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Mall of Cyprus’ Footfall Rises After welcoming over five million visitors in 2012, The Mall of Cyprus continues to attract an increased number of shoppers, underlining the mall’s evolution into one of the capital’s must-visit retail hubs.
The influx of incoming visitors to Cyprus reached 357,653 in September compared to 335,352 in the corresponding month of 2012, recording a surge of 6.7 percent.
04 Europa Hotel Becomes Europa Plaza Hotel The boutique hotel has unveiled a new name. As of the beginning of October, the property welcomes guests under the Europa Plaza Hotel name.
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September Tourist Arrivals: 6.7 Percent Increase
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Leptos Calypso Hotels: Slight Increase The recently published results of Leptos Calypso Hotels for the first half (H1) of the year indicate a growth in the company’s turnover.
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ccording to the figures, EUR8.87 million was the turnover for H1 this year compared to EUR8.53 the group had achieved in H1 2012. The hospitality company’s loss from operations amounted to a total of EUR1.21 million, thus improving from the EUR1.55 million losses during the same period of 2012. Moreover the loss before income tax came to a total of EUR3.6 million compared to EUR4.8 million during the corresponding period in 2012.
According to a recent Leptos Calypso Hotels statement the results of the first six months are not a true representation of the entire year, due to the seasonality of the proceeds of the group’s hotels, as the largest volume of the properties’ business is activated during the main tourist season which falls in the second half of the accounting year. Leptos Calypso Hotels Cyprus portfolio consists of Coral Beach Hotel & Resort, Thalassa Boutique Hotel & Spa, Paphos Gardens Holiday Resort, and Basilica Holiday Resort.
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Constantinou Bros Hotels Reports Growth
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For the first half (H1) of the year Constantinou Bros Hotels, whose main activity is the ownership and operations of hotel units, saw its turnover increase to EUR10.7 million, compared to EUR9 million in the corresponding period of 2012, mainly due to the growth in hotel occupancy at the company’s properties. The loss from operations in H1 decreased by around EUR138,000, which is attributed to a gross profit increase of EUR830,000. At the same time, sales and marketing, finance and other expenses shrank, and as a result the company’s losses before tax were contained to EUR3.5 million in H1, compared to EUR4.05 in 2012. After calculating debit tax of EUR931,458, compared with net credit tax of EUR214,316 during the corresponding period in 2012, the group incurred an after tax loss of EUR4.5 million for H1, which represents 16 percent year-on-year increase. The surge is due to deferred taxation mainly because of a change in the rate of corporation tax as of January 1.
Accurate as of
Lordos Hotels Revises Profit
I PICTURE OF THE MONTH
n a recently released profit warning announcement, Lordos Hotels has reviewed the perspectives which have emerged during the issuance of the relevant profit warning for this year’s first half and the announcement of the interim financial report. The hospitality company no longer expects to reach this year’s goals to the extent to which they were estimated, mainly due to lower bookings and the consequent decreased turnover, resulting in a significant reduction in profitability compared to 2012’s results. Earnings of Lordos Hotels for the first half of the
year declined, with the company’s turnover dropping by 8.5 percent year-on-year to EUR3.3 million, also due to general low demand. Lordos Hotels is currently operating within Cyprus two Larnaca-based properties in the form of the five-star Golden Bay Beach Hotel and the fourstar Lordos Beach Hotel, while the four-star Golden Coast Beach Hotel is the group’s sole property outside of Larnaca and is based in Protaras. Each of the properties has a variety of facilities consisting mainly of leisure, food and beverage outlets, conference and meetings, as well as various catering and wedding venues.
MONTHLY NEWS All-inclusive Holidays Affect Cyprus Economy In order to improve contribution to the local economies by tourists who stay in hotels with the all-inclusive scheme, Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), Cyprus Association of Sustainable Tourism (CSTI) and The Travel Foundation have assigned the development of a study on the impact of this form of holiday on Paphosâ€™ local economy. The project has been assigned to the University of Brighton, UK and will be headed by Ioannis Pantelides, researcher, University of Brighton. The focus of the study is properties which offer all-inclusive packages, while it includes interviews with a wide number of tourist operators in Paphos in order to draw appropriate conclusions. The aim of the initiative is to offer suggestions for economic stimulus to the local economy, improve the tourist experience, shield the repetitive tourism, and ensure the sustainability of Cyprus as a quality tourist destination.
Medical Tourism Promoted The Cypriot government and the Ministry of Health decided to grant temporary licences to doctors from third countries who want to provide treatments and perform operations on foreign patients on the island, that are not provided by Cypriot doctors in the country. Speaking after a council of ministers meeting held at the presidential palace, Victoras Papadopoulos, deputy government spokesman, Cyprus, said that this decision was taken in the framework of efforts to promote medical tourism in the country, adding that licences will be issued as long as certain preconditions outlined by the Cyprus Medical Council are met. The ministry and the Cyprus Medical Association will have an ongoing cooperation so that in the future local doctors can benefit from this plan by gaining expertise, through continuous training, from these operations and medical practices which are not currently available on the island.
Russian Visitor Numbers Skyrocket Tourist arrivals from Russia to Cyprus have risen 25.1 percent from 79,291 to 99,215 in August, overall visitor numbers however shrunk 3.1 percent to 352,215 from 363,573 in August 2012. Europe remained Cyprusâ€™ main inbound source market with 324,217 arrivals, followed by Asia with 21,437 visitors, 3,686 of whom came from the Gulf countries. Numbers from America, Africa and Oceania stood at 3,337, 1,692 and 1,528, respectively. Despite a 13 percent drop, the UK has still managed to retain its position as the islandâ€™s single largest feeder market with 127,118 arrivals, followed by Russia and Sweden, while figures from Germany and Greece plummeted 36.2 percent and 25.5 percent, respectively. For the period between January and August, total arrivals exceeded 1.6 million, marking a decrease over the corresponding period in 2012.
Mall of Cyprus
Mall of Cyprus’ Footfall Rises
Based on the management’s statistics, tourists account for three to five percent of the total footfall.
