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OCTOBER 2013

ISSUE 08

CTO Closes down Eight Offices In an effort to restructure its international operations and minimise running costs, Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) has taken the decision to shut down eight of its 22 overseas branches.

Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (Cyta) has released a new publication, Cyprus Holiday Guide 2013, which invites local, as well as visiting holidaymakers, to explore the island.

06 NIKI to Fly to Cyprus NIKI is to launch scheduled services between Larnaca and Vienna as of January 31, 2014, marking the German low-cost carrier’s debut in Cyprus.

12 IN THIS ISSUE MARKET UPDATE GENERAL TOURISM BOARDS NAUTICAL ACCOMMODATION AIR TRAVEL CHANNELS WHO'S MOVED TRAVEL TALK RENDEZVOUS NEWS & EVENTS

02 03 05 08 10 11 13 16 18 19 20

Cyta’s Holiday Guide Available Online

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MARKET UPDATE

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

C.C.C. Tourist Enterprises Public Company: Challenging Period C.C.C. Tourist Enterprises Public Company has released its financial performance report for the period between January and June.

COPY EDITOR Stefanie Saghbini SENIOR JOURNALIST Rita Kasziba

T

JOURNALIST Maria Kazeli

he results of its wholly owned subsidiary company L’Union Nationale, owning company of Le Méridien Limassol Spa & Resort, as well as 50 percent interest in the L’Union Branded Residences Partnership, were also included in the report which illustrated that during the period under review, the group’s turnover plummeted

PRESS Maria Demetriadou Pauline Shahabian DESIGN & LAYOUT Elena Stylianou DIRECTORS Andreas Constantinides Mary Kammitsi

22.2 percent to EUR6.7 million year-on-year, due to a significant decrease in reservations following the incidents of March. The company however made successful efforts to maintain and reduce operating expenses and achieved an exchange profit of EUR143.197, compared to a loss of EUR163.697 in the same period in 2012.

HEADQUARTERS T.T.W. Travel Trade Weekly LTD P.O. Box 25255, Nicosia 1308 Cyprus Tel: +357 22 021607, Fax: +357 22 210466 WEBSITE www.traveltradecyprus.travel EMAILS info@traveltradeweekly.travel sales@traveltradeweekly.travel editorial@traveltradecyprus.travel PRINTED IN CYPRUS Cyprint Plc P.O. Box 58300, CY-3732, Limassol, Cyprus Tel: +357 25 720035, Fax: +357 25 720123 Email: info@cyprint.com.cy

EXCHANGE RATES

Accurate as of

25/09/2013 COUNTRY

CURRENCY

Le Méridien Limassol Spa & Resort

1EUR=

US (USD)

1.35

UK (GBP)

0.84

Switzerland (CHF)

1.23

Japan (JPY)

132.88

PICTURE OF THE MONTH

Claridge Public and Kanika Olympic to Create New Hotel Company Claridge Public, associate of Lanitis Group of Companies, has announced that it has signed a shareholders agreement with Kanika Olympic for setting up and operating a company under the name Olympic Lagoon Hotels, aiming to manage and administrate properties in the category of ‘premium all-inclusive’ which will operate under the Olympic Lagoon Hotel chain. The new company will sign contracts to manage Olympic Lagoon Resort Ayia Napa, owned by Kanika Group, and Amathus Beach Hotel Paphos, owned by Claridge Public. The Paphos property will terminate its operation in September 2014 as a hotel under the Amathus and Leading Hotels of the World umbrella, to undergo extensive renovations estimated to reach EUR13 million and re-emerge with a new face and name as Olympic Lagoon Resort Paphos. The revamped hotel is expected to reopen its doors and be fully operative in June 2015. Beyond the management of the two Cyprus properties, Olympic Lagoon Hotels aims to expand its operations in Greece as well, something which is expected to improve its profitability.

OCTOBER 2013


MONTHLY NEWS Minthis Hills Clubhouse Opens

Department of Antiquities: Significant Progress

Minthis Hills Clubhouse

The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Communications and Works, has announced important developments in the ‘Eumathios Philokales’ project, which focuses on the promotion of selected middle byzantine monuments of Crete and Cyprus, and includes full management actions for two Cypriot Middle Byzantine monuments in Agia Marina Kandou and Panagia Kofinou. Between April 2012 and the first quarter of the current year, a restoration team from the department undertook and implemented the restoration of the half-ruinous church of Agia Marina Kandou while, at the same time, preventive conservation was conducted on the 13th and 15th century ruins of the monastic complex, the surrounding area’s landscaping study was updated and the process of verifying their compatibility with national and EU legislation was completed. Meanwhile, the team also restored the Church of Panagia Kofinou, and the group also embarked on the preparation works for the landscaping of the surrounding area.

Minthis Hills has officially unveiled its clubhouse with the new restaurant, bar, conference facilities, pro-shop and concierge services now available for guests. Designed by world-renowned architect and design firm, Woods Bagot, the clubhouse stands as an architectural masterpiece adorned by designer interiors and commissioned sculptures to create an ideal, socially-charged atmosphere. For pre- and post-game drinks, guests can enjoy the lounge, golf terrace, and cocktail bar, while the restaurant takes visitors to a culinary journey with local and international flavours.

Cyta’s Holiday Guide Available Online Firm in its belief that ‘to know Cyprus is to love it’, Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (Cyta) has released a new publication, Cyprus Holiday Guide 2013, which invites local, as well as visiting holidaymakers, to explore the island. Page by page, it provides a wealth of practical tips and information that will make it easy for visitors to identify and locate places of interest, museums, nature trails, and beautiful beaches. The guide also suggests a whole range of recreational activities. At the same time, it incorporates a fully classified directory with addresses and contact telephone numbers that visitors might need during their stay. This new publication encourages holidaymakers to seek and enjoy an authentic Cyprus experience through the sights, flavours, and aromas that reveal the genuine features of the island.

