMAILS firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org PRINTED IN CYPRUS Cyprint Plc P.O. Box 58300, CY-3732, Limassol, Cyprus Tel: +357 25 720035, Fax: +357 25 720123 Email: email@example.com
Tsokkos Hotels Announces New Investment
Accurate as of
Tsokkos Gardens Hotel, Protaras
Tsokkos Hotels recently announced the purchase of a plot of land in Chloraka, Paphos, for the amount of EUR1.035 million which has already been repaid to the previous owner. The referred plot of land is adjacent to more land already held by the company on which Tsokkos Hotels is already in the process of building a new five-star hotel, King Evelthon Beach Hotel & Resort. As Anastasia Tsokkou, managing director, Tsokkos Hotels, revealed, the land will be used for development in relation to the ordinary operations of the company in the tourism industry.
Louis Sells Calypso
L PICTURE OF THE MONTH
ouis announced that within the framework of its policy for the renewal of its fleet, its shipowner subsidiary Calypso Navigation sold its motor vessel Calypso to Argo Systems, a comprehensive shipping and logistics group company registered in Dubai, UAE, whose operations focus on cash buying of vessels for safe recycling. The ship was sold against the sum of USD2.1 million (EUR1.6 million) and the sale price represented the value of the ship in the company’s books and therefore no profit or loss emerged.
The ship was sold against the sum of USD2.1 million (EUR1.6 million) and the sale price represented the value of the ship in the company’s books In an additional announcement, Louis clarified that the transaction was performed based on the arm’s length principle as Argo Systems is independent and has no connecting ties with Louis or its subsidiary companies.
MONTHLY NEWS CHA: Repeat Guests from Middle East Increase Cypriot hoteliers are catering very adequately for the needs of Middle East travellers in all respects, and this has been verified by the growing percentage of repeat holidays to the island from the region in the recent years, confirmed Zacharias Ioannides, director general, Cyprus Hotel Association (CHA). He further stated that this trend also explains the increasing frequency of flights to the country, especially from the UAE, and remains positive for the future of this segment. “We are confident that the Middle East can evolve as a very important market for the Cyprus tourism industry, being the nearest European destination for both the Arab nationals and the many expatriates who work in the Middle East and Gulf region, both for their long-term holidays and as an ideal destination for their short breaks,” Ioannides commented.
Cyprus Agrotourism Company Offers the Island’s Nature of Cyprus Cyprus is home to a number of villages which have a lot to offer travellers who wish to experience something different on the island, and for those who have a love for authenticity and nature. Boasting a membership of over 88 agro tourism lodgings in 51 villages in the mountainous areas of Paphos, Larnaca, Limassol, and Troodos, Cyprus Agrotourism Company helps travellers choose a holiday which suits their needs. There are several categories of ecotourism accommodation from small hotels offering bed and breakfast, a restaurant, and spa, to larger traditional villas featuring several apartments and studios, also able to cater to larger groups. Cyprus Agrotourism Company also helps travellers obtain the best of the island’s traditional sites, nature trails, and the chance to explore local products.
WTTC: Cyprus to Attract over 3.6 Million Visitors by 2023 The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) expects Cyprus to welcome 2,442,000 international visitors this year with the number surging to 3,645,000 by 2023. According to WTTC’s Travel & Tourism Economic Impact 2013 report, in 2012, the industry generated EUR1.098 billion, representing 6.1 percent of the country’s GDP. This amount, however, is set to fall 1.5 percent this year with the growth picking up again in 2014, increasing the sector’s direct contribution to the island’s economy to EUR1.7 billion by 2023. Similarly to 2012, the industry is expected to directly support some 26,000 jobs this year and offer 40,000 positions by 2023. According to WTTC, The industry is expected travel and tourism investment to directly support some in 2012 reached EUR263.3 26,000 jobs this year million, which is anticipated and offer 40,000 positions to drop three percent this by 2023 year, grow and to EUR401.5 million over the next decade.
Eléa Estate Golf Club Debuts New Simulator
Larnaca Opens Cycling Event
The golf academy at Eléa Estate has set up a new OptiShot golf simulator, hailed as the only indoor golf simulator offering a 3D golf experience. With each swing using highly scientific method to capture impact data, the equipment reproduces accurate shot shapes and a ball flight based on the player’s club face angle, swing speed, tempo, and path, while the MotionView Video Analysis Software enables participants to observe their actual swing mechanics, and further improve their skills.
Olympic Champion Hosted in Limassol On the occasion of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2013, Limassol Tourism Board, in collaboration with Cyprus Tourism Organisation, hosted the famous mountain bike Olympic champion, Jaroslav Kulhavý, for 11 days in Limassol. Kulhavý, who prepared for his participation in the International Cycling Union’s Mountain Bike World Cup and World Championship (Marathon) in the city’s district, also participated in the traditional annual cycling event, Cyprus Sunshine Cup. The famous athlete praised cycling routes in Limassol and Cyprus, describing them as attractive and interesting, while he made special reference to the natural beauty along the routes. “There are great trails for cycling and training in the area of Limassol, with alternating images and natural elements that make them suitable for preparation,” he commented.
Andreas Louroutziatis, mayor, Larnaca
Larnaka Municipality hosted the opening ceremony of the international cycling race Volkswagen Cyprus Cycling Tour 2013, which was held in Cyprus from March 23 to 25, with Andreas Louroutziatis, mayor, Larnaca, signalling the kick-off on Saturday, March 23, at the city’s Finikoudes waterfront. The event was open to all professional and amateur riders, who had the opportunity to climb Cyprus’ mountains, while the aim was to gather as many local and international cyclists as possible, in order to showcase the sport and the beauty of the island. This year’s race included a ‘Tour of Larnaca’ event; a 5km route within the city’s commercial centre.
