17 April 2014 17:14

The financial crisis may have a strong hold on Cyprus but it appears more people than last year will be using the Easter break to go on holiday.
Easter 2013 came soon after the Eurogroup's deposit haircut decision that scarred the landscape prompting shell-shocked Cypriots to cancel flights and other travel plans.
This year, many seem to be making the most of special packages created by the Association of Cyprus Tourist Enterprises (Stek) and  Cyprus Hotel Association (Pasyxe).
When it comes to overseas travel, Greece remains the most popular destination. As well as the regular flights to Athens and Thessaloniki being full, charter flights taking travellers to Corfu and Mytilene are also full to capacity.
President of the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (ACTA) Victor Mantovani said: "People need to travel, to escape the negative mood blighting society and we are pleased to see that some Cypriots are preparing to spend Easter overseas."
When it comes to holidays closer to home, the figures are disappointing. Stek general director Chrisemily Psilogeni Kenevezou noted: "Capacity in the run up to Easter is between 50-65% and lower or at best the same as last year's levels, which is not satisfactory."
She said Easter occurring earlier in the year - April instead of May like last year - may be playing a role in spite of both the Western and Eastern Easter falling on the same day this year.
Psilogeni Kenevezou said early indications showed a drop in arrivals from traditional markets such as the UK, Germany and Scandinavia.
"We have more expectations from the Russian market which is known for its last minute bookings," she said, adding the political crisis in the Ukraine and the depreciation of the rouble also played a role.
She said expectations from the Russian market for the summer were reserved for these reasons.
Pasyxe director Zacharias Ioannides said a higher flow of visitors from the UK was expected as well as from Eastern Europe along with the start of flights from Russia. He added it was still too soon for a full picture of what summer will bring.


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