OCTOBER 2013

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MONTHLY NEWS

Winter in the Troodos Mountains

Winter Arrivals Drop during 2012/13

Guest nights spent in Cyprus’ hotels and similar accommodation during the 2012/13 winter season plummeted 10.4 percent compared to the same period in 2011/12, from over three million to 2.69 million. Based on figures released by Eurostat, the European Union (EU)’s statistical office, nonresidents accounted for over 2.4 million nights, equivalent to 90.3 percent of the total figure, the second highest rate after Malta among all EU states. Overall, the 28 member countries of the EU recorded over 594.5 million guest nights, with non-resident figures rising from 255.5 million to 260.3 million, representing 43.8 percent of the total. The most popular destinations for outbound travellers proved to be Spain, Italy, and Austria with 53.3 million, 37 million, and 31.5 million guests nights, respectively, while the largest increase in total night figures was recorded in Slovakia, followed by Malta and Hungary, with numbers rising 9.6 percent, nine percent, and 5.1 percent, respectively.

Tourism Revenue Declined in April According to data recently publicised by the Statistical Service of Cyprus, income from tourism reached EUR110.4 million in April compared to EUR114.6 million in the corresponding month of 2012, recording a decrease of 3.7 percent. For the month under review, arrivals declined by 14 percent, dropping from 189,648 in 2012 to 162,439 this year. Similarly, the per-day expenditure of visitors regressed by 0.42 percent. However, the spending per person rose to EUR679.6, noting a 12 percent increase over April 2012. Norwegian tourists were the big spenders with expenditure per person having reached EUR913.6, while the Irish and the Russians followed with EUR879.6 and EUR873.3 per person, respectively.

Government Endorses Eco-friendly Vessel Project Tasos Mitsopoulos, minister of communications and works, Cyprus, joined the signing ceremony of the contract between FrontMarine and Lemissoler Navigation for the building of eco-friendly bulk carrier vessels. Mitsopoulos expressed his hope to see more similar initiatives on the island in the future, saying that the government upholds shipping as one of Cyprus’ best kept secrets; one that supports the local economy quietly, yet efficiently, effectively, and, as the above project reaffirms, sustainably. “When these vessels are put in service, hopefully under the Cyprus flag, they will contribute to the efforts of our government, and many others around the world, for the development and expansion of a sustainable maritime transport system […],” he asserted, adding that they will contribute to the alleviation of the major environmental problem faced by the planet at present.

OCTOBER 2013


Tourism Boards

Flavours of Cyprus

FTCIA: SixCypriot Months LaterCollection Released Exclusive Recipe

Famagusta Welcomes Campaign Against Noise Ayia Napa – Protaras Hotels Association, the regional branch of the Cyprus Hotel Association, has announced its full support and satisfaction for the government’s decision to take drastic measures against the phenomenon of noise pollution. At the same time, the authority expressed concern fearing that Ayia Napa will have special treatment as a place favoured by young tourists. The association’s committee stressed that after efforts, Ayia Napa has turned into a family destination, with an estimated 80 percent of its visitors hailing from the family segment, therefore, areas adjacent to hotels must be preserved, in order to protect local tourism and economy. Ayia Napa – Protaras Hotels Association called the ministerial commission to decide first on the protection of visitors and then examine any relaxations in laws against noise, as Ayia Napa cannot be converted into a 24-hour open party in peak months for the sake of a few businesses.

OCTOBER 2013

MONTHLY NEWS Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) has released a booklet of Cypriot recipes, exclusively created by celebrity chef and native Cypriot, Tonia Buxton. The collection, which can be downloaded completely free via CTO’s website, features over 20 recipes, including traditional and modern dishes, and showcases, as Orestis Rossides, director, UK, CTO, explained, the gastronomic delights of modern Cyprus. “Her recipes weave together a tradition of trade, which saw the influence of different cultures from early times, our rich wine-making history, which dates back 5,000 years, an emphasis on the use of fresh, local produce and the variety of terrain, from the rich plains along our coastline to the orchards in the foothills of the Troodos Mountains, which support this produce,” Rossides added.

Insider Guide to Cyprus Introduced Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), in collaboration with Travel Foundation, has launched a new Insider Guide to Cyprus. Packed with essential information and useful tips, the guide has been created to help holidaymakers have a hassle-free and memorable stay on the island, and it provides engaging and original ideas on how visitors can support local communities and play their part in protecting the environment. In addition, the booklet also includes recommendations from dining in local taverns on wholesome and seasonal produce, to days out at ancient amphitheatres such as Kourion, to help tourists make the most of their holidays. Commenting on the new guide, Ben Lynam, head of communications, Travel Foundation, said, “The insider guides are a great free resource for agents looking to give customers extra holiday tips to help them explore while away, and will help to highlight what is really special in the destination. All of our guides are available to download for free from our website; just search for ‘Communications Tool’ on the homepage.” Insider Guide to Cyprus

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MONTHLY NEWS

Tourism Boards

PwC Survey: Cyprus Lacks Value for Money

Visitors Suggest Ways to Improve Tourist Product

A survey carried out by PwC Cyprus in collaboration with the research office at the University of Nicosia has outlined the problems faced by the Cypriot tourism product, its comparative advantages and prospects, as well as the serious challenges it needs to overcome. The most prominent finding of the research indicates that although tourists are fully or fairly satisfied with the overall and tourist infrastructure in Cyprus, only a low 6.3 percent responded that during their holiday in Cyprus they enjoyed corresponding value for money spent. As the survey records, this may be due to overcharges in some individual cases, or the low level of customer care or even the lack of services that would add value without requiring particularly high costs, while this shortage in value for money can result in lessened satisfaction for the destination and consequently less chances for them to revisit the island.

For Cyprus’ existing tourist base, a casino would not offer an additional incentive to visit the island, but 750,000 out of the 2.5 million incoming tourists could be a potential target market. This was revealed by PwC Cyprus through its survey on tourism conducted recently, with the respondents stressing that other aspects of the local tourist product are more in need of improvement, such as short cruises to nearby destinations (25.2 percent of respondents), the operations of marinas (14.7 percent), and the development of traditional culture in hotels (10 percent), which, they underscored, could enrich Cyprus’ offering.