7th Limassol Marathon GSO: More than 3,800 Runners This year’s edition of the annual Limassol Marathon GSO has, once again, turned out to be a success among both runners and spectators, with thousands of people from all over the world having flocked to the coastal city on March 24. The internationally renowned race attracted more than 3,800 runners from 50 different countries and over 500 volunteers, marking a significant increase over 2011’s figures, with FBME Bank Group/Corporate Race drawing a record of 2,300 participants from 100 organisations from the private sector, non-governmental organisations, charity groups, athletic clubs, and universities. The fun-filled day, held under the auspices of Kyriacos Kenevezos, minister of education and culture, Cyprus, included a marathon, half marathon, 10km, 5km, and 1km races, with many of them concluding with Cypriot success. Spyros Spyrou, managing director, Limassol Marathon GSO, thanked all volunteers for their invaluable support and noted that the seaside marathon route has every potential to become one of the most popular and celebrated events in the Mediterranean area.
7th Limassol Marathon
Larnaca Welcomes New Flights and Cruise Ships
Larnaka Municipality and Larnaka Tourism Board welcomed the addition of a new service by easyJet running between Milan and Larnaca. Both authorities suggest that this development opens up new prospects for growth in tourist arrivals from Italy to the Mediterranean city and Cyprus in general. More routes are expected in the near future at Larnaka International Airport from destinations in Eastern Europe, which, according to the board, are largely due to the efforts made by Hermes Airports to attract new airlines. Another positive development is the weekly docking of cruise ships from Israel at Larnaka Port, from the end of March until the end of October, while some routes will include overnight stays in Larnaca.
Focusing on Ukrainian Tourism to Paphos Between March 27-29, Paphosâ€™ Tourism Development and Promotion Programme (ETAP) alongside hoteliers in the city, participated in the Ukraine International Travel & Tourism exhibition (UITT) in the capital, Kiev. The Ukrainian market for Paphos, this year, remains a priority, and programmes for holidays throughout the summer destination, in addition to direct charter flights entering the city from the European country, are being promoted. At the exhibition, travel agents and other professionals discussed concrete proposals focusing on increasing Ukrainian visitors to Paphos for the summer season and also for 2014. Additionally, it is now easier to obtain a visa as the procedure is done electronically, and there is easy connectivity from Kiev to Larnaca, both with Aegean Airlines and Ukraine International Airlines.
Russia and Ukraine: Popular Markets for Limassol Limassol Tourism Board continues its efforts to strengthen relations with the Russian and Ukrainian markets with a series of promotional activities. During the months of February and March, the company participated in workshops organised by the leading tour operator in Russia for Cyprus, Biblio Globus. Additionally, Limassol was present at Moscow International Exhibition Travel & Tourism (MITT), whereby Limassol Tourism Board focused on informing and reassuring tour operators in view of recent developments in the Cyprus economy, and to improve the presentation of the coastal city to both catalogues and electronic media tour operators, in addition to the destination promoting itself at exhibitions in Ukraine. In general, the evidence from these two promising markets, Russia and Ukraine, look positive for the summer season, with expected increases in visitor arrivals reaching 30 to 35 percent compared to 2011â€™s performance. Efforts to attract Russian and Ukrainian tourists will continue at the same pace in the coming months as Limassol Tourism Board aims to ensure the position of the city as a favoured tourist destination. MITT, Moscow
Larnaka Tourism Board: Enhancing the Region’s Tourist Product Members of the Larnaka Tourism Board recently met to discuss issues on the summer and winter seasons’ potentials for international visitors, as well as ways to enrich the tourist product of the region. During the meeting, the board analysed ways of developing new infrastructure projects, which can boost winter tourism, such as the creation of more football fields, the utilisation of the existing volleyball facilities at Finikoudes beach, and more. It was decided that a special meeting should soon be held with other stakeholders while Larnaka Tourism Board, prepares for the winter season. According to Dinos Lefkaritis, chairman, Larnaka Tourism Board, the city is worth investing in by any business person as there exists a great dynamic for development and potential for increasing hotel accommodation, adding that the board identified the Larnaca’s comparative advantages and is working towards its promotion.
Pafos 2017: Board of Directors Appointed The first meeting of the newly formed Pafos 2017 board of directors was held in March at Paphos Town Hall where the new members were introduced to with Savvas Vergas, mayor of Paphos. Vergas welcomed and congratulated the new committee during the meeting and assured the recently-elected board of the team’s support. In turn, the members thanked Vergas and stressed that they will endeavour to crown Paphos a successful cultural capital in 2017.
CTO Concludes Middle East Road Show
Vassilis Theocharides, director, Middle East and Arabian Gulf Office, CTO (right), Nevine Albert, director of public relations and communications, Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi, and Hrach Kalsahakian, sales and marketing manager, Middle East and Arabian Gulf Office, CTO (left)
Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) sent a 10-member team of travel industry professionals on a promotional road show to the UAE on March 24, which covered Dubai and Abu Dhabi, designed to further develop business and travel links between the two countries. The initiative was followed by a reinforced presence of the Cypriot team at the Gulf Incentive Business Travel & Meetings exhibition, held in Abu Dhabi from March 25 to 27, as the island continues to increase in popularity among the leisure, incentive, and business segments throughout the Arab world, borne from the seven percent increase in the number of tourists from the region in 2012. Additionally, CTO invited all UAE travel agents to interact on a one-to-one basis with Cypriot destination management companies, travel agents, and hoteliers in order to prepare for the upcoming season and meeting days with the organisation’s partners at specific venues, namely JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai and Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi. MAY 2013
Orthodoxou: Gulf Clientele Seeks Investment The pleasant climate, the beautiful beaches, mountains, and quiet life, are the main elements of Cyprus which attract many visitors from the Middle East to invest in real estate across the island, this according to Antonis Orthodoxou, group managing director, Orthodoxou Group. “Middle East clients spend on shopping and food therefore they benefit the tourism industry. Moreover, many of our clients invest in property and that helps the Cyprus economy in general,” he explained. On another note, Orthodoxou pointed out that Middle East travellers are very restrictive with their food, a matter which demands extra care. Orthodoxou also supported that there is a request for casinos from customers of the region and he expressed contentment that the new government forwarded a new bill in the parliament regarding this issue.
