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CTO leads high-powered travel trade delegation to increase regional awareness of island’s charm
With more and more travellers from the Middle East choosing Cyprus as their preferred destination for leisure and incentive travel, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation is leading a high-powered delegation of travel industry professionals to the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, to further increase awareness of the charms of the island paradise.
The xx-strong delegation led by Cyprus Tourism Organisation Board Member Alexis Saveriades include representatives of leading hotels and resorts, tour operators and DMCs including: Azia Resort & Spa, Hilton Cyprus, Korona Tours & Travel, Le Meridien Limassol Spa & Resort, Leptos Calypso Hotels Public Ltd, Lordos Beach Hotel, Lordos Hotels (Holdings) Ltd, Palm Beach Hotel & Bungalows and Stademos Hotels Plc.
Tourists from the Middle East form an increasingly significant segment of the 2.4 million tourists who visited Cyprus last year, with the UAE and Lebanon being the largest source countries. According to figures released by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, tourists from the UAE stayed an average of 7.7 days on the island last year, where they spent about AED 3,555 per head.
The island’s reputation as a safe, all-weather destination for the entire family is an important deciding factor for tourists from the Middle East. Not too far away from most regional cities, rapidly improving air links have also facilitated the growth in tourism, which increased 10.1% overall last year.
Additional attractions drawing Middle Eastern visitors to Cyprus include the proliferation of top-class hotels, eco-friendlly blue-flag beaches, a plethora of historical sites of archeological interest and a friendly and welcoming local populace. With many of the more traditional holiday spots in the region getting affected by regional tensions, Cyprus’ political stability and reputation enhance its position as a preferred destination.
“The countries of the GCC and the wider Middle East have immense potential as drivers of tourism growth to Cyprus,” said Vassilis Theocharides, Director of Cyprus Tourism Organisation’s Middle East and Arabian Gulf Office. “We are looking to further increase awareness in the region about the advantages of Cyprus as an all-season destination at this year’s Arabian Travel Market and thus further increase the inflow of tourists from the region. “
Cyprus is just a short haul flight away from most Arab cities and the island, though small in size, is big in variety, offering a range of climate types in close proximity that are extremely easy to access. The history and culture of the island’s ancient civilization is an even greater plus point.