CYPRUS holidays may be over for the rest of 2020, according to locals.
Hotels in holiday hotspot Ayia Napa warns that the rest of the tourist reason has been “written off” as UK tourists fail to return in time for the summer.
Brits are yet to return to Cyprus with flights resuming from August 1.
However, UK tourism is important for Cyprus with Brits flocking to the party resort every summer.
According to local media, the Cyprus Hotel Association said: “2020 can be written off as far as tourism is concerned, particularly in the Famagusta area, where hotels are suffering the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the consequences of travel restrictions.”
While hotels were able to open again from June 4, having been closed since March, many have failed to see the return of guests while others have remained closed.
Ayia Napa is now a ghost town, of which it hasn’t seen such low tourist numbers in decades.
Some tourists have returned, but Brits and Russians, the biggest markets, have not.
Lakis Avramides, manager of the Ayia Napa and Protaras tourism board, told local media: “It’s difficult to say exactly how many hotels are open because the situation is changing day to day, but right now about 50-55 out of 200 hotels are open.”
While Brits will be able to return from next month, tour operators such as Jet2 and TUI have said they will not allow holidays unless the UK is moved from category B from category A.
Category B requires a negative coronavirus test taken 72 hours before travel, while category A requires no testing or checks.
Angelos Nicolaou who owns Nelia Gardens in Ayia Napa, said: “Our main markets are Britain and Russia, they account for about 80 per cent. Brits will supposedly come from August 1, but I see this as unlikely – who will go through all the hassle?”
Bars are also opening at just 10-20 per cent capacity – with resorts now relying on domestic tourism until international tourists return in full.
Similar problems are being faced in Greece and Spain.
While Spanish resorts are seeing full beaches and tourists returning, other parts such as Ibiza remain empty as Brits fail to return.
Greece has also failed to attract similar tourist numbers compared to last year following the return of UK tourists last week.