CTO Closes down Eight Offices

Washington Square, New York City

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In an effort to restructure its international operations and minimise running costs, Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) has taken the decision to shut down eight of its 22 overseas branches. Following continuous budget constraints, the organisation’s international promotion offices in Budapest, Brussels, Dublin, Helsinki, New York, Prague, Thessaloniki, and Vienna, ceased operations at the end of September. “It was an uncomfortable decision that we had to reach, due to budget constraints, in order to minimise running expenses. CTO, however, remains committed to maintaining the existing ties with its partners and retain strong presence in these markets,” explained Doros Georgiades, tourism official, CTO. Tasoula Manaridis, director, US, CTO, noted that the New York office has had a long history in the tourism industry and the team has forged many friendships and invaluable partnerships over the past two decades. OCTOBER 2013


MONTHLY NEWS Ayia Napa Secures TUI Event The TUI UK and Ireland Retail Conference is scheduled to be held in Ayia Napa on November 3 – 6. The news was announced by the town’s municipality, with the relevant statement stressing that the hosting of the event is an achievement of Yiannis Karousos, mayor, Ayia Napa, and the whole council’s tenacious and coordinated efforts. Attendees at the event will include over 1,000 travel agents who have the primary responsibility of selling TUI’s travel packages globally. Thus, through this conference, the host country is said to have the potential of setting a strong foundation for tourist arrivals growth.

Cooperation with Egypt Ioannis Kasoulides, minister of foreign affairs, Cyprus, held talks with Nabil Fahmi, minister of foreign affairs, Egypt, to discuss developments in Egypt, the Cyprus problem, bilateral relations in various fields with emphasis on the energy sector, the situation in Syria, the Middle East conflict, and other regional and international issues, including tourism exchange. After being briefed in detail by his Egyptian counterpart on the latest developments and the current situation in the country, Kasoulides reiterated Cyprus’ support to the Egyptian people on the path of the country’s democratisation. In turn, Fahmi thanked for Cyprus’ sincere support to Egypt and its people.

OCTOBER 2013

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easyJet Launches Liverpool – Larnaca Route easyJet has revealed details of its new summer 2014 schedule which includes direct flights between Larnaca and Liverpool. During the period between March 30 - June 15, 2014, the British carrier will offer over 58,000 flights to and from the UK, giving more than nine million passengers the opportunity to discover holiday hotspots and business hubs. The airline will operate from 11 UK airports to 340 des-

tinations and the newly introduced routes include London Gatwick – Bucharest, Manchester – Venice, London Stansted – Sofia, as well as Liverpool – Larnaca. Cath Lynn, group commercial director, easyJet, explained that when developing the flying schedule, many factors are considered, including customer feedback, to ensure that the airline is offering the right choice of flights at a great price.


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MONTHLY NEWS

Nautical

ms Noordam

Holland America Line Calls at Limassol

Holland America Line, a division of Carnival Corporation and member of World’s Leading Cruise Lines, is set to bring thousands of visitors to Cyprus this autumn. After closely monitoring the developing situation in Egypt, the BritishAmerican cruise line decided to replace calls at Port Said and Alexandria on several upcoming sailing with stops in Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Turkey. The 11-day ms Noordam itinerary departing on October 20 from Piraeus, Greece, will, for instance, take passengers to Haifa, Israel, and Limassol, while the 10-day ms Rotterdam itinerary, departing on October 31 and on November 20 from Piraeus will call in Kusadasi, Turkey, and Limassol.

Maritime Convention into Force The Cyprus Shipping Chamber (CSC) has announced that having already been ratified by the largest shipping nations, the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 entered into force on August 20. The principle is designed to ensure the widest possible acceptance and consensus among seafarers, shipowners, and governments, so that there is a substantial commitment to the principles of decent working conditions of seafarers on board ships and their fundamental rights. Cyprus is one of the first countries to have ratified the Maritime Labour Convention 2006, and with its entry into force, the state will be able to effectively exercise control over ships that fly its flag for ensuring compliance with the convention’s requirements.

Salamis Tours: Lower H1 Yields Salamis Tours, the Cyprus-based group whose principal activities focus on the management and operation of privately-owned ships, tourism, tour operating, customs clearance, and international transport, has announced its first half (H1) results registering a positive outcome. The company’s H1 loss attributable to shareholders amounts to EUR724,543, compared to a loss of EUR1.5 million in 2012. Salamis Tours’ turnover reached EUR13.2 million compared to EUR15.8 million in 2012, decreasing by 16 percent. In addition, the agency’s services, customs, and international operations sector plunged by 23 percent, while the tourism sector fell by 19 percent, and the sailing sector increased by EUR13,770.

OCTOBER 2013


MONTHLY NEWS

Tourists in Paphos

Tourist Arrivals Drop

OPAP 3X3 Streetball Challenge

Basketball Event Held in Protaras

OPAP 3X3 Streetball Challenge was successfully held by the Cyprus Basketball Federation in August, in honour of the late Olafur Rafnsson, former president, International Basketball Federation, Europe. The event was organised in front of Odessa Beach Hotel, Protaras, with separate competitions taking place during both days, while in the main component 30 teams participated and each winner received a prize. The courts set up for the event were overcrowded with people throughout the weekend, while the organisers renewed the appointment for 2014, promising to hold another OPAP 3x3 Streetball Challenge with even more surprises.

OCTOBER 2013

9

On the basis of results released by the Statistical Service of Cyprus, the influx of inbound tourists to the island reached 361,442 in July, compared to 371,453 in the respective month of 2012, thus recording a decrease of 2.7 percent. A sharp drop of 40 percent was recorded in arrivals from Germany, which totalled just 7,677 for the month under review, versus 12,785 in July 2012. Notably there was also a decline of 27 percent from Greece and a 6.5 percent fall from the UK. However, the statistics revealed an increase of 21.9 percent in tourist arrivals from Russia, with visitors rising to 96,641 in July, whereas in 2012, the monthly figure reached just 79,278. According to the data available, other markets which registered a yearon-year rise included France with 6.5 percent and Finland with 0.6 percent. For the period January – July, arrivals of tourists totalled 1,285,577 compared to 1,365,189 in the corresponding period of 2012, recording a decrease of 5.8 percent.

