Cyprus offering agents specialist programmes

Theocharides... offering agent programmes

2011 HAS been a strong year for tourism in Cyprus with arrivals into the country until September up by 12.5 per cent compared to 2010. The main increase came from Russia with a 51 per cent increase and a total of 288,440 tourists. The UK, which is the largest market, had an increase of 1.6 per cent with a total of 851,600 arrivals until September.

The Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region too witnessed a strong year with arrivals increasing by 20 per cent to 55,490, says Vassilis Theocharides, the director of the Cyprus Tourist Organisation (CTO) Middle East & Arabian Gulf office.  This was largely due to the UAE (21 per cent) and Lebanon (38 per cent), which were not affected by political turmoil in the region.

2012 will be a key year for Cyprus, when it will assume the European Union. “Our strategy will shift to focus on our key markets and make sure we continue pushing for special interest activities such as Mice and weddings in our region. We have also launched our exclusive Middle Eastern e-learning portal at This allows agents to become certified professional Cyprus specialists,” he says.

“We are also offer marketing assistance up to 75 per cent for any operator or agent who wants to sell Cyprus. We can also offer marketing assistance for companies willing to launch charter flights.  Besides, we have a special programme for Mice agents with incentives including cash back and free transfers,” he added.

“Cyprus can be summed up as a ideal short-haul destination from most parts of the Levant, which offers fantastic beaches, stunning nature, culture and history and is very safe. For the Gulf market which is more diversified it’s a Mediterranean escape and particularly popular for the Mice market,” adds Theocharides.