Paphos hoteliers expect occupancies to hover at just 15% in September and with only a trickle of new reservations coming in, are considering closing in autumn, the president of the Paphos branch of the Cyprus Hotels Association Thanos Michaelides told the Cyprus News Agency on Wednesday.
The tourism sector has taken a pummeling from the coronavirus pandemic, and despite some respite from locals over the busy August holidays, prospects for the usually lucrative autumn months look bleak.
Michaelides said hoteliers expect average occupancy in September to be around 15%. They are now mulling whether to remain open throughout the month and in October.
Unless there is a change with the UK market, a number of hotels in the Paphos district are expected to close from October. This means that hotels that would normally have stayed open over winter will close until April next year.
Paphos hoteliers are waiting to see whether Tui – that starts flights to Cyprus tomorrow — can bring in tourists in September. Initial indications are not encouraging, CNA said.
As regards the summer, Michaelides said occupancy levels ranged between 20% to 30%, fueled primarily by locals. But the market is too small to generate substantial numbers, he said.
He spoke to CNA a day after Paphos hoteliers met to review the situation and discuss prospects for September and October.
He said there was concern because countries change classification, creating problems in tourist arrivals.
Hotels that traditionally remained open in the winter relied on high occupancies to cover costs as prices are low. If occupancies are not high, then hotels will not be in a position to cover operating costs, he said.