Exclusive Interview with Mr. Kostas Koumis

Cyprus Deputy Minister of Tourism

  • Publish date: Wednesday، 05 July 2023 Last update: Friday، 07 July 2023
Exclusive Interview with Mr. Kostas Koumis

UAE Moments caught up with Mr. Kostas Koumis