Louis Travel: Family Attractions Needed
Cyprus is an ideal destination for a short break, thanks to its nice weather and quality accommodation offerings for families, especially for nearby countries such as the MENA region, this according to Astero Efstathiou, senior manager tourism, Louis Travel. Commenting on the tourist product on display, she suggested that through the creation of further family attractions, such as amusement parks and golf courses, alongside the development of more infrastructures and hotels on the island’s mountainous range, this will attract more tourists from Middle East countries. “Weddings and honeymooners is also a segment that can be developed further,” she added, listing the Lebanese, Emiratis, and Israelis as the company’s main feeder markets.
ACTA: Safety and Weather Are Cyprus’ Highlights In recent statements on the Middle East inbound market to the island and without omitting the well-known Cypriot hospitality, Yiannis Michaelides, director general, Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (ACTA), pinpointed safety and weather as Cyprus’ main tourism traits. “Security is a main concern for [Middle East travellers] especially for their family vacations. Our sun and sea product, which they like, is also a main factor, together with the mild climate, which is not that hot like in their countries. Also, the fact that we are the nearest European country to them with some common cultural characteristics is very important,” Michaelides suggested. He also referred to tourist visa and air connectivity issues, urging the state to establish speedy processes to address these predicaments. “This comes down to the bilateral agreements between our government and each of the neighbouring countries, as airlines do not operate in ’open skies’ environment like they do when they fly between two European countries,” Michaelides concluded.
Enhanced Ryanair Services to Paphos
Pafos Regional Board of Tourism welcomed Ryanair’s resumption of summer flights to the city on March 25, connecting Paphos with Belgium, Spain, Italy, Germany, Norway, Sweden, UK, Poland, Lithuania, Hungary, and Greece. Ryanair’s two aircraft based in Paphos are set to perform 39 weekly flights from 16 airports of the 11 specified destinations. The 2013 programme has been further enhanced, compared to 2012, and the board expects a significant increase in individual visitor arrivals in Paphos and Cyprus in general, with similar benefits in the services, trade and hospitality sectors. At the same time, Pafos Regional Board of Tourism assured that official bodies do their best to assist Ryanair’s and other carriers’ successful presence in Paphos, with penetration into new destinations, increased arrivals, and further upgrading of Pafos International Airport.
Bulgaria Air Releases New Schedule to Paphos Bulgaria Air, the national carrier of Bulgaria, has introduced a new schedule to Pafos International Airport, offering visitors who seek to spend their summer vacation on the island with more convenient options. In a bid to provide travellers with more flexibility during the summer season, the airline, whose summer timetable started at the beginning of April, has rescheduled its service to Paphos from Saturday to Tuesday, which can easily be combined with the carrier’s flights to Larnaca, which operates on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. In addition, Bulgaria Air has also introduced a new baggage policy on its routes to both Pafos International Airport and Larnaka International Airport, allowing passengers to carry with them two pieces of checked-in baggage free of charge.
Cyprus Airways-Virgin Atlantic: Expand Codeshare Cyprus’ national carrier, Cyprus Airways, has enhanced its codeshare agreement with Virgin Atlantic, boosting connections through London’s Heathrow Airport onwards to Manchester, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen. Disembarkation and boarding of passengers on planes of the two companies through Heathrow Airport takes place in Terminal 1, while passengers will also have the option to interrupt their trip with a stay in London, using the same ticket. Cyprus Airways started its cooperation with Virgin Atlantic in August 2011, with flights through Heathrow Airport to two airports in New York, Boston, and Los Angeles and vice versa to Larnaca.
The Cypriot national airline has negated claims that it is to reduce its services frequency to Russia, confirming that flights to Moscow will increase this year, with the addition of the PaphosMoscow route once weekly. Cyprus Airways’ schedule for the summer season includes a total of 12 flights a week, out of which eight travel to and from Moscow, and four to and from St. Petersburg. According to the airline’s statement, the only difference compared to 2012 is the reduction of flights from the north-western Russian city, which became necessary as a result of the charter flights extension period. Concluding, the statement informs that the company’s management is working feverishly, after governmental instructions, to present to an inter-ministerial committee alternative options that will determine the national carrier’s future.
Transaero Airlines: Summer Flights to Cyprus Transaero Airlines has unveiled its summer schedule, with the season’s timetable featuring more than 190 routes, an all-time record and nearly 20 percent more than 2012’s schedule. The carrier’s international routes from Russia’s regional centres, which will exceed 65, representing a 50 percent year on year increase, will include direct flights to Larnaca and Paphos, taking off from 10 and nine Russian cities respectively. Scheduled routes to Larnaca will originate at Kazan and Rostov-on-Don, while the rest will serve as charter flights from Moscow, Yekateriburg, Krasnodar, Nizhniy Novgorod, Omsk, Samara, Tyumen, and Chelyabinsk. Pafos International Airport will welcome scheduled services from Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Samara, and Ufa, and charter flights from Volgograd, Kaliningrad, Nizhniy Novgorod, and Perm.
Lufthansa: Improves Operations to Cyprus
Direct Flights Between Paphos and Beirut For the second consecutive year, Nakhal & Cie, a leading travel agency in Lebanon, is organising direct flights, twice-weekly, on Mondays and Fridays, between Beirut and Paphos, to encourage the tourism sector in both destinations this summer. Nakhal & Cie had succeeded in 2012 by introducing Paphos and nearby cities in Cyprus to Lebanese tourists, and also encouraged Cypriots and travellers in Paphos to visit Beirut for a short break. The flight and hotel packages can be booked from Nakhal & Cie’s offices in Beirut or from the local travel agents in Paphos and other cities across Cyprus.