Top Kinisis Travel: H1 Revenue Decrease For the six months ended June 30, Top Kinisis Travel announced a decline in its total turnover, with figures indicating a slowdown of 23.91 percent, since total proceeds for the first half (H1) amounted to EUR13.3 million compared to EUR17.5 million of the same period in 2012. At the same time the company’s gross profit margin for H1 reached 8.41 percent compared to 8.4 percent, while, most notably, administration expenses were EUR927,216 in relation to EUR1.2 million, representing a decrease of 24.49 percent when compared to 2012. In spite of the reduction in turnover, the loss attributed to shareholders amounted to EUR116,564 compared to a loss of EUR132.888 for H1 2012 due to the reduction of operative costs. The company’s board of directors viewed the results of the period as satisfactory, having managed to contain the effects of the economic crisis, continue its development, and maintain its market position.


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MONTHLY NEWS

Accommodation

Golden Coast Beach Hotel

Lordos Hotels Reports Minimised Results for H1

Columbia Beach Resort Pissouri Receives Nomination Columbia Beach Resort Pissouri’s Bacchus Italian gourmet restaurant has been nominated by Time Out Eating Awards for the best hotel restaurant category. The prestigious awards, which will be presented for the ninth consecutive year, aim to enhance the quality of domestic gastronomy whilst honouring the worthy efforts of chefs and restaurateurs across the island. In order to be eligible for the accolade, each nominated restaurant must ensure high quality and show continuous improvement of

Earnings of Lordos Hotels for the first half (H1) of the year appear to have decreased, with the company’s turnover reducing by 8.5 percent to EUR3.2 million compared to 2012, due to general low demand. Administrative expenses have increased to EUR1.04 million, registering an increase of EUR13,448 since 2012, mainly due to higher depreciation, while other operating expenses were up by some EUR15,000, thanks to the significant increase in property tax. Moreover, financial expenses decreased by 22.7 percent primarily as a result of debt reduction. Finally, the loss before taxation increased by EUR143,199 to EUR864,638 and the loss after taxation surged by EUR138,374 to EUR865,118, due to the reduction in turnover.

The winners of the accolade will be awarded at a special ceremony in November its services. Criteria for the award include food quality, dish presentation, hygiene, atmosphere inside and outside the restaurant, the expediting of dishes, service excellence, wine list, and the relevance of product to price. The winners of the accolade will be awarded at a special ceremony in November.

Loucoullos Restaurant

Greek Flavours at Cleopatra Hotel

Cleopatra Hotel’s famed Loucoullos restaurant once again welcomed guests to striking outdoor settings during the summer season. Since its opening over 13 years ago, the restaurant has become a popular spot in the heart of Nicosia to indulge in authentic Greek cuisine and a wide variety of traditional meze dishes. The menu offers over 75 choices, including a fine selection of local Cypriot and Greek wines, and Ouzo. As Christiana Iacovidou, manager, Cleopatra Hotel, Nicosia, explained, during the summer months, guests can enjoy their lunch or dinner in an exclusive atmosphere, next to the swimming pool, reminiscent of the Greek islands, while for the colder months, Loucoullos is transferred to the hotel. OCTOBER 2013


Air

Cyprus Airways

Cyprus Airways’ Promotion Proves Huge Success

Cyprus Airways’ latest promotion, which ran in mid-July and which offered reduced fares by as much as 30 percent, received an overwhelmingly positive response from passengers, reaffirming the public’s trust in the company. Some 10,000 travellers will enjoy the same services for lower fees on the airline’s 15 popular routes, until the end of the year. Cyprus Airways remains committed to offering the best possible prices on all its routes to Europe and the Middle East, while, at the same time, the company also continues to implement all the necessary reforms that enable the airline to adapt to the changing environment and enhance its competitiveness.

MONTHLY NEWS EL AL Discusses Return to Cyprus

Tasos Mitsopoulos, minister of communications and works, Cyprus, held a recent meeting with a delegation of the Israeli national carrier, EL AL. In his statement following the event, Mitsopoulos stated that the airline is a very important partner for Cyprus, since 95 percent of its flights are conducted through Cyprus’ airspace. The meeting also included a discussion over the prospects for resuming EL AL’s operations from Tel Aviv to Larnaka International Airport. The carrier was established in 1948 as the national airline of Israel, which now serves some 45 destinations, operating scheduled domestic and international services and cargo flights to Europe, North America, Africa, and the Far East, from its main base in Ben Gurion International Airport.

Bulgaria

Bulgaria Air Enhances Online Check-in

Bulgaria Air has updated its online check-in service to include new improvements and enhance its scope, ensuring an even more comfortable travel experience. In addition to Sofia, Varna, and Burgas, the service is now also available for flights departing from London’s airports, and passengers are now able to modify and cancel their confirmed online registration on the airline’s official website, and easily reprint their boarding passes. Travellers can also select and book their seats in advance during the reservations process with their travel agents, at the airline’s offices, or by contacting the carrier’s customer support centre, making their travel with Bulgaria Air even more convenient and easy-to-manage.

OCTOBER 2013

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MONTHLY NEWS

Air

NIKI to Fly to Cyprus NIKI is to launch scheduled services between Larnaca and Vienna as of January 31, 2014, marking the German lowcost carrier’s debut in Cyprus. The new route between the Cypriot and Austrian capital cities will be operated twice a week, with an extra flight planned to be added to the timetable later in spring. Commenting on the entry of NIKI to the island, Wes Porter, CEO, Hermes Airports, said, “We welcome NIKI and are confident that the travelling public will be delighted with both the affordable prices and the high level of service provided, as well as with the multiple options for corresponding flights offered by their network via Vienna Airport.” The airline’s introductory flights to the island are set to further bolster visitor numbers not only from Austria but also from its neighbouring countries, while Cypriot travellers will enjoy yet another alternative to travel to major cities via Vienna.

Cyprus Airways Ticketing Offices Change Working Hours Cyprus Airways has announced new working hours for the airline’s ticketing offices in Nicosia and Limassol. During the summer period up until October 31, the offices will operate from Monday to Friday from 09:00 until 19:00, and on Saturday from 10:00 until 14:00, while during the winter period between November 1 and March 31, 2014, the offices will be open from Monday to Friday from 09:00 until 18:00 and on Saturday from 10:00 to 14:00. At Larnaka International Airport, the airline’s representation will be available every day from 05.30 until 12:00, while the call centre will operate from Monday to Friday from 08:00 until 00:00 and on weekends from 08:00 until 20:00.