Government to Reclaim Old Airports The Ministry of Communications and Works has announced its intention to utilise the country’s old and unused airfield facilities in an attempt to revive their operation. The notice of international competition for proposals to develop the sites of both the old Larnaca and Paphos airports were previously published in the local and international press in September. Launched jointly by the ministry and Hermes Airports, the management company for Larnaka International Airport and Pafos International Airport, the contest is widely expected to gather much interest. Use of the premises of the old Larnaca and Paphos airfield facilities may last up to 99 years, and the successful applicant is expected to contract with Hermes Airports until May 2031, when the concession agreement between Cyprus and the airport operator ends.
After welcoming over five million visitors in 2012, The Mall of Cyprus continues to attract an increased number of shoppers, underlining the mall’s evolution into one of the capital’s must-visit retail hubs. Despite the economic uncertainties which surrounded the country in March, year-to-date visitor volumes have shown a two percent year-on-year improvement, partly attributable to the launch of the new wing on the first floor and the extended opening hours on Wednesday afternoons and Sundays when an average of more than 15,000 visitors enjoy the mall’s outlets and services. Based on the management’s statistics, tourists account for three to five percent of the total footfall. To cater to the growing demand, the management of The Mall of Cyprus has revealed plans to further expand the mall’s total area with additional retail and entertainment spaces on the first floor and extra parking places to ensure a more seamless and pleasant shopping experience to visitors of all ages.
CHA Advises Hotels to Manage Water Waste On the occasion of World Tourism Day, Cyprus Hotel Association (CHA) called on all hotels to contribute to a more sustainable future. This year’s theme for the event was ‘Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future’, and CHA has urged all of its member hotels to respect this valuable asset as water is one of the most important resources that can help tourism prosper, and hotels need it to function, as do other sectors of the economy that support tourism, such as agriculture, transport and many others. Haris Loizides, chairman, CHA, supported the notion that prudent management of water resources becomes all the more relevant in Cyprus, which is often blighted by droughts. “Given that water is the most important natural resource for survival and sustainable growth in any country, raising awareness should be the relevant authorities’ main goal, through which the correct messages can be sent to the productive forces of the economy, organised bodies, the public and children, who are the future of the planet,” he added. Furthermore, CHA’s statement added that each modern, environmentallyfriendly hotel has a duty to systematically check the quantities of water being consumed, ensure its facilities are being properly maintained, provide guests with information on the need to save water and use the appropriate technologies for saving water and managing water waste.
Pafos 2017 in Latvia The board of European Capital of Culture – Pafos 2017 recently flew to Latvia in order to have a meeting with the respective board, as Riga will be in charge as European Capital of Culture in 2014. Yiannis Koutsolambros, board member, Pafos 2017, and Nasos Hadjigeorgiou, executive manager, Pafos Regional Board of Tourism, met with officials from Foundation Riga 2014 and exchanged views on issues related to the institution, and the programme of Paphos 2017, with particular reference to the Open Air Factory idea. Their Latvian counterparts shared with the Cypriot delegation, their experiences regarding organisational matters, relations with the local and central government, funding issues from various sources, and practical organisation of artistic activities. Paphos’ team expressed satisfaction for generating worthwhile and valuable experience and advice, while the two delegations agreed to develop further relationships with each other through interactions and posts on the websites of the two organisations, and frequent contacts on behalf of both sides.
Diana Civle, director, Riga, Foundation Riga 2014 (left), and Nasos Hadjigeorgiou
CTO Forges Alliances Following the downturn of tourist arrivals in August, Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) has visited many of the country’s crucial markets in order to revive hopes for a better 2014. A delegation representing the authority, headed by Alecos Orountiotis, chairman, CTO, recently headed to the UK and met with reprsentatives of Thomas Cook,
TUI Travel, as well as carriers such as Monarch Airlines, Ryanair, easyJet, Jet2, and British Airways. The two tour operators bring to Cyprus nearly half of the tourists arriving from the UK, and for this reason CTO formed a three-year partnership for 2014 -16 with both companies in order to stabilise arrivals and increase the British market’s share.
CTO Remains Optimistic for 2014
CTO: Losses Are Reversible
The coming three years are expected to be good for Cyprus’ tourist industry, according to Alecos Orountiotis, chairman, Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO). Orountiotis further stated that he is anticipating 2014 to witness a notable growth of seven percent over this year’s numbers. Additionally, Orountiotis suggested that in order to achieve the expected boost in arrivals, the authority will be putting all its efforts into expanding the tourist season by bringing together all relevant industry players to discuss and take steps in a bid to improve accessibility to the island through various deals with airlines; to increase the destination’s competitiveness; and to promote enhancement of the country’s overall tourist product. CTO has requested for a Orountiotis further stated EUR57 million annual budgthat he is anticipating 2014 et from the government for to witness a notable growth 2014, with which the orof seven percent over this ganisation is mainly aiming year’s numbers to augment its marketing reach in its key traditional and rising segments.
Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) is on an ongoing mission to attract travel agents, tour operators, and airlines from all vital markets, in order to mitigate the effects of the negative publicity Cyprus received in the early months of the year, said Alecos Orountiotis, chairman, CTO. March’s events resulted in cancelled bookings, which took its toll, Orountiotis said, informing that until the end of August tourist arrivals were reduced by 5.3 percent year-on-year (y-o-y). August also saw the y-o-y decrease of traditional markets such as UK, Germany, and Central Europe. However, the promising Russian segment grew by 25 percent, Ukraine surged by an astonishing 85 percent, while Israel registered a 22 percent increase.
Cyprus in UK Wedding Show Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) took part with great success in the London National Wedding Show between September 27 - 29. CTO’s presence at the event was reinforced by the involvement of private companies and enriched with contests, giveaways and wedding treats from Cypriot confectionery shops. Visitors at CTO’s stand were being offered the opportunity of a free professional photo shoot, with Cyprus’ landscapes at the background. According to Antigoni Kapodistria, officer A, CTO, wedding tourism is a very important segment for Cyprus in terms of both tourist arrivals and revenues, as it holds a share of 8.5 percent of the total visitor numbers. UK is a priority market with a share of 51 percent and with around 4,000 ceremonies. Regarding this year’s results, they remain at the same levels with 2012, while bookings for 2014 are nearly complete.