Cyprus Airways: Flights to Russia to Continue
Wizz Air Launches New Route from Larnaca Wizz Air, one of the largest low-cost carriers in Central and Eastern Europe, has added yet another route from Larnaca to its network with the introduction of direct flights between Katowice and the coastal city. The launch of the new service forms part of the airline’s initiative to optimise its Polish network in order to meet current passenger demand and offer more options to Scandinavia as well as popular holiday destinations, and comes at a time when the Polish Institute of Tourism forecasts a strong growth in the number of Poles travelling abroad. Starting May 30, flights between Katowice, the southern Polish city with an estimated population of 3.5 million, and Larnaca will be operated on Thursdays, and are expected to bring thousands of Polish visitors to the island, as Daniel de Carvalho, corporate communications manager, Wizz Air, noted. “Wizz Air’s low fares on these new routes are set to further stimulate Polish air travel. We expect our traffic on the new Gdansk route to Kristiansand to be approximately 30,000 passengers in the first year and the combined traffic on the two Katowice routes to Naples and Larnaca will be in excess of 30,000 passengers.”
Lufthansa is continuing to expand its services to popular leisure travel destinations, including Cyprus, with its recently launched summer timetable offering nine weekly direct flights to the island. The airline’s summer schedule, which runs until October 26, includes six weekly services from Frankfurt and three weekly flights from Munich to Cyprus. Overall, travellers have a choice of 218 Lufthansa destinations in 82 countries. “This summer we are again offering new flights to fantastic holiday destinations around the Mediterranean and expanding our expertise in the holiday travel segment,” commented Jens Bischof, member, Lufthansa German Airlines Board.
Thanos Hotels: All Properties Poised to Host Arab Clientele
Otis to Furnish New Property Otis Greece and Cyprus, subsidiary of Otis Elevator Company, has undertaken to install energy-saving elevators at the new five-star luxury King Evelthon Beach Hotel & Resort in Paphos, Tsokkos Hotels’ latest venture. The elevators incorporate ReGen drive technology that reduces energy consumption by up to 75 percent compared to conventional systems, restoring the energy produced by the elevator’s movement to the electrical system of the building, making that power available to be used for other functions. Nasos Bikas, managing director, Otis Greece and Cyprus, said, “We are very pleased to be part of this prestigious project and believe our long relationship with the customer and their trust in our company’s products and services were factors in our selection.” King Evelthon Beach Hotel & Resort is expected to open in July, featuring 250 guestrooms, 100,000m2 of gardens, dining outlets, and sport facilities. King Evelthon Beach Hotel & Resort
Anassa, Annabelle, and Almyra, all part of Thanos hotels, are well equipped and ready to cater to the needs of Middle East travellers in terms of food, family orientated settings, and religious facilities. This was asserted by Sophia Liveras Atallah, sales manager, Thanos Hotels, who explained, “We can always cater for specific food requirements, but a number of Cypriot dishes are not too different from the Middle East and weekly we have international and themed buffet meals at all hotels in season. “All three Thanos Hotels have family areas, rooms, and great kids clubs for all ages, from babies to 17 years old. Other than Anassa having a small byzantine church on site, the hotels have no religious orientation, but areas for services or prayer rooms can be arranged upon request.” She advocated that the island has the potential to become a favourite destination for Arab clientele as it is the perfect short-stay spot, with distances ranging from 22-minute to four-hour daily direct flights, while weather is great all year round, and culture is hospitable, friendly, and non-intrusive to the individual.
Columbia Beach Resort’s Hébe Spa among the Bests Hébe Spa at Columbia Beach Hotel, Pissouri, has been selected as a finalist at this year’s World Luxury Spa Awards which commends and recognises outstanding achievements in service excellence. Hébe Spa’s nomination in the ‘Best Luxury Resort Spa’ category follows a number of accolades received by the spa, and is expected to attract attention of global spa goers as well as industry professionals, as Marinique de Wet, executive manager, World Luxury Spa Awards, indicated. “Consumers are increasingly using the list of winners and finalists as a reliable guide and means of reassurance when choosing their next spa destination evident from increasing visits to the awards website.” She further noted that this year witnessed a record number of nominations for what is being described as the highest accolade a spa can ever hope to receive. “In these tough economic times, our spas and wellness retreats have shown their anticipation to succeed and have come out even stronger than before. The World Luxury Spa Awards are there to recognise the very best of the best and raise the bar of service excellence even higher than before,” de Wet concluded.
Semeli Hotel: Middle East is an Important Market With occupancy reaching peak levels of 75 percent in November 2012, Semeli Hotel, Nicosia, is targeting potentially promising markets by building more corporate relationships and using online channels, this according to Nicolas Nicolaou, general manager, Semeli Hotel. Nicolaou supports that the Middle East could contribute significantly in the hotel’s annual occupancy stressing that the team continuously strives to fulfil all travellers’ needs and preferences no matter the origin. “I definitely believe that Middle East can evolve as an important market for Cyprus’ tourism industry both in terms of business, as well as leisure travellers. Cyprus’ geographical location can definitely attract more investments from the growing Middle East market, and Cyprus’ culture, being so close to most of the Middle East countries on some aspects, and its natural beauties will definitely attract more guests for leisure,” he concluded.
New Wellness Resort to Open in Latchi Zening Resorts Elia Village Latchi, a new wellness resort located in the village of Latchi, close to the Akamas Peninsula, is gearing to launch in the next few weeks. According to Vaida Rickute, marketing director, Zening Resorts, the property is a new concept resort that aims to provide a ‘soul’ vacation, with its strong commitment to sustainable tourism. She added that the resort has been designed to nurture the well-being of the mind, body, and soul, and provides gentle guidance towards a healthy body and mind with yoga, fitness, nutritious organic foods, detox programmes, Ayurveda spa, herbal therapies, and meditation sessions, exclusively welcoming guests 18 years of age and above. Zening Resorts Elia Village Latchi will feature two juice bars, one late night café and two restaurants, a spa, and beauty salon offering therapeutic and beauty treatments with the use of essential oils, herbs, and natural products, while accommodation will be provided with 135 suites, one-bedroom and maisonette apartments in 17 clusters.