Ryanair Q1 Profits Fall

Vienna

Ryanair

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Ryanair announced that profits for the first quarter (Q1) of the year fell 21 percent to EUR78 million, as traffic grew three percent to EUR23.2 million. In the meantime, fares fell four percent, however revenue per person rose one percent due to strong ancillary growth. Michael O’Leary, CEO, Ryanair, estimated that higher fuel costs and the timing of Easter led to the decline in Q1 profits, while he supported that ancillary revenues grew by 25 percent to EUR357 million driven by the successful development of reserved seating, priority boarding, and higher admin/ credit card fees. “We expect Q2 yields to rise despite [2012]’s challenging (post-Olympic) comparables […]. While we expect full year traffic to grow three percent to EUR81.5 million, we still have no visibility over next winter’s yields,” O’Leary concluded. OCTOBER 2013


TRAVEL CHANNELS

Greece: Tourism Revenues Up

T

According to data released by the Bank of Greece for the period between January – June, the country’s travel receipts increased by EUR503 million, or 17.8 percent, year-on-year.

hese results are attributable to the surge in arrivals by 12.3 percent, as well as the growth in per trip average expenditure by 4.9 percent. In addition, receipts from residents of countries outside what used to be the 27 European Union (EU) member countries, also known as EU27, rose by 36.3 percent and amounted to EUR1.36 million, while revenues by residents of EU27 reached EUR1.96 million, climbing 7.7 percent. In particular, proceeds from Germany increased by 17.8 percent and amounted to EUR542 million and from France by 30.7 percent reaching EUR256 million, while income from the UK plunged by 10.9 percent to EUR371 million. From countries outside EU27, increased receipts came from Russia by 42 percent amounting to EUR341 million and from the US by 25.4 percent rising to EUR186 million.

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University of Nicosia Offers Casino and Spa Management Courses Investing in innovation and entrepreneurship, the University of Nicosia has introduced special programmes in casino management and spa and wellness centre management as part of its new academic year curriculum. The latest direction in entrepreneurship and innovation focuses on providing advanced knowledge and skills enhancement, allowing research of ‘best business practices’ and the introduction of new thought and organisation models to domestic enterprises. The decision of the Cypriot government to license casino operations and the increasingly widespread health centres in luxury hotels and casino resorts, are said to be creating healthy employment prospects for graduates of the programmes. In order to house the new courses, the University of Nicosia has expanded its facilities, adding a 5500m2 building, also home to the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Santorini

Southern Mediterranean Europe: Continued Growth International tourist arrivals in Europe rose three percent to over 534 million in 2012, while earnings jumped to USD458 billion (EUR356 billion), representing 43 percent of the world’s total, as revealed in World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)’s UNWTO Tourism Highlights, 2013 Edition. The notable growth was led by central and Eastern European destinations, however

southern Mediterranean Europe also succeeded in consolidating the eight percent increase achieved in 2011, and posted a two percent improvement with Croatia, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey, recording above-the-average growth. In Cyprus, international arrivals reached 2.47 million, up three percent, while international tourism receipts totalled USD2.6 million (EUR1.9 billion), an increase of 0.6 percent.

Halki’s Famous Gardens to be Reopened by Neapolis University of Paphos The School of Architecture, Land and Environmental Science of the Neapolis University of Paphos, part of the Leptos Group Neapolis Smart EcoCity Project, has undertaken the task to landscape the gardens of the theological school of Halki, ahead of its upcoming reopening. Located on the islet of the same name in

OCTOBER 2013

Marmaras Bay, off the coast of the Turkish city, the school was established on October 1, 1844, and closed in 1971. Following a worldwide campaign to reinstate the site, the landscaping project, which is being led by Julia Georgi, professor, Landscape Architecture, Neapolis University of Paphos, began with the aim to provide a spiritual link between the contem-

porary landscaping of the gardens and their Byzantine heritage. Plantation, which has survived the 40 years of disuse, are being enhanced by landscaping, which includes a specific selection of plants and trees, chosen in accordance with their symbolic meaning in the scriptures and which are found in abundance in the Mediterranean.


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MONTHLY NEWS

International

Global Business Travel Spending to Reach USD1.12 Trillion

Global business travel spending is expected to continue its growth trend throughout this year and over the next few years, according to the latest installment of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Business Travel Index Outlook, Annual Global Report & Forecast, sponsored by Visa. By year-end, worldwide spending of this kind of travel is forecast to soar to USD1.12 trillion, marking a 5.4 percent increase over 2012, while a steady rise in the second half of the year is set to lay the foundation for an 8.2 percent improvement in 2014, followed by a 7.6 percent, 7.2 percent, and 7.1 percent growth in 2015, 2016, and 2017, respectively. GBTA’s report, which details travel spending in 75 countries, along with the top industries, economic factors, and characteristics that influence business travel, shows that developing markets around the world, particularly those in the Asia Pacific and Latin America regions, will permanently reshape the business travel landscape.

NAVIGATOR Maritime Conference in Greece The 12th edition of the NAVIGATOR Maritime Conference, one of the most widely recognised shipping events, is set to take place on November 20 at Athenaeum InterContinental Athens. Each year the event attracts more than 500 prominent experts of the Greek and international shipping community, to review, examine, and discuss critical and topical issues faced by the maritime industry. The conference, which is also attended by well-known and successful ship owners and shipping specialists, is widely covered in the Greek and international media and is supported by a range of shipping organisations and sponsored by prestigious maritime companies involved in various sectors of the shipping industry.

European Passenger Traffic up 1.8 Percent Overall passenger traffic at Europe’s airports registered an increase of 1.8 percent during the first six months of the year, according to a report released by Airports Council International (ACI) Europe. While passenger volumes at EU airports dropped 0.2 percent, non-EU airports led by Turkey, Russia, Iceland, and Norway, reported a dynamic growth of 9.8 percent. Meanwhile, overall freight traffic among European airports plummeted 0.9 percent, and aircraft movements decreased 2.9 percent. Commenting on the figures, Olivier Jankovec, director general, ACI Europe, highlighted that behind rather contrasted performance for the first half of the year, passenger traffic returned to the growth trajectory at EU airports, reflecting the improving economic sentiment across the Eurozone while freight traffic remains in recession.

