The 2014 travel season was extremely difficult for Cyprus. The island went through financial losses, saw the flag-carrying airline Cyprus Airways leaving the market after almost 70 years of service. The inbound tourist flow to Cyprus added very modest 1.5%. Two countries are responsible for this growth and for keeping Cyprus's travel market afloat - Russia, Israel.
Despite pessimistic expectations, there were 4.6% more Russian tourists on the island compared to 2013. The total number reached 637 thousand arrivals. Even though the overall tourist flow had decreased, the revenue from tourism was the best over the past 10 years - the sector earned 2,08 billion.
The island's Minister for Tourism, Mr. George Lakkotripis, is deeply concerned with the drop in the demand, especially from Russia. In October 2014, the flow of Russian visitors went 29.3% down, in November it lost 25.2%, and yet another 12.5% in December. This trend is likely to remain throughout the current year. Luckily in January 2015, the downturn was just 0.8%. However, reports the Minister, there's a decision to carry out various promotional projects aimed at the demand stimulation in cooperation with Russian tour operators.
Yury Mishchenko, graduated from Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages, has more than 15 years experience in tourism and travel. Working both in tour operator company as destination manager, and in travel agency as sales manager, he is focused on analysis of Russian tour operators’ daily routine. Recently, Yury works in Baginet Marketing and Sales Agency.