Ayii Anargyri Natural Healing Spa Resort
Ayii Anargyri: New Collaborations
Ayii Anargyri Natural Healing Spa Resort, recorded 5,500 bed nights in 2012 with its main feeder markets being Cyprus, UK, Germany, and Netherlands. Sharing this information, Nafsika Michael, sales manager, Z&X Group, an affiliate company which handles marketing issues for the resort, said that this year the property expects a new clientele base as fresh cooperations with tour operators and travel agents are underway. Michael also revealed that the group is poised to participate in various exhibitions, promoting the property. Ayii Anargyri Natural Healing Spa Resort features luxury accommodation spanning 2,500m2, with 56 rooms and suites, a spa with 22 treatments rooms, exclusive dining, wine cellar, spectacular setting for weddings and events, and nature trails.
Cleopatra Hotel to Increase Middle East Figures The Middle East has traditionally been a source market for the centrally located Cleopatra Hotel in Nicosia, according to Christiana Iacovidou, general manager, Cleopatra Hotel, who explained that it is one of the segments with potential for the future, due to its close proximity to Cyprus and the business relations created with the island’s neighbouring countries. The specific market currently comprises 10 percent of the hotel’s revenue, however Iacovidou expects this figure to rise. “The property caters for the needs of Middle East travellers regarding food items and dishes presented in our menus, taking in consideration each country’s differentiation in food preferences. The property provides family rooms and suites when requested, offers a swimming pool for kids, in-room facilities, such as water kettles and cots for infants and baby sitting,” she informed.
Hilton Cyprus: EU Presidency Boosted Performance
The iconic hotel located in Nicosia’s centre, Hilton Cyprus, was the associate hotel hosting the EU Presidency delegates during Cyprus’ leadership in the second semester of 2012, positively influencing the annual performance of the property. This was revealed by Claire Sirrieh, business development manager, Hilton Cyprus, who added that the hotel is also favoured by all business travellers from the Middle East, an expanding market with future potential on the island, especially after the gas prospective. The five-star hotel is close to the business district, banks, embassies, and government offices, and is within walking distance to the entertainment and shopping area of Nicosia’s downtown centre, while it features extensive recreational facilities such as a fully-equipped health club, indoor and outdoor pools, and tennis courts, to name a few.
Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi Hosts CTO Workshop In late March, Cyprus Tourism Organisation’s Middle East and Arabian Gulf office and Travel and Tourism Agencies Council held a workshop at the Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi, in a bid to gather together the Cypriot industry professionals representing travel agents and hotels. The campaign ‘Cyprus In Your Heart Roadshow in Abu Dhabi’ was attended by major travel agencies in the UAE where the face-to-face network session was followed by snacks and refreshments in the ballroom of the Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi and where all the delegates were greeted by Nevine Albert, director of PR and communication, Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi.
Centre for Wine and Gastronomy in Vouni An event was held in March for the daily operation of the centre for wine and gastronomy in the rural community of Vouni, Limassol. On the occasion, organised by various local authorities, amongst which were Troodos Development Company and Troodos Regional Board of Tourism, Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, minister of commerce, industry and tourism, addressed the attendees and described Vouni as a remarkable example of exploiting opportunities for agrotourism, featuring cobbled streets, traditional houses
with courtyards, agrotouristic lodges, rich wine tradition, and taverns offer unique pleasures. Lakkotrypis further expressed certainty that the network of 10 thematic centres, which are set to operate in Troodos, will greatly contribute to offering visitors a unique experience. Concluding, he congratulated the communities’ participation in the programme, particularly the mayors and members of community councils, wishing them every success.
EVENTS Flower Festival Limassol, Cyprus, May 12 – 13, 2013 (www.limassoltourism.com) Yermasoyia celebrates the arrival of springtime with its annual flower market and a spectacular parade of flower-decorated floats. Taxidi Exhibition Nicosia, Cyprus, May 17 – 19, 2013 (www.taxidiexhibition.com) Organised by the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents in cooperation with Display Art, the exhibition constitutes the ideal forum where travellers can obtain valuable and comprehensive information on tourist destinations and travel packages. Cyprus International Fair Nicosia, Cyprus, May 24 – June 2, 2013 (www.csfa.org.cy) The largest trade show in Cyprus with hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of visitors. Aphrodite FIVA World Rally 2013 Limassol, Cyprus, May 26 – June 2, 2013 (www.fivawrcyprus2013.eu) Organised by the Cyprus Federation of Classic Vehicles, the event will show participants the beauties of Cyprus. 13th International Pharos Chamber Music Festival Nicosia, Larnaca, and Paphos, Cyprus, May 21 – June 1, 2013 (www.thepharostrust.org/chambermusicfestival.htm) Having established itslef as the most important annual classical music event on the island, this show has gained international reputation for its quality concerts. European Dance Festival Nicosia and Limassol, Cyprus, June 6 – 30, 2013 (www.rialto.com.cy) One of the most important cultural events of Cyprus, being organised for the 15th consecutive year.
Cyprus to Host Sailing Championship Cyprus continues to strengthen its position in the sailing world and following Pavlos Kontides’ silver medal success at the Olympic Games in London, the island is gearing up to stage one of the most prestigious events of the year, the 2013 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship. According to the Cyprus Sailing Federation, preparations are already well underway for the event, which will run between July 13 - 20 in Limassol. Up to now, over 340 sailors from more than 50 countries have qualified participation in the 43rd edition of the championship, which is expected to attract hundreds of spectators.
