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ACTA chairman: Travel from Israel to be restored in one month

Travel traffic to and from Cyprus is expected to show a slight decrease this year compared to 2023 due to the ongoing war in Israel, President of the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (ACTA) Charis Papacharalambous has said.

Addressing a press conference to mark the Association's 70th anniversary, Papacharalambous said that from next month, travel traffic from Israel to Cyprus is expected to approach the levels of 2023, while trips from Cyprus to Israel will take more time to reach the levels of last year.

Regarding Cypriots’ trips abroad during the Easter holidays, the Association’s Vice Chairman Christos Christou said that bookings are selling out, with Cypriots’ favourite destination for Easter being Greece and in particular the island of Corfu, while European destinations such as Paris are also showing an upward trend.

As regards bookings for the summer holidays, Christou said that holiday packages are already available on the tour operators’ websites and bookings have started.

The President of the Association said that TRAVEL EXPO CYPRUS 2024 which will be held in the third week of April will offer attractive packages.

The year 2023, he said, was a record year for travels, and saw an increase of 5% compared to 2019. He attributed the increase to the fact that 2023 followed a two-year period of travel restrictions due to the pandemic and the imposed lockdowns. Greece, he said, is the favourite destination of Cypriots with one third of trips going to Greece, followed by the United Kingdom with 10%-12%, while other European destinations are also gaining ground, mainly cities with direct flights.

He said that there is a trend this year with travellers preferring to book with travel agents. He noted that there are several factors that can cause losses to the travellers, such as airline or airport strikes, flight delays and cancellations due to weather conditions, adding that travellers will not suffer damages if they purchase their trips from travel agents.

Papacharalambous noted that the tourism product of Cyprus must continuously be upgraded in a targeted manner, so as to be able to compete with neighbouring countries, such as Turkey, Greece, Egypt. He spoke about the rise in the cruise sector, while winter tourism and alternative tourism need to be further developed.

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