ACTA Held Annual Meeting
The Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (ACTA) summoned all its members at the annual general meeting held on September 24 at Hilton Park Nicosia. The event was attended by business, government, and industry officials, ministers, ambassadors, airline executives, and representatives of the tourism sector. Victor Mantovani, president, ACTA, sent messages to multiple recipients saying that the problems in the Cypriot tourism industry are unfortunately perpetuated, with reference to the issues of seasonality, competition, expensive tourism product, foreign workforce in touristic enterprises, casino operation, and flight connectivity. The forum was also addressed by Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, minister of commerce, industry and tourism, Cyprus, who referred to improving the country’s image abroad as a safe tourist destination and to the issue of winter tourism, amongst others. “The crisis that is now present, is perhaps hiding some opportunities. Each sector of our tourism sector should find and exploit these opportunities, to make our tourism industry even stronger and more competitive,” Lakkotrypis concluded.
TUI Conference: a Success for Cyprus As part of the excellent and long-standing cooperation Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) enjoys with the UK-based tourist agency TUI, the organisation deems that the hosting of the operator’s annual meeting in Cyprus is a huge success. Commenting on this accomplishment, Alekos Oroundiotis, chairman, CTO, said, “We are delighted that this important conference will be held this year in Cyprus. TUI UK is one of our major partners and everyone at CTO will work hard to further strengthen this cooperation.” The conference will run from November 3 – 6 in Ayia Napa, with attendees reaching around 1,000, while it will include presentations on Cyprus and its quality tourism product, and will provide the opportunity to exchange views and develop partnerships.
loveholidays.com Supports Cyprus A leading UK-based travel website, loveholidays.com, endorsed advice issued by the Cypriot government, reassuring its customers that the destination is safe to travel to. With winter approaching the online travel agency recommended Cyprus as one of the top choices for travellers seeking an affordable sunny winter destination. Al Francis, CEO, loveholidays.com, commented that the island has always offered great value, great weather and a good selection of accommodation for all budgets. “There are currently some outstanding deals to the region so we would recommend people take a look because Cyprus is the perfect destination for some well-priced winter sun,” he explained. Due to upheaval in neighbouring countries, the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office had advised that there is an increased risk of demonstrations, linked to the possibility of military action in Syria. However, far from discouraging tourists the state authority simply outlined that travellers should keep up-to-date with the latest developments, be vigilant and avoid any protests or demonstrations. This year loveholidays.com saw a 22 percent decline in bookings to Cyprus due to the destination rarely being out of the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Al Francis
Russia and Ukraine Rise Dynamically The steady and increasing growth of Russian and Ukrainian travellers to Cyprus is a counterbalance to the steep decline of the island’s traditional markets. According to statistics, the island received more than 475,000 Russian visitors in 2012, while this year Cyprus Tourism Organisation’s (CTO) expectations are around 600,000, a figure which positions the Russian segment as the second biggest after the UK. Ukraine, although being a smaller market in size, recorded an 85 percent year-onyear increase with 35,000 arrivals at the end of August. CTO anticipates Ukrainian influx to reach 50,000 by the end of the year. Kazakhstan is also a market with huge potential, which once opened can send 10,000 visitors to Cyprus, starting in 2014.
September Tourist Arrivals: 6.7 Percent Increase
Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa
According to the latest statistics released, the influx of incoming visitors to Cyprus reached 357,653 in September compared to 335,352 in the corresponding month of 2012, recording a surge of 6.7 percent. A raise of 40.5 percent was recorded in tourist arrivals from Russia and 13.3 percent from Sweden. However, travellers from the traditional market of the UK declined by 1.5 percent. Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) expressed great satisfaction for the significant surge in arrivals. According to Alecos Orountiotis, chairman, CTO, this positive effect, following the recent 12.3 percent increase in tourist revenue for July 2013 announced at the same time, indicates that Cyprus is moving in the right direction, resisting the crisis and overturning the negative climate created by Eurogroup’s decisions.
Guided Tours for Visually Impaired Persons at the House of Dionysos The Department of Antiquities has presented a pilot project entitled “Tours for visually impaired persons at the House of Dionysos”, at the Archeological Site of Kato Paphos. The initiative comes in line with the department’s endeavours to ensure access to all citizens to the archaeological heritage of Cyprus. In collaboration with the St Barnabas School for the Blind, bilingual informative panels have been produced in the Braille writing system and placed at the House of Dionysos, and a copy of a mosaic has been created in an attempt to provide an insight into the character of the motifs depicted on the surface. Guides have also been published in Greek and in English in the Braille writing system.
Paphos Promotes Sports Tourism
Paphos is gearing up for its first ever Pafos Sprint Triathlon, which is expected to attract thousands of sports fans to the coastal city on November 10. To discuss the details of the routes in more detail, technical and organisational issues and the necessary publicity and promotional actions along with other related coordination questions, a number of meetings have been held and the massive turnout of hoteliers, representatives of municipalities and other stakeholders proved to be a positive sign ahead of the event. The upcoming competition forms part of the preparations for the International Triathlon Race which will be held in April 2014 and which is hoped to become an annual fixture in Paphos’ calendar.
Larnaca to Become a Kitesurfing Hotspot
Secret Valley Golf Course Opens The brand new 18-hole championship golf course at Secret Valley has been unveiled, adding further credibility to Cyprus’ sport destination proposition. Set in the scenic valley along the Paphos coastline, the course has been designed by former golf champion, Tony Jacklin, and offers six sets of tees to accommodate all levels of play, rolling Bermuda fairways and bent grass facilities, while the practice facilities provide a comfortable and convenient opportunity to get ready and warm up for the next challenge ahead. The addition of Secret Valley Golf to the island’s three existing courses further enhances Cyprus’ credentials as a destination of choice for golf aficionados from all over the world.