The Cyprus - Russian Festival Limassol, Cyprus, June 8, 2013 (www.pafc.com.cy) Traditionally held in Limassol on the first Saturday of summer, this year’s festival, which annually receives about 10,000 visitors, will have three scenic areas, luring in more than 1,000 Russian and Cypriot artists. Limassol Wine Festival 2013 Limassol, Cyprus, August 29 – September 8, 2013 (www.limassolmunicipal.com.cy) Set within the city’s municipal gardens, situated near the sea, this year’s wine festival celebrates its 52nd edition, once again reviving ancient festive manifestations.
Aegean Airlines: Pillar of Greek Tourism
Aegean Airlines has launched its new routes programme for this year which includes the addition of 29 new scheduled international services from a total of 12 airports, eight of which function as bases of the company, namely Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Rhodes, Corfu, Kos, Kalamata, and Larnaca. Moreover, there will be activity with direct international flights from Chania, Alexandroupolis, Zakynthos, and Skiathos. Aegean Airline’s flight network for the year includes five new countries; Ukraine, Switzerland, Poland, Sweden, and Azerbaijan, and features 10 new international destinations; Geneva, Manchester, Lyon, Stockholm, Kiev, Baku, Berlin, Nuremberg, Hanover, and Warsaw, as it continues to increase significantly.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car Partners with Sfakianakis Group Enterprise Rent-A-Car has announced the appointment of its third European franchisee this year, Sfakianakis Group, as yet another step in its commitment to establish the flagship brand as a global car rental provider. Following Enterprise Rent-A-Car's recent expansion into France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy, and combined with its established presence in the UK, Ireland, and Germany, this latest agreement in Greece will give the brand access to countries that together represent almost 90 percent of the European rental market. With Sfakianakis Group receiving territorial franchise rights across other contiguous countries in South Eastern Europe, the relationship also opens the door to further expansion. Other territories covered include Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia.
Wizz Air Enters Azerbaijan
The expansion of our Budapest network with Tel Aviv, Kiev, and Dubai reflects Hungary’s appeal to the ever-growing potential of incoming tourism from Eastern markets
Wizz Air, considered the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe, plans to add Azerbaijan to its growing route map with services between Budapest and Baku due to commence on June 17. The route, which will connect the two countries directly for the first time, will initially operate twice weekly and is expected to serve over 30,000 passengers in the first year. The carrier, which is due to debut in the Middle East in October, pursues a ‘Go East’ strategy, as Váradi József, CEO, Wizz Air, explained. “The expansion of our Budapest network with Tel Aviv, Kiev, and Dubai reflects Hungary’s appeal to the ever-growing potential of incoming tourism from Eastern markets,” highlighted József.
STATHIS MAVROMMATIS Stathis Mavrommatis has been appointed as cluster general manager of Zening Resorts, Elia Village Latchi. Mavrommatis, who has 18 years of leadership experience in the hospitality industry, particularly in leading luxury hotels and resorts, was the general manager of Anassa, Latchi, for seven years before joining Zening Resorts, Elia Village Latchi. He expressed his excitement and honour to be given the responsibility to launch
what he described as a unique upscale resort chain with aspirations to provide the highest quality of service and set new standards in luxury and customer care. Additionally, Mavrommatis proclaimed his lifelong commitment to hospitality and deep love for Cyprus and especially the area of Polis and Latchi; a region which he feel is an ideal location for the Zening Resorts concept, due to its natural beauty and healthy climate.
travel talk is your space
TRAVEL TALK VASSILIS THEOCHARIDES
Director, Middle East and Arabian Gulf Office, Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO).
Director general, Cyprus Hotel Association (CHA).
“If we take Cyprus as an investment index, we have been doing very well in the region, with a minimal investment and steady year-on-year returns which are positive. Our main goals were to increase airlines [to Cyprus] from the region, where the UAE is a good example. In 2005 only, Emirates flew five times a week; now they fly daily with larger planes and of course Etihad Airways flies three times a week. Traffic has also increased in Lebanon through charter flights to Paphos, which was an unknown destination, and with civil marriages, which was a specific target we promoted since 2007. CTO also opened the Iranian market which adds overall to the arrivals.”
“The importance of the respective arrivals to our island for the Middle East and Gulf countries should not be underestimated, as they demonstrate an increasing proportion in the recent years. Specifically, and as a useful example, is the case of Lebanon whose tourist arrivals to Cyprus reached last year almost 26,000 [in 2012] […]. This importance can be fostered even further with the adoption of an open skies policy governing the flights between Cyprus and the countries of the Middle East and Gulf, which can enormously improve the competitiveness of [the island], making it much more accessible and at much lower airfares.”
Chairman, Cyprus Airways.
Spa manager, Hébe Spa, Columbia Beach Resort Pissouri.
“[Cyprus Airways is] continuously improving the company’s communication with its passengers, which is updated via e-mails or by SMS. Our website, which has become the main outlet for booking, is also continuously upgraded and aside from Greek, English, German, French, and Italian, it has been further enhanced with the option for Russian language. We are also looking into other services which can be launched in the near future.”
[Our website] has been further enhanced with the option for Russian language
“We are truly honoured to have received this award [as one of the finalists on the Best Luxury Resort Spa category at the World Luxury Spa Awards]. This is in addition to our Cyprus’ Leading Spa Resort awards won in 2012, 2011, and 2008, along with Mediterranean’s Leading Spa Resort 2009 award, all from the World Travel Awards, [and] the Best Spa Hotel, Cyprus 2012-2013 award from the International Hotel Awards. All of this would not be possible without our determined, professional, and friendly spa team. Hébe Spa has unique signature treatments, [...] complimented by our revolutionary high performance medi-spa treatments […].”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org MAY 2013
Q & A with Francis-Nectarios Guy Boasting a history of winemaking which stretches back over 5,500 years, Cyprus is one of the first countries in the world to have produced wine, and here Dr. Francis-Nectarios Guy, director, The Cyprus Wine Museum, shares his views on the importance of local culture and educating locals and visitors alike.
