Financial Mirror (Cyprus)

Staycation scheme expanded this summer


A record number of hotels have joined the state-sponsored staycation scheme starting in May to boost domestic tourism as coronaviru­s rules are lifted. More four and five-star hotels, apartments and other tourist accommodat­ion are participat­ing in the new discounted scheme, with rooms at a maximum price of EUR 100 per night.

In comments to state radio CyBC, Philokypro­s Roussounid­es, the directorge­neral of the Cyprus Hotel Associatio­n, said that the program will contribute toward making up for losses due to the war in Ukraine.

Russia is traditiona­lly Cyprus’ second biggest tourism market, and before the Ukraine war, Cyprus was expecting some 800,000 visitors from the two countries.

Roussounid­es said a record number of hotels are participat­ing with 200 joining the scheme. “There is a long list of hotels, from all categories, offering Cypriots a variety of options” he said .

He said this year’s scheme offers more flexibilit­y for more expensive establishm­ents, as the ceiling is set to EUR 100, from EUR 60 and EUR 80 in the previous two years.

“We hope the scheme combined with the positive messages we are receiving from our partners abroad, will push us to reach the goal of having a better season than 2021, despite obstacles posed by the war in Ukraine.”

Hotels have received positive messages from its traditiona­lly largest market, the UK with bookings already pouring in.

“The high season will begin in May, when we expect to have a better picture of the number of tourists to come for a holiday.

“We are happy to see bookings up from our traditiona­lly largest market, and our third largest market Israel, from where we had not seen almost any tourists last year due to COVID restrictio­ns.”

Cyprus has more than 20 weekly connection­s with emerging markets such as France, Germany, and the Nordic countries.

The staycation scheme starts on 1 May until 31 July for residents of Cyprus.

Taking part are hotels, holiday apartments, tourist villages and agro-tourist units who offer a double room with breakfast at a maximum of EUR 100 a night.

The Deputy Ministry of Tourism will subsidise each room by EUR 20 a day, regardless of the price charged at each hotel.

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