London Heathrow

OCTOBER 2013


International

Transaero Airlines: Passenger Numbers Soar

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Grand Millennium Dubai Promoted in Moscow

Transaero Airlines has reported strong operational results for the first half of the year, demonstrating the company’s steady development and highlighting growth across all key performance indicators. During the six months under review, the Russian airline carried a total of 5,491,042 passengers, marking a 26.4 percent year-on-year increase, while revenue passenger kilometres increased to a total of 21.9 million, up 21.5 percent. Commenting on the positive results, Olga Pleshakova, CEO, Transaero Airlines, said, “We are satisfied with the results of our work and the achieved growth rates. The first half of the year saw such important developments as an active launch of flights on a wide route network from Moscow Vnukovo airport, as well as preparing the strategic partnership agreement with UTair Aviation. The prestigious awards received by the airline this year provide evidence of the high level of professionalism of all the company’s employees.”

Transaero Airlines

MONTHLY NEWS

Grand Millennium Dubai will once again showcased its upscale facilities and services to the Russian and CIS markets at Dubai Department of Tourism & Commence Marketing’s stand at the Luxury Leisure Moscow (LLM) show. Peter Mansourian, general manager, Grand Millennium Dubai, described Russia as one of the hotel’s key luxury tourism markets worldwide, adding that the primary objective behind participating in LLM was to create awareness about Grand Millennium Dubai among Russian travel operators, travel agents, high-end leisure travellers, and travel planners. “Being in the final stages of refurbishment of the entire apartment tower, Grand Millennium Dubai is wellplaced to accommodate luxury travellers and serve the unique needs of this exclusive segment,” he added.

King George, a Luxury Collection Hotel

The Luxury Collection Welcomes King George

OCTOBER 2013

Following three months of extensive renovations, the internationally-renowned King George hotel in Athens has joined Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide’s The Luxury Collection portfolio. Owned by Lampsa Hellenic Hotels, King George, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Athens, has been redesigned to appeal to a new generation of luxury travellers, offering discreet and personalised service. The hotel features 59 elegant guest rooms and 43 suites, boasting views of the city and the Acropolis, while the newly renovated ballroom can host up to 400 guests amid its neo-classical interiors. With the re-launch of the property, the company has further expanded its footprint in Greece, where it now operates 11 hotels and resorts, including eight under The Luxury Collection brand.


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WHO'S MOVED

ROB SHIPMAN Rob Shipman has returned to Thanos Hotels as executive chef; a role he is familiar with, having previously held the position at Almyra, following the launch of the hotel in 2004. Shipman rejoins Almyra, as well as sister hotel Annabelle, after six years with Hilton Hotels & Resorts in Japan, where he immersed himself in Japanese culture and cuisine. Originally from the UK, Shipman

began his career in high-end French restaurant Poissonerie De L’Avenue, London, where his love for cooking became clear and recognised. His thirst for knowledge, ambitious drive and passion for Japanese culture led him to ultimately work with Nobu as executive sous chef in London for five years, as well as Ubon by Nobu as head chef.

DEE FEY Dee Fey has been appointed spa manager at Almyra. With almost a decade in the spa industry and five years onboard luxury cruise liners she brings a wealth of experience to her new position. Having been a spa club director and aesthetician at Canyon Ranch SpaClub at Sea, onboard Oceania Cruises, and having served as ionithermie specialist at Steiner

Leisure onboard Carnival Cruise Lines, where she ran health and wellness seminars, Fey will head the hotel’s spa. She has a variety of qualifications, having attended courses on exercise and fitness knowledge, personal training, beauty therapy, and other specialised programmes such as ionithermie detoxification, crowd management, and foundation of leadership.

OCTOBER 2013


RENDEZVOUS

17

Q & A with Alecos Orountiotis While for the first half (H1) of the year, tourist arrivals in Cyprus plunged 5.8 percent year-on-year, the island is endeavouring to capitalise on its emerging markets while improve its offering with new projects and alliances, and Alecos Orountiotis, chairman, Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), is optimistic that 2014 will be a better year.

Travel Trade Cyprus: How was H1 in terms of tourist arrivals and what are the predictions for the remainder of the year?

Turkey, Malta, and Spain are all targeting Egypt’s potential visitors, with very competitive package prices, similar to those offered for Egypt.

Alecos Orountiotis: Τourist arrivals to Cyprus during the period January - July were estimated at 1,285,577, showing a 5.8 percent decrease compared to the already high 2012 figures. A number of markets have been registering losses including a nine percent loss from our main market, the UK, and a more than 33 percent reduction in the number of German tourists. Nevertheless, the significant increase of almost 24 percent in the number of Russian tourist arrivals, as well as a sizeable increase in the number of Ukrainian tourists has helped ameliorate the reductions from the other source markets. As a result, we expect that the number of arrivals will continue its recovery, hoping that the overall decrease for [this year] will be reduced even further to around four percent. Following the recent banking crisis and the uncertainty which ensued, bookings for Cyprus inevitably slowed down during March and April, a rather crucial period for any destination’s bookings, and we have since tried hard to recover. All our efforts currently concentrate on reducing losses and taking advantage of new opportunities and I can say that, despite all these detrimental conditions, the results have so far been satisfying.

Travel Trade Cyprus: How is the much anticipated casino resort expected to boost the country’s tourist product?

Travel Trade Cyprus: Which are the emerging markets for Cyprus for this winter season and will the island benefit from tourists redirected from North African countries, due to the current situation?