Travel Trade Cyprus: Since its opening in November 2004, The Cyprus Wine Museum has attracted visitors from all over the world. Looking back at 2012, how would you summarise the past year? Francis-Nectarios Guy: The Cyprus Wine Museum, with the extended units of its exhibits that cover all the Cypriot wine history and also its general operation that serves more than one social need, succeeded also in 2012 in its primary goal, which is to invite its visitors on a unique journey of 5,500 years of winemaking in Cyprus, here at Erimi, at the birthplace of the European wine. The main highlights for the museum have been during the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Cyprus Wine Museum was selected as a museum to be visited, as a venue for private dinners and wine tastings, and as a venue for cultural functions, such as concerts with the museum orchestra, The Commandaria Orchestra, and exhibitions. The Cyprus Wine Museum, during the past eight years of its operation, has succeeded, among others, to build a strong collaboration with the Cypriot tourism industry; develop collaborations with artists and scientific specialist researchers, with local and foreign organisations, as well as others; organise exhibitions and cultural events in Cyprus and abroad; and to create a unique website that is in a high rank in the web search engines. All of the above factors have contributed to an increase in visitor numbers every year, while in 2012 the number even doubled. This year seems to be even more promising than 2012. Travel Trade Cyprus: How popular is The Cyprus Wine Museum with foreign visitors to the island? Francis-Nectarios Guy: The Cyprus Wine Museum attracts visitors from all over the world, either in organised groups or as individuals. It gains popularity from its website, publications, and cultural activities. [It] targets people that love and appreciate Cyprus as a country, but also its culture, history, and wine of all ages and nationalities. The museum building is found at the birthplace of the European wine, Erimi village, and is also located on the most historically important crossroads on the island, at the old freeway between Limassol and Paphos; on Knight’s street, which leads to The Commandaria Castle or as it is known today, Kolossi Castle.
Finally, it is placed at the starting point of the Wine Routes of Cyprus and is also suggested to be visited in the fourth route and fifth route, the Krasochoria Lemesou (Wine Villages of Limassol), and Commandaria route. All these help the Museum to attract high numbers of visitors.
Francis-Nectarios Guy Director, The Cyprus Wine Museum
its brand new website in three languages, on which one can find a great source of information on Cyprus wine, history, and culture, as well as the wine routes. The texts, photographs and maps uploaded intrigue people to visit the museum for a live tour guided by its adept personnel and with the pleasure of tasting local wines and delicacies. The website alone is not enough, so the museum has its own publications, which are sold in every major and important archaeological site and museum in Cyprus, and which are also being distributed to other countries. The strong collaboration with the Cypriot tourist industry and the various formal dinners and cultural functions held at the museum’s premises are a great means of attracting visitors. Travel Trade Cyprus: As director of a museum, how important is it, do you think, to preserve the local culture and educate present and future generations about the history and heritage of a destination?
Travel Trade Cyprus: What kind of initiatives are being implemented to attract more visitors? Francis-Nectarios Guy: The Cyprus Wine Museum continually enriches its exhibits and organises exhibitions in collaboration with other museums and organisations. The museum is also soon to establish
Francis-Nectarios Guy: Our legacy is our history. We most deeply believe that a country loses its identity if it does not preserve its history and heritage. The Cyprus Wine Museum is visited by all schools, from kindergarten to university, as part of educational excursions of the Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture, during the course of which our adept personnel teach the value of the history of our country and also the significance of wine in it. Cypriot families find the museum unique and also ideal for their members to learn and value our legacy. This is something we also wish to carry to the museum’s foreign visitors. That is why we use traditional and contemporary methods in order to show the significance of the past in our present and future. Travel Trade Cyprus: Tell us about your plans for the coming months.
A country loses its identity if it does not preserve its history and heritage
Francis-Nectarios Guy: Our main goal is to continue The Cyprus Wine Museum’s great work, achieve further establishment in more sections and countries, and also enlarge the collaboration with the tourist industry. During the next few months, we will start promoting The Cyprus Wine Museum products. The line to be available first is The Cyprus Wine Museum Senses Wines & Spirits. By the end of the year, the first four Cyprus Wine Museum Senses product lines will be available at the museum’s shop as well as from the museum’s e-shop.
Orthodoxou Group Supports Youth On its own initiative, Orthodoxou Group has undertaken to assist the efforts being made to renovate the personal spaces of children at Larnaca Youth Hostel.
n collaboration with several children, ornaments and appliances for use in public and private areas have been bought. This activity falls within Orthodoxou Group’s commitment for social contribution which aims at actively supporting such initiatives. Antonis Orthodoxou, managing director, Orthodoxou Group, commented that during these financially hectic times everyone is going through, it is the company’s duty to support such efforts, contributing to the local community as well as on national level in general.
Vulture Conservation Conference in Cyprus Distinguished scientists from Europe and other countries travelled to Cyprus to participate in an international conference for the protection of vultures, organised by BirdLife Cyprus, an active conservation organisation on the island, within the framework of GYPAS project for the protection of the largest bird in the country’s fauna. The event was held on March 6-8 at Elias Beach Hotel, Limassol, and attendees included scientists from abroad specialised in the management of vultures, which provided their expertise on issues such as protecting and enhancing the population, reintroducing the species, monitoring, and inventory.
