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9.6 percent rise in Middle East tourists taking Cyprus holidays

  • 09-May-10 09:44
  • Cyprus
  • Holiday News

The number of travellers from the Middle East taking Cyprus holidays has increased by 9.6 per cent during the first three months of 2010 compared to the same period last year and numbers are expected to increase further.

9.6 percent rise in Middle East tourists taking Cyprus holidays

A recent announcement was made at the Arabian Travel Market by the Minister of Trade, Commerce and Tourism for Cyprus, Antonis Paschalides, who said that a $150 million tourism development project with Qatar is expected to see a large increase in travellers from the Middle East enjoying Cyprus holidays.

Paschalides said:

"For the last so many years we have been witnessing a 10 per cent growth in tourists arrival, but last year it declined by 10 per cent because of global economic crisis. Cyprus economy is very strong, but we affected indirectly because of our big customers UK and Russia."

The tourism sector of Cyprus accounts for 11 percent of the island's gross domestic product and 2009 saw approximately €1.4 billion generated in revenue. He added:

"We are expecting a small increase in this number. It is expected that tourism arrivals to Cyprus from the Middle East to surpass 50,000 this year."

The increase in Middle East travellers booking holidays in Cyprus and boost in tourism will be welcomed by local businesses and Cyprus hotels. The proposed joint venture will see the development of the state-owned land in Nicosia which is situated opposite the Hilton Hotel. Cyprus government will provide the land for the new complex to be built upon and Qatar's Diar Real Estate will invest $150 million in to the property project.

Both Qatar and Cyprus will own a 50 per cent share in the 55,000 square-metre tourism complex which will feature residential villas and apartments, a five-star luxury hotel, business and office space, and retail space, and is expected to attract visitors from all over the world. Director of Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) Middle East & Arabian Gulf Office, Vassilis Theocharides, highlighted the region as a tourism destination in a bid to encourage more Middle East visitors to take Cyprus holidays.

He said:

"Even if you've been to Cyprus before, there's always a new world to discover. Cyprus lies at the crossroads of three continents, where East meets West and a new experience awaits the visitor under the sun every day. Where Championship Golf courses, inviting beaches, and breathtaking mountain trails lie around luxurious hotels and the cuisine is among the finest in the world".

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