Alecos Orountiotis: The development of the casino is expected to further enrich the tourism experience and increase the average spending per capita at the destination. It is considered as a significant add-on for our tourist product, as well as for attracting tourists all year round. Besides enhancing the tourist product, a casino resort is expected to improve the image of Cyprus as a tourist destination, as well as to increase Cy-

Alecos Orountiotis: Cyprus expects the majority of its visitors this winter season from traditional markets such as the UK, Scandinavian markets, and Germany. However, the countries with the most promising dynamic are currently those of Russia and Ukraine. Cyprus offers a multidimensional experience, which alongside its pleasant winter weather can perfectly accommodate the needs of travellers wanting to avoid heavy winter conditions. The situation in Egypt has benefitted Cyprus, although at a lesser degree than some other destinations. The benefit is difficult to currently estimate or indeed measure. One has to keep in mind that the competition within our operating environment is very strong, and many other countries such as Greece,

OCTOBER 2013

Alecos Orountiotis Chairman, Cyprus Tourism Organisation

The countries with the most promising dynamic are currently those of Russia and Ukraine prus’ product competitiveness against major neighbouring competitors. The development of a casino resort as an infrastructure project is anticipated to attract higher initial investment and to create more jobs in the local economy, both at the phase of its construction and of its operation. Travel Trade Cyprus: What are the expectations for 2014 and what are CTO’s plans in order to cover this year’s lost ground? Alecos Orountiotis: Based on all current indications, Russia and Ukraine seem to maintain their dynamic well into 2014, while the UK is expected to stabilise or show a small increase. Despite the difficulties and the tough competitive environment, CTO continues to work on resolving issues such as those of accessibility, by attracting new airlines or by encouraging the introduction of new routes, in such a way as to expect an increase in the total number of arrivals for 2014, compared to those of [this year].


travel talk is your space

18

TRAVEL TALK EVGENIOS EVGENIOU

TASOS MITSOPOULOS

CEO, PwC Cyprus.

Minister of communications and works, Cyprus.

“This year, perhaps in 2014 too, the tourism sector as other sectors of the economy will be negatively affected by recent developments on the island, and the general downturn in the European economy. Nevertheless, tourism can offer a significant financial boost. To achieve this, Cyprus needs proper promotion as a tourist destination, the continuous enrichment of its tourist product, improving existing infrastructure and quality of services offered, and the exploitation of Internet. Within this framework is necessary to understand the opinion, requirements and preferences of tourists.”

“Shipping has a history and a tradition that few others can match and it remains today as relevant as it has always been. It might not have the glamorous consumer adverts and snazzy uniforms of the airline world and it might not get press publicity like rail, but the latest figures prove that shipping is worth more to the global economy than aviation and rail, meaning that the world economy cannot do without it, the European Union economy cannot do without it, and thus the Cyprus economy cannot do without it.”

NORA CSIGE

Petros Stratis

Co-founder, Antara Destination Spa & Resort.

Managing director, EasyConferences.

“[At] our grand opening […] we will also launch ‘The Symphony of Nature’, our grand collection of signature treatments. The four seasons, winter, spring, summer and fall, provided the inspiration for creating treatments that are unique, therapeutic, and deeply relaxing, keeping in mind that we, humans, also change season by season and our bodies’ needs change as well. Our name, Antara, means related, near, intimate and we believe that living in harmony with nature and respecting the periodicity of the seasons is essential for a harmonious existence.”

“I would like to specify that I do not believe in the creation of independent conference centres but in the development of conference centres that would also provide accommodation. For instance, I believe that instead of spending so much money on the refurbishment of the Philoxenia Conference Centre in Nicosia, they could have created something new with the above mentioned specs adjacent to the Hilton Cyprus. In addition, Hilton could build another 300 rooms and immediately create a fantastic product. Similar projects could be promoted in every city with the involvement of local business people and hoteliers.”

TRAVEL TALK IS YOUR SPACE – this is a casual forum for travel industry professionals to discuss current issues and share stories. We want to hear from you, so send your comments, questions, frustrations and observations to editorial@traveltradecyprus.travel OCTOBER 2013


RENDEZVOUS

19

Q & A with Nora Csige Hailed as the world’s first restorative spa palace, Antara Destination Spa & Resort is set to further cement Cyprus’ standing on the global stage, and, as Nora Csige, co-founder, Antara Destination Spa & Resort, points out, put the island on the map of the most demanding, high-end travellers.

Travel Trade Cyprus: What was the concept behind the creation of this tranquil haven? Nora Csige: I have been dreaming about a place, an idyllic paradise, where you can go not only to relax and revitalise, but also to find yourself. My interest in naturopathy and health started several years ago when I came to realise that if you want a real improvement to your health, you have to act upon it and most importantly, listen to your body and your instincts. Unfortunately, many of us have a hectic and toxic lifestyle, and we tend to stop only when our bodies scream for attention in the form of illnesses. Even if you are at this point, it is not too late to change your lifestyle; the body has amazing abilities to heal itself. Often, the solutions do not have to be invasive or complicated; natural remedies, nutritional therapy, relaxation, movement, stress management, and energy practices are potent enough to assist the body in restoring balance. I was inspired to create the concept of Antara; a serene sanctuary, a place where you can go to slow down and hide from the hassle of everyday life, to listen to your body’s needs, get back to your real self, and find such a level of well-being that you may never have experienced before.

service. First of all, Antara is a palace for the 21st century based on the noblest architectural traditions of Hellenistic culture, established in a majestic form. Antara satisfies the needs of the most exclusive travellers; having a limited number of suites, guests can even rent the entire resort to enjoy such level of privacy they cannot find elsewhere, not only in Cyprus, but in the region.

Nora Csige Co-founder, Antara Destination Spa & Resort

Travel Trade Cyprus: What makes the island the ideal location for such a luxurious yet intimate spa resort? Nora Csige: Cyprus is blessed with the highest number of sunny days in Europe, perfect climate and it is easily reached by most European countries and also by the Middle East, yet it is somewhat secluded. The acknowledgement that you are on an island gives you the impression of an escape from your everyday life; an escape from your bad habits, stressful days, and poor food choices. You can hardly find a better place if you are searching for unspoilt nature and unadulterated food. So the island’s resources provide the perfect background for relaxation and recuperation. Travel Trade Cyprus: What attributes distinguish Antara Destination Spa & Resort from other luxurious properties in Cyprus or elsewhere in the region? Nora Csige: Antara is unique due to several aspects: the palace, the retreats, the spa, and the level of

OCTOBER 2013

Antara is one of the first of the new generation of spas. These spas offer not only pampering and holistic treatments, but they aim at restoring the health of its guests and provide alternative health care services. Antara offers various holistic consultations and diagnostics that are the core of the retreat programmes, such as live blood analysis and iridology, to reveal the root cause of any health concerns that could then be treated through naturopathic treatments. A stay at Antara includes a helicopter or limo airport transfer on arrival, a personal butler, two spa treatments a day, naturopathic consultations, unlimited use of the spa and fitness facilities, unlimited participation in classes, workshops and sporting activities, and a private chef to prepare three à la carte wellness meals a day tailor-made, based on the guest’s well-being goals.