Crystal Cruises and Century Travel Launch New Website Crystal Cruises, Etihad Airways’ partner through its distributing agent in the UAE, Century Travel, has launched a new dedicated website for the UAE. The rich-in-content website provides detailed information on all Crystal Cruises’ voyages and features a user-friendly enquiry interface whereby a Crystal Cruises expert provides assistance for travel agents when placing a booking for their clients. Founded in Cyprus in 2008, following 30 years of experience in the UK, Century Travel has grown into a worldwide luxury cruise line tour operator offering voyages to a large range of destinations around the world and exclusively represents a large number of five-star and six-star cruise lines in Cyprus, including Crystal Cruises. Daniel Essex, CEO, Century Travel, said, “Luxury cruising is growing at a remarkable pace, becoming an increasingly popular leisure choice for the discerning traveller resident in the UAE. Our aim through the new website is to allow for easy access to the experiential philosophy of each of the two ships, while providing the personal touch to service which continues to set Crystal Cruises apart.”
GYPAS aims at strengthening the vulture population in Cyprus as there are only about 10 vultures in free state on the island. The project is being financed at 80 percent by the European Regional Development Fund and at 20 percent by Greece’s and Cyprus’ national funds, as part of the cooperation programme between the two countries.
Attendees included scientists from abroad specialised in the management of vultures, which provided their expertise on issues such as protecting and enhancing the population, reintroducing the species, monitoring, and inventory
Project partners in Cyprus are the Game Service, BirdLife Cyprus, and the Forestry Department, while partners in Greece are the Crete Natural History Museum, the University of Crete, and the Municipality of Gortynas.
Q & A with Tony Antoniou While Limassol continues to gain ground among various niche tourism segments, Tony Antoniou, chairman, Limassol Tourism Board, reveals the reasons and objectives behind the coastal city’s mammoth developments and elaborates on the efforts being made by travel and tourism professionals across the island to enhance its image.
Travel Trade Cyprus: How would you describe 2012 overall in terms of incoming visitation figures and Limassol’s tourism product? Tony Antoniou: Overall tourist income increased by 10 percent in 2012 compared to 2011. Increase in arrivals was at three percent, which shows that the per-visitor spending has increased. Therefore our efforts towards attracting the quality visitor to Cyprus are in the right direction. The Limassol Tourism Board has been aiming at upgrading the product offering of Limassol as a tourist destination by promoting improvements in basic and tourist infrastructure in cooperation with the government, local authorities, and the private sector. The only way to attract quality tourists is to continuously upgrade the tourist product maintaining our positioning as a hospitable cosmopolitan sea-side destination.
and we have many examples such as the Olympic towers (tallest buildings on the sea-side road) and the Crowne Plaza Hotel (previously Holiday Inn hotel). Travel Trade Cyprus: What new festivals and events are you planning for the year in order to attract tourists and locals alike?
Tony Antoniou Chairman, Limassol Tourism Board
Travel Trade Cyprus: Which are the new developments, additions, and investments in the city, expected to change its face and image? Tony Antoniou: The biggest project in Limassol right now is the Limassol Marina; a EUR350 million project whose real estate developments will be completed in 2014. This project puts Limassol on the map of nautical tourism, and it attracts the interest of mainly yacht owners who obviously have a certain financial status. Additionally, during the last decade, Limassol has developed significantly as an international business centre which contributes to the amount and quality of tourist arrivals we attract. The municipalities of the region have also been very active in improving their infrastructure. New projects like the Sea-Side park ‘Prokymea’ (known as Molos area), the refurbished Limassol Zoo, and many more are really adding to a visitor’s experience. The Cyprus Ports Authority has two very important projects underway; the new passengers’ area at the Limassol port and the refurbishment of the old fishing port, which will become a recreational area with restaurants, cafés, and other outlets for both locals and visitors to enjoy their time by the sea. At the same time, the private sector is investing in new projects or improvements of existing ones
Tony Antoniou: The Limassol Tourism Board is promoting both locally and abroad all annual Limassol events which are plenty. Known as the ‘town of fun and entertainment’, Limassol hosts numerous festivals such as the Limassol Carnival, Flower Festival, Wine Festival, Almond Festival, Street Life Festival, International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama, as well as many annual athletic events; to name just a few, the Limassol Marathon GSO, Tour of Cyprus Cycling Challenge, Lemesia, and Cyprus Sunshine Cup. On our website, limassoltourism.com, one can find a full list of annual events so as to plan accordingly. Currently, we are assisting the organisers of most events in terms of promotion to visitors, and along with the Limassol Chamber, the municipality of Limassol and [the athletic club] GSO are co-organising the International Limassol Marathon GSO. Our plans for the future include the establishment of a Gastronomy Festival in Limassol, further to a recommendation by the Limassol Municipality, to empha-
sise Limassol’s position as the ‘Gastronomy Capital of Cyprus’. Travel Trade Cyprus: How important is the business tourism sector to Limassol and how is this market growing, if so? Tony Antoniou: Business tourism has been a major contributor to Limassol’s success as a high quality destination. As a well-established international business centre, Limassol welcomes thousands of associates, employees, friends, and family of this business community every year. Additionally, Limassol is dynamically developing as a conference destination. Half the conferences organised in Cyprus take place in Limassol. This is the reason why we truly believe that the development of the International Limassol Conference Centre should be a priority. Such a conference centre will attract big events which cannot be organised in Cyprus right now due to lack of venues and will significantly contribute towards dealing with seasonality, since such events mostly take place off season. Currently, we have numerous hotels and independent conference centres in Limassol that have been very successful in organising small and medium conferences and events. Travel Trade Cyprus: Which are your main international feeder markets in terms of nationality? Tony Antoniou: Right now, the fastest growing markets are Russia and Ukraine. With the changes in visa procedures, the arrivals from these countries have experienced vast increases. I truly believe that there is a lot of potential from these markets and our efforts at this moment concentrate significantly on this direction. At the same time, no one can deny the importance of the UK market, which might be declining but it is arithmetically the most important one for Cyprus. After all, we have become a mature destination for this market but nevertheless we can reinvent ourselves as a tourist destination for British people and manage to make a come-back. Another market we consider important is Germany, even though connectivity suffers at the moment.
Published on May 8, 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...