Cypriot officials said on Wednesday that they expect to welcome the return of British and Russian tourists in July of this year.
Tourism accounts for some 13 percent of the income from goods and services in Cyprus, with nearly four million tourists visiting the southern Aegean island in 2019. However, officials expect only 30 percent of the usual number of tourist visits in 2020.
“The hit is massive and we are trying to do our best now, and do what we can for the remainder of the season. We have worked extremely hard to keep the virus in check here,” Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios told the Reuters news agency.
Cyprus itself has emerged relatively unscathed by the coronavirus pandemic. It has reported only 17 fatalities caused by the virus, along with fewer than 950 cases of confirmed infections.
Plans call for the reopening of Cyprus to tourists from Germany, Greece and Israel on June 9. Central European travelers are expected to return to Cyprus on June 20.
“For our important markets, like the UK, Russia and Sweden, I expect in early July the situation (there) will allow their travel to Cyprus. I am quite optimistic about that,” Perdios said.
Great Britain and Russia alone normally account for 55 percent of arrivals to the island nation.