Larnaca has received a seal of approval from Dutch kitesurfing champion, Kevin Langeree, after his participation in the first Cyprus Kitesurfing Championship, King of Kite 2013. Following the successful event, organised by Kahuna Surfhouse in Mazotos, Langaree declared that Larnaca’s beaches are blessed with ideal conditions for this kind of sport, including flat and very safe waters as well as consistent thermal winds. Commenting on the destination’s growing appeal as a kitesurfing hotspot, Antonis Papakyriakou, general manager, Palm Beach Hotel & Bungalows, said, “It is great news that Cyprus is now on the kitesurfing map and this will provide travellers with a new water sports activity to showcase Larnaca. Kitesurfing can now be added to the already popular water sports such as diving, water skiing, windsurfing as well as land based activities such as horse riding, cycling and walking,” noted Papakyriakou, stating that Larnaca is certainly the premier year-round holiday destination on the island offering a host of activities on and off the water to suit all ages and abilities. Kevin Langaree
Aegean Airlines to Launch Athens – Paphos
Cyprus Airways: Third Best Airline Cyprus Airways has added yet another award to its trophy cabinet after being honoured by APG World Connect. Confirming the high quality of services and products offered by the airline and recognising the standing of the carrier amongst travel industry professionals, Cyprus Airways has been named the third best airline by travel agents and tour operators from around the world based on the friendliness and flexibility of the company’s team. Turkey’s national carrier Turkish Airlines topped the voting, followed by Air France-KLM and Cyprus Airways, while Dubai’s Emirates came fourth with many other globally-renowned airlines competing for the remaining spots. To celebrate Cyprus Airways’ recognition, APG invited representatives of the airline to the award ceremony in Washington. According to the carrier’s statement this award comes during difficult times for Cyprus Airways however, and provides added incentive to move forward with reforms that will put the airline on a stable course of development.
Pafos Regional Board of Tourism welcomed the announcement for the introduction of new flights between Athens and Paphos, operated by Greece-based carrier, Aegean Airlines. The services which are set to launch in April 2014 with two weekly flights, create a new perspective and are expected to contribute to reducing unemployment, easing of seasonality, and enhance the international prestige and position of Paphos, the board’s announcement suggested. Arrivals of individual visitors to Paphos and Cyprus in general are expected to grow following the development, as Athens’ airport serves visitors from other countries with similar interests in sectors such as services, land development, trade, and more. This positive evolution is deemed as very important by the board and satisfied all parties involved as the connection of the two destinations had been their firm demand in recent years.
Riga – Larnaca Route Proves Successful airBaltic’s Riga – Larnaca route will be extended to the winter season to offer passengers convenient travel options between the two airports and beyond to destinations in the Baltics, Scandinavia, Russia, as well as the CIS countries. The Latvian airline which initially launched the service for the summer season, decided however to keep the timetable for the coming months as well. “airBaltic has made an impressive improvement in its business results in the first six months of the year, and achieved a net profit in the second quarter. This enables us to improve our service to passengers on high-demand routes and offer Riga - Larnaca for the winter season,” explained Michael Grimme, chief commercial officer, airBaltic. The service is being operated once a week on Saturdays onboard a Boeing 737 aircraft.
Etihad Airways Backs Cyprus Six & Plus team Etihad Airways has become one of the official sponsors of the Six & Plus team of Cyprus which will compete in the finals of the F1 in Schools World Challenge in Austin, Texas in the US this month. The annual competition challenges participants to create an F1 team that has to design, construct and race the fastest miniature Formula 1 car of the future as part of the F1 in Schools non-profit organisation’s endeavours to offer students a unique way to learn science, technology, engineering and math related subjects in a fun yet challenging environment. This year, Cyprus will be represented, for the first time, by six students of the Saint George’s High School in Larnaca. “
Cyprus Airways Partners with InterContinental Aphrodite Hills Resort Hotel InterContinental Aphrodite Hills Resort Hotel in Paphos has joined Cyprus Airways’ SunMiles Frequent Flyer Programme, offering guests even more reasons to stay at the hotel. Located on a plateau overlooking the birthplace of Aphrodite, the property is an ideal choice for both couples and families who are looking for a relaxing getaway, as well as for sports enthusiasts. While enjoying memorable moments at the hotel, guests can earn up to 1,000 SunMiles points. For every stay between one and four nights, they will be awarded with 500 points, while five or more nights will be rewarded with 1,000 points. By earning and redeeming their points, SunMiles members enjoy a range of benefits, while Sunjet Executive Club is the airline’s special membership scheme which incorporates an array of privileged services for the most valuable customers. InterContinental Aphrodite Hills Resort Hotel offers 290 rooms that feature private terraces, while suites have the option of additional interconnecting rooms, as well as the choice of an outdoor Jacuzzi or a private plunge pool.
Europa Hotel Becomes Europa Plaza Hotel
Hilton Cyprus Celebrates Double Win at WTA Awards
The boutique hotel in the heart of Nicosia’s business district has unveiled a new name. As of the beginning of October, the property welcomes guests under the Europa Plaza Hotel name. As Andreas Roussou, general manager, Europa Plaza Hotel, explained, the vast majority of the guests are business travellers, with one-third of them residing in Greece, who greatly appreciate the hotel’s location, staff friendliness, and the excellent services and amenities that also include free Wi-Fi connection throughout the property. With 40 rooms, six executive and four theme suites, and one unit designed to guests with disabilities, and two conference rooms that can host up to 110 guests in theatre-style seating, the hotel provides personalised services which has helped build up a loyal clientele leading to high repeat guest ratio, revealed Roussou.
Hilton Cyprus has been recognised as Cyprus’ leading hotel and Cyprus’ leading business hotel at the European final of the World Travel Awards. At the gala ceremony, held in Antalya, Turkey in August, Hilton Cyprus was one of the 20 Hilton Worldwide properties in Europe to receive an accolade. Commenting on the company’s triumphs, Simon Vincent, area president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Hilton Worldwide, said, “I am delighted to see so many of our hotels recognised at these well-respected awards, including one for the fifth consecutive year. This demonstrates a consistent level of service across our brands and our company’s leading position within the European market, where we now have more than 250 hotels in 30 countries.” The prestigious World Travel Awards have been recognising organisations delivering outstanding customer experience in travel and tourism for 20 years.
