Ayia Napa Mayor and chairman of Famagusta Tourism Development and Promotion Board chairman Yiannis Karousos onWednesday said he was optimistic Russian tourists would favour the district this summer.
Speaking soon after his return from the 21st Moscow International Travel & Tourism Exhibition, Karousos said: "We were pessimistic going in (because of the Russia-Ukraine-Crimea crisis) but we returned optimistic."
He had attended the event with Paralimni Mayor Theodoros Pyrillis.
Karousos continued that the main obstacle was the depreciation of the rouble by 30%: "Luckily though, our hotels made the right provisions to counter the possibility of reductions in reservations as well as for the possibility of an increase."
He said the free Famagusta representation had given emphasis to north-west Moscow which has a population of one million and with which Karousos' predecessor, the late Antonis Tsokkos, had signed an agreement of cooperation.
This cooperation includes working together on cultural events such as the Ayia Napa International Festival in September.
The tourism board will brief Ayia Napa and Protaras hoteliers, including the operators of two new hotels in Ayia Napa, about the developments shortly and discuss future efforts with them, Karousos said.
He also said that one of the largest Russian travel agencies had made it clear the ball was in the court of Cypriot hotels. This particularly applied to the prices hotels were offering during a lengthened tourism season stretching to November.
Karousos said the anticipated 60,000-80,000 tourists from Ukraine were not expected to shrink in number too significantly adding that, as long as geo-political conditions were maintained along with stability in both Russia and Cyprus, prospects for the summer were good.