Guests can also indulge in a variety of amenities, such as a private cinema, two gourmet restaurants, a lounge bar, and an infinity pool. Travel Trade Cyprus: Please tell us about the resort’s most outstanding and noteworthy features and amenities. Nora Csige: A truly unique feature of Antara is that bespoke naturopathic retreat programmes are on offer, such as fertility balance, blood pressure balance, digestive balance [just to name a few]. During these programmes, that last from 10 days to 30 days, guests are provided with naturopathic consultations, two spa treatments per day, customised meals, yoga classes [and so on]. Thus, the main focus of the guests visit is to improve their health, achieve their health targets, and start on a journey of a healthier lifestyle with the help of Antara’s highly experienced and renowned health care practitioners. We invited several world-famous health experts to offer our guests specialist retreats throughout the year. These specialist retreats are truly one of a kind. For example, we will launch the first Naturopathic Dental Health Retreat late [this year] that aims at restoring oral health through nutritional therapy, naturopathy, and craniopathy. We invited a naturopathic doctor from the US who will provide NeuroCranial Restructuring treatments for our guests that aim at restoring the proper alignment of the facial structure. Travel Trade Cyprus: How will this one-of-a-kind property bolster the Cypriot tourism industry? Nora Csige: We hope to start a new chapter in Cyprus’ tourism; by offering a new concept and the highest possible level of services we aim at putting Cyprus on the map of the most demanding, high-end travellers. The Cypriot tourism sector has to realise that we have to carefully investigate and then offer what guests demand in the current highly competitive global tourism industry. Cyprus has the great advantage over crowded holiday destinations that it has several areas that are underdeveloped with lots of opportunities and potential, we just have to realise what is lying in front of us. Hopefully the region will attract more investors since development is the only way forward.


20

NEWS & EVENTS

Omirou Opened 33rd Lefkara Festival Yiannakis Omirou, president, House of Representatives, Cyprus, launched the 33rd Lefkara Festival, which has been established as the top institution for culture in Cyprus. The event was held in August at Lefkara, the countryside village famous for its handmade lace and silverware art. Omirou characterised the celebration as a true pioneering folk festival of national range, which transmits the message that Cypriots will never be alienated from their national and cultural roots, as they are determined to maintain unbreakable ties with their traditions, past, and history. “The Lefkara Festival is held in one of the most beautiful and historic parts of our country. Culture and artistic creation flourished in this land. Lefkara is a bright and shining jewel of Cypriot culture that emitted its glow around the world. As heirs of this opulent heritage, we are entitled to be proud,” Omirou stressed.

EVENTS Kypria International Festival Nicosia and Limassol, Cyprus, September 9 October 20, 2013 (www.kypria.org.cy) Throughout its 20-year history, the festival has aimed to present Cypriot as well as foreign artists and ensembles of international acclaim. Concert for the Cyprus Independence Day Strovolos, Cyprus, October 2, 2013 (www.cyso.org.cy) The Cyprus Symphony Orchestra will celebrate the Independence Day with a concert at the Strovolos Municipal Theatre.

Limassol Wine Festival Supported by CTO

Wine Festival

During the 52nd Limassol Wine Festival, which took place between August 29 – September 8 at the municipal gardens, Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) provided free transport on the weekends to the coastal city. Supporting the local tourism event, CTO offered up to two coaches from each district, accommodating around 110 people per province per day, while pre-booking was essential, at least two days prior to departure. Limassol Wine Festival is a revival of ancient festive manifestations of worship in honour of Dionysus, the god of vine and wine, and Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love.

Cyprus International Swimming Marathon Coming Up The Cyprus Swimming Federation has announced that the ninth Cyprus International Swimming Marathon is to take place between October 26 - 27 at the open sea area in front of the Famagusta Nautical Club, Limassol. The event will be conducted in accordance to open water swimming rules set by the Fédération Internationale de Natation, the international governing body of swimming, diving, water polo, synchronised swimming and open water swimming, while eligible to apply for the competition are men and women 14 years of age and older. The race includes a distance of 5km individual for men and women, as well as a 10km individual for men and women, while the course is a 1,250m long stretch. The Cyprus Swimming Federation was established in 1972 and is presently active in four out of the five disciplines, with synchronised swimming planned to be activated at a later stage.

Cyprus Symphony Orchestra

Concert for the Cyprus Independence Day Limassol, Cyprus, October 3, 2013 (www.cyso.org.cy) The Cyprus Symphony Orchestra will once again present a celebratory concert in Limassol. 38th Cyprus International Fair Nicosia, Cyprus, October 4 - 9, 2013 (www.csfa.org.cy) One of the major events on the island for businesses of all kinds and sizes. This year’s fair aims to give prominence to the opportunities which co-exist with the economic situation, so these options can be optimally utilised by businesses and the exhibitors. White Rocks X-Triathlon Governor’s Beach, Cyprus, October 13, 2013 (www.cyclingcy.com) The cross-triathlon event is open for everyone who enjoys swimming, biking and running, and men, women and mixed teams are also welcomed to participate. 6th International Cyprus Dragon Boat Festival Yermasoyia, Cyprus, October 20, 2013 The annual international race, organised by the Cyprus Dragon Boat Association, will be held at Yermasoyia Dam, Limassol.

OCTOBER 2013

Travel Trade Cyprus October 2013  

Travel Trade Cyprus, is the first and only Cyprus-based virtual, as well as hard copy, publication of its kind, which will be published mon...

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