Royiatiko Hotel: Successful First Years Royiatiko Hotel continues to excel after close to three years of operation in the heart of Cyprus’ capital city. As Yiota Georgiou, general manager, Royiatiko Hotel, explained, the management’s vision has been to build a modern yet traditional looking property that seamlessly blends in with the old city’s distinctive surrounding. Besides 33 rooms, including three suites, and three units for guests with disabilities, the hotel also features a conference room, ideal for meetings and seminars, a gym, a pool, and a bar, and in line with its clientele’s needs, Wi-Fi connection is available throughout the property. Since its opening, Royiatiko Hotel has welcomed travellers from all over the world, including Greece, Russia, US, Japan, as well as the Middle East, Georgiou asserted.
Semeli Hotel Gains Reputation
Strategically located only a few minutes from all major points of interest in the capital city, Semeli Hotel has already established itself as a popular choice of accommodation for corporate and private gatherings of all types and sizes. Since its opening in 2011, the hotel has hosted an array of events from weddings to seminars, as Nicolas Nicolaou, general manager, Semeli Hotel, explained, noting that besides its 62 rooms, including eight suites, the new-built property offers four adaptable conference rooms that can be used separately and can also be combined into a large ballroom. Additionally, each conference room is fitted with a full range of audio-visual equipment and fully sound-proof. Currently, some 80 percent of the hotel’s clientele are business travellers, with Greece and the local market accounting for the vast majority of guests, and to further strengthen its reputation as a prime business destination, the hotel also offers business lunch while for those looking to enjoy a night of rhythm and dance, Semeli Hotel hosts Latin and tango nights every Friday and Saturday.
World Firsts for Kanika Hotels & Resorts Alexander The Great Hotel, Paphos, Elias Beach Hotel, Limassol, and Olympic Lagoon Resort, Ayia Napa, all members of Kanika Hotels & Resorts, received significant honours from international tourism giants both for 2012 and this year. Alexander The Great Hotel, picked up many awards in 2012 such as the Saga Good Food, Saga Top Performer, Thomson Top Gold Award by TUI UK, and Award of Excellence by Thomas Cook UK. Furthermore, Elias Beach Hotel excelled also with the Travel Life Silver Award, while Olympic Lagoon Resort was also honoured for 2012 by Thomas Cook UK with the Award of Excellence. In addition, TripAdvisor awarded the Certificate of Excellence for 2012 and 2013 in all hotels of Kanika Hotels & Resorts.
Stademos Hotels: Turnover Down 10 Percent The six-month results for this year show a decline of EUR926,880, or 9.9 percent, in turnover for Stademos Hotels, owner and operator of the four-star Mediterranean Beach Hotel, Limassol and the five-star 250-room Elysium, Paphos. The company’s income decreased compared with that of the corresponding period of 2012 due to lower hotel occupancy and decreased proceeds from restaurants and bars. The reduction in gross profit is proportional to the decline of income. Financial expenses are presented increased primarily due to higher interest rates, and also because of a new loan which financed the renovation of Mediterranean Beach Hotel. As a result of the above, the final results before tax for the first half of the year dropped by EUR475,000, compared with those of 2012. Stademos Hotels expects the results of the second half to be better based on the performance so far, as well as the arrivals. However, with the current facts at hand, this year’s final results before tax are set to be reduced compared to 2012.
Flipper Camp at Anassa Anassa, Thanos Hotels’ luxury five-star hotel, has launched The Flipper Camp, a new package filled with various water-based activities and treatments. Utilising the healing power and the extensive benefits of the water, the camp includes a range of sea-related exercises as well as thalassotherapy. The word thalassotherapy comes from the Greek ‘thalassa’, meaning sea and ‘therapeia’, meaning healing, referring to the method’s cleaning and invigorating effect on the skin, body and soul in a completely natural way. The camp has been designed to make the most of Anassa’s naturally available water activities, from its setting on the Mediterranean, Thalassa Spa, indoor and outdoor pools and water sports. The package is set over five days and kicks off with a one-to-one discussion with a trainer to tailormake all activities and treatments to each guest’s needs. Sessions will last between 15 minutes to an hour and include workouts like swimming lessons, paddle boarding, wakeboarding, canoeing, aqua yoga and hydro gym sessions.
Atlantica to Host TUI Conference Atlantica Hotels & Resorts announced that it will be hosting this year’s ‘TUI UK Retail Managers Conference’ at Atlantica Aeneas Resort & Spa, Ayia Napa, during November 3 - 6. This meeting is the largest and most important TUI annual event that takes place inside and outside the UK, while this is the first time that Cyprus will host such a big event of this kind, giving the island huge media coverage within the UK and Ireland. This year’s conference will involve 1,000 travel agents who are responsible for sales of the travel giant’s packages worldwide, representing 67 percent of sales of tourist packages from the UK to Cyprus. The board of directors of TUI UK & Ireland will also be participating at the conference, along with managers of travel agencies and other important players from the Cypriot and British sales and tourism industry. Atlantica Hotels & Resorts, which operates in Cyprus, Greece, and Egypt with a total of 35 hotels, is the only company in Cyprus to be a member of TUI Travel. Atlantica Aeneas Resort & Spa
Columbia Beach Resort Awarded Columbia Beach Resort, the luxury five-star hotel in Pissouri Bay, has been recognised as Cyprus’ leading resort at this year’s World Travel Awards (WTA), marking the fourth time that the hotel has been honoured with a WTA accolade. Now in its 20th year, WTA awards acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry. This year, more than 500 organisations across Europe entered the annual competition in 125 categories and the winners have been chosen by hundreds of thousands of votes cast by travel agents in over 200 countries around the world. Being one of only two hotels located in the panoramic Pissouri Bay on the southwest coast of the island, Columbia Beach Resort along with its sister hotel, Columbia Beach Hotel, boasts uninterrupted views of the Mediterranean Sea. Distinctive architecture inspired by typical Cypriot buildings, featuring low rise buildings in local stone, ensures that Columbia Beach Resort blends in with the stunning landscape. Columbia Beach Resort had won the Mediterranean’s leading spa resort and Cyprus’ leading spa resort at previous WTA award ceremonies.
InterContinental Aphrodite Hills Resort Hotel Awarded at WTA InterContinental Aphrodite Hills Resort Hotel has scooped the ‘Mediterranean Leading Family Resort’ award at the World Travel Awards (WTA), making it the hotel’s eighth WTA trophy since its opening in 2005. Part of Aphrodite Hills Resort, hailed as Cyprus’ first-ever leisure, golf and real estate development, the five-star hotel comprises an indulgent spa, championship golf course and a first-class tennis academy. Over the years, the WTA awards have proven highly effective in further strengthening the resort’s international clientele base and reputation by providing a strong sales and marketing platform to built on.
InterContinental Aphrodite Hills Resort Hotel
NEWS & EVENTS Paphos Celebrated World Tourism Day Under the motto ‘Tourism and Water: Protecting our common future’, Michalis Pavlidis, mayor, Yeroskipou, and members of the city council organised a special celebration in front of the town hall, where residents , local and foreign visitors enjoyed the evening celebrating World Tourism Day. Themis Philippides, chairman, Paphos district committee, Cyprus Hotel Association, commenting on the hotel industry’s efforts for rational use of water resources and protection of the environment, said that the tourism industry has a responsibility to play a leading role in ensuring that businesses and destinations are sufficiently investing into the proper management of water.
Cyprus Rally Returned to Nicosia
Nasser Al Attiyah, Winner of Cyprus Rally 2013
Held in the island’s capital, Nicosia, after 14 years, Cyprus Rally 2013, which took place on October 11 – 13, was the penultimate round of the Middle East Rally Championship (MERC). Featuring 13 special stages, the event started off with a super special stage, while participating crews set off in front of the Cyprus Archaeological Museum and headed towards the start. The rally’s second leg began on October 12 with a total of six special stages and wrapped up with six more special stages on October 13. The finish also took place in front of the same museum, resembling the Cyprus rally of the 1990s. Nayia Kontopoulou, clerk of course, Cyprus Rally 2013, said that the event was once more sponsored by CNP Assurances, Cyprus Telecommunications Authority, Cyprus Tourism Organisation, as well as the Nicosia Municipality which provided the installations and many other facilities.
EVENTS From heaven: Cyprus and its Heritage Nicosia, Cyprus, October 29 - November 8, 2013 A photography exhibition, organised by the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus and the Municipality of Nicosia, showcasing the rich heritage of the island though the lenses of Thomas Sagor. 1st UPcycled Charity Fashion Show Nicosia, Cyprus, November 13, 2013 A talented group of independent volunteers and artists come together to turn old clothes into trendy outfits. Paphos Sprint Triathlon Paphos, Cyprus, November 9 – 10, 2013 (www.cyprusactivelife.com/pafos-triathlon) Organised by Bikin Cyprus Event Management Company, in cooperation with the municipalities of Paphos, Yeroskipou, the Pafos regional board and hoteliers, the event is set to promote Paphos as a sports tourism destination.
Cyprus International 4-day Challenge Paphos, Cyprus, November 21 – 24, 2012 (www.cypruschallenge.com) The ninth edition of the popular event which offers four different races in four days, challenging both amateur and experienced runners.
Nicosia Hunting Union Awards Winners In a recently held ceremony at the conference hall of the Olympic Shooting Range in Latsia, the board of the Nicosia Hunting Union presented the prizes to the winners of the annual shooting competition of the organisation, which was once again sponsored by Hellenic Bank. At the event, apart from the board, other notable attendees included the likes of Lakis Psimolofitis, president, Nicosia Shooting Club, as well as members of the club’s board. During his speech on the occasion of the ceremony, Kokis Solomonidis, president, Nicosia Hunting Union, referred to the charity character theme of this year’s competition, since part of the total proceeds will be generously donated to various student charities across the capital. Additionally, Solomonidis also thanked Hellenic Bank for another year of cooperation.
Musical Journey in the Mediterranean Nicosia, Cyprus, December 6, 2013 A concert for the whole family, which will be followed by a community outreach concerts series under the same title, with the support of Cyprus Tourism Organisation, between December 10 -13.
Emirates Flies Miss Cyprus to World Finals Kristy Marie Agapiou, who had previously been crowned Miss World Cyprus, chose Emirates to travel to the finals of the Miss World beauty competition which took place in Indonesia at the end of September.
idding farewell to the beauty queen at Larnaka International Airport, Jaber Mohamed, country manager, Cyprus, Emirates, said, “Cyprus can claim to be the first and oldest winner of beauty competitions of this kind, according to Greek mythology, Cyprus was the birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love, known also as Cypris,
the lady or goddess of Cyprus, as she was the winner from among the most beautiful goddesses of Mount Olympus.” On her journey first to Jakarta and then to Bali, Agapiou experienced the Dubai-based airline’s renowned onboard service, food prepared by gourmet chefs and a range of services, including ’ice’, Emirates’ inflight entertainment system. Kristy Marie Agapiou
Stelios Philanthropic Foundation Awards Bi-communal Partnerships
Winners of the Awards
Reaffirming his commitment to support entrepreneurship in Cyprus, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder, easyJet, presented 10 bi-communal business partnerships with the Stelios Award for Business Cooperation. Each team comprising of at least one Greek-Cypriot and one Turkish-Cypriot entrepreneur working together for the benefit of the country, received EUR10,000 from the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation. “Out of the more than 20 applications, many were businesses formed less than year ago. We see this as tangible proof that the spirit of entrepreneurship is alive and well in Cyprus, especially during these times of extreme economic difficulty, and that entrepreneurs on both sides of the green line continue to uphold a commitment to peace and reconciliation,” Sir Haji-Ioannou concluded.
Environment Commissioner Visits Ayia Napa Ioanna Panayiotou, commissioner for the environment, Cyprus, was recently welcomed by Yiannis Karousos, mayor, Ayia Napa, in order to discuss various environmental issues the municipality is facing such as garbage management, recycling, and harbour pollution. Karousos during the meeting also stated that the municipality has recently requested tenders
to replace all light bulbs in public buildings with the LED type, something which is expected to take place shortly after completion of the evaluation process. Panayiotou congratulated the municipality for being the first in Cyprus to use eco-friendly bulbs, and the city council on the implementation of their decision in such a short time.
Unemployed Cypriots to Enter Hotel Industry Cyprus Hotel Association (CHA) announced that it has researched a programme to integrate unemployed Cypriots into the hotel industry, while a relevant suggestion was discussed with Zeta Emilianidou, minister of labour and social insurance, Cyprus. In his statements, Themis Philippides, chairman, Paphos district committee, CHA, said that the hoteliers of Paphos in cooperation with CHA, presented before Emilianidou issues concerning the suspension of operations during the winter period and also proposed the employment of jobless people in the hospitality business in the new summer season. “A programme of intensive training for unemployed Cypriots who have no previous experience in hotels would be useful and effective, so as with the start of the new summer season they can be recruited in the hotel industry,” he said. Philippides further stressed the willingness of hoteliers to employ Cypriots and that the initiative should exploit whoever is interested to work in the sector.
Q & A with Petros Pierides The past months’ dire economic climate has taken its toll on the island’s travel and tourism industry with visitor numbers remaining slightly below 2012 levels. Here, Petros Pierides, general manager, Crowne Plaza Limassol, shares his views on measures and actions that can be taken to address the recent challenges.
Travel Trade Cyprus: How has business been at Crowne Plaza Limassol? Petros Pierides: Indeed the dire economic climate has affected the island’s hotel and tourism industry. Numbers are slightly below 2012, but compared to the catastrophic damage incurred by the construction industry, real estate and banking sectors, tourism is the only remaining industry that proven fairly resilient and can help the economy. Crowne Plaza Limassol is one of the few hotels that have managed to increase their occupancy and revenues [this year]. The renovation of all the guest bedrooms and public areas that took place in 2011 and 2012 has definitely helped to market and sell the product during these difficult times.
this year in this respect was the inclusion of our hotel in the programme of one of the leading tour operators in Finland.
Petros Pierides General manager, Crowne Plaza Limassol
Travel Trade Cyprus: How can the hotel industry and government work together to further improve the island’s tourism product and hospitality offering?
Travel Trade Cyprus: Crowne Plaza Limassol has long established itself as a popular choice for business travellers looking for accommodation in the heart of the city. How would you describe your target market? Petros Pierides: It is a fact that Crowne Plaza Limassol enjoys the most advantageous location, being the closest beach hotel to the city centre. As such, while Crowne Plaza may be a brand primarily targeted at the corporate traveller, our unique location means that our target market extends to the leisure traveller as well. A 60 percent corporate and 40 percent leisure market is the yearly average mix in the hotel with leisure percentage increasing in summer and corporate percentage increasing in the shoulder and winter months. Travel Trade Cyprus: While visitor numbers from the island’s traditionally strong markets, including the UK and Germany have shrunk, emerging markets, such as Russia and some other European countries have shown economic resilience and posted notable increases. How have your markets changed over the past months or years? Petros Pierides: Our corporate clientele comes from all over the world, but mainly from the European Union (EU), Middle East, China and US. 40 percent of our leisure visitors come mainly from Russia and the CIS countries, followed by UK and Germany. This mix of our clientele has not changed in the last years. The only pleasant surprise we encountered
Petros Pierides: The Cyprus tourist product needs to be competitive. A consumer that is not 100 percent convinced by a product and its value will jump ship at the first opportunity. Churchill Hotel Management spent a considerable amount to renovate, refresh and rebrand the Crowne Plaza Limassol product in 2011-2012. This renovation was not limited to structural changes and refurbishment, but also extended to investing in our people, revitalising our service culture and embracing our new brand. Modern travellers are perceptive; they notice changes that are made - both the tangible and the intangible - and appreciate the efforts that are made.
Travel Trade Cyprus: Crowne Plaza Limassol hosts a range of prestigious events and conferences. How important is the MICE segment to your business? Petros Pierides: Crowne Plaza Limassol was one of the two Limassol hotels selected as an EU presidency hotel in the third and fourth quarter of 2012. This entailed organising and hosting presidency meetings as well as accommodating delegates from all EU member states. 15 presidency meetings took place at Crowne Plaza Limassol between July and December 2012 which kept us all up and running for six months. Unfortunately this is not a good year for MICE. A number of meetings that were scheduled to take place were either cancelled, postponed or their numbers reduced as a result of the dire economic situation. Some events lined up for November include a KPMG partners meeting, TEPAK’s Earlinet Conference and Orient Cyprus, the 2nd International Belly Dance Festival. Travel Trade Cyprus: What can hoteliers like yourself do to dispel the negative images and rumours of Cyprus’ current situation in order to revive the island’s tourism industry?
Petros Pierides: Cyprus hoteliers and investors need to spend money to continue upgrading our tourist product. As an EU country, a Mediterranean island with an abundance of beauty and cultural heritage and a safe destination to visit, Cyprus may attract tourists who are willing to spend a little extra to visit Cyprus rather than other Eastern Mediterranean countries. However, Cyprus hoteliers and the government must demonstrate their unwavering commitment to the tourist industry and prove that Cyprus does offer a value proposition to visitors, by continuing to encourage and invest in the development of our product. The government needs to ease taxation and energy costs and give hoteliers access to funds so the necessary improvements can continue to be made. Visitors will experience the benefits of such incentives by receiving more competitive rates and finding a quality tourist product. Taking such measures will give a clear message to the outside world that tourism is our number one priority and that the quality of the Cyprus tourist product is not at risk.
Tourism is our number one priority
travel talk is your space
TRAVEL TALK HARIS LOIZIDES
RASHED SAIF Al SHABI
Chairman, Cyprus Hotel Association (CHA).
General manager, Cyprus, Etihad Airways.
“CHA [...] is in close contact with its members in order to adopt programmes and technologies to reduce water consumption and improve water waste management. A modern, environmentally-friendly hotel has a duty to systematically check the quantities of water being consumed, ensure its facilities are being properly maintained, provide guests with information on the need to save water and use the appropriate technologies for saving water and managing water waste.”
“As a global, innovative and young airline with a fresh approach to everything we do, we associate ourselves with a large number of events and causes that reflect our position as a catalyst for change. We are proud to sponsor the Cyprus Six & Plus team [which will compete in the F1 in Schools World Challenge finals], which is consistent with our values of team spirit, supporting communities, and helping to bring the world closer together. We wish them the very best.”
Director general, Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO).
“The programme ‘Cyprus, Small Escapes, Great Discoveries!’ is tangible proof that we do not forget domestic tourism. We offer the opportunity to Cypriots, through the packages offered, to meet unique beauties of our country, both in the coastal areas as well as inland, and become the best ambassadors to their friends and partners in Cyprus and abroad. The need to support domestic tourism results also from the application of the principle of sustainability which is the cornerstone of our tourism strategy.”
“For all issues raised by the Larnaka Municipality there is common understanding [with the Ministry of Interior]; above all concerning the relocation of the oil and gas installations [in Dhekelia] and the temporary terminal in Larnaca. The ministry’s commitment and actions show positive signals for their movement and the assurance of [Socrates Hasikos, minister of interior, Cyprus,] to consider the decree issued by the municipality, satisfies us. We have also examined other issues related to the road network, the Turkish-Cypriot properties, and regulatory plans.”
TRAVEL TALK IS YOUR SPACE – this is a casual forum for travel industry professionals to discuss current issues and share stories. We want to hear from you, so send your comments, questions, frustrations and observations to email@example.com NOVEMBER 2013
Q & A with Nasos Hadjigeorgiou Even though Paphos saw a decline in visitors, this is manageable, explained Nasos Hadjigeorgiou, executive manager, Pafos Regional Board of Tourism, while now the focus is to enrich the tourist experience and promote effectively the region’s unique selling points.
Travel Trade Cyprus: How many visitors did Paphos receive so far this year, and how satisfying are those tourist arrival figures for the board? Nasos Hadjigeorgiou: Paphos is one of the most popular resort areas within Cyprus. It attracts approximately 33 percent of the total visitors coming to the island. Until August it is estimated that Paphos has attracted more than 540,000, a decrease of approximately 35,000 tourists or six percent compared to 2012. Even though at the beginning of the year the capacity planned was higher compared to [2012’s] capacity, unfortunately due to the banking sector crisis, the uncertainty spread and the negative image Cyprus got all over the world, we have not managed to achieve an increase in arrivals and revenues. However, under these circumstances Pafos Regional Board of Tourism feels that the reduction of arrivals and revenues is manageable and the situation could have been much worse.
sian market has done well until now and most probably momentum and planned capacity will sustain and even increase for 2014. The individual travellers market can grow too with the presence of frequent flights from low-cost and other carriers, [as] more efforts are placed to attract new airlines and expand existing routes, and new flights are planned to operate from priority markets such as Scandinavia, Kazakhstan and others. [...]
Nasos Hadjigeorgiou Executive manager, Pafos Regional Board of Tourism
Travel Trade Cyprus: This year the board has been very active promoting the district both for domestic and inbound tourism. What were the outcomes of these efforts? Nasos Hadjigeorgiou: This year we placed a bigger effort towards a more aggressive promotion of the region. For the overseas markets we have participated in more than 15 exhibitions, workshops and presentations. Together with our partners [...] we have accommodated numerous travel agents, journalists and tourism professionals from targeted markets, while we have widely distributed our collateral material and invested in digital marketing. On the other hand, in order to attract domestic tourism we have undertaken promotional campaigns in Cyprus by investing in print and broadcast media, implemented radio competitions and public relations actions. Outcomes regarding domestic tourism were beyond expectations but unfortunately incoming tourism flow is still below our expectations. As we mentioned above, that was mainly due to the banking sector crisis and negative publicity that Cyprus gained in March and April, months that are widely considered as holiday-booking months. However, we are positive that in 2014 tourist arrivals could rise and there are solid facts for that. The Rus-
Travel Trade Cyprus: How does Paphos plan to enrich its tourist product offering and attract new markets? Are any projects coming soon that will give a boost to Paphos’ image and its tourism revenue? Nasos Hadjigeorgiou: As a region we have a series of projects to implement and our focus is towards the enrichment of the tourist products and tourist experience. Paphos has many unique selling propositions but until today we have not managed to communicate them effectively and make travellers aware of them. We are driven by our vision which is for the Paphos region to become a quality destination where visitors can enjoy a wide range of experiences and will contribute towards sustainable tourism development, respecting the natural environment and cultural heritage.
Overall visitors coming to the region are satisfied by the product and services offered but as a regional tourism board we recognise that there is room for improvement and a need to create a more individualised experience. Improvements include actions in the aspects of product, marketing and quality of services offered. Some of the priorities we have set is the enhancement of the building environment, refinement and adjustments of the coastal areas, development of tourism related infrastructure such as theme parks, marinas, casino, golf, athletic infrastructure, develop new experiences and refine existing, upgrade accessibility and several services provided such as public transport, services at retail shops, and more. With regards to marketing, our focus is to improve packaging, distribution and implement a more effective promotion of special interest products and services. Paphos visitors have myriads of choices but many of these special products are hidden and not widely available. This is one of the aspects we work hard on with all involved parties; to bring out and show to the public the authentic, rural Paphos, customs and traditions, archaeological sites, cultural activities and many more. The biggest challenge for us is to prolong the tourist season and convince tour operators, individual travellers and airlines that Paphos, and Cyprus, is an excellent choice for winter holidays. Especially for Paphos the project Pafos - European Capital of Culture 2017 is one of the most important developments that can help the region to be repositioned in the preferences of travellers. Travel Trade Cyprus: What are your plans for 2014 and which are the markets you are going to target? Nasos Hadjigeorgiou: Usually our promotional plan includes several actions overseas and in Cyprus. [...] Our focus is to enrich the tourist experience offered and promote effectively Paphos’ unique selling propositions. The most important markets for Paphos are UK, Russia, Germany, Scandinavia/Nordic market, and Central Europe. Segments include, individual travellers, young couples, athletic tourism, weddings and honeymoons, special interest travellers, conference and incentives, religious and historical long-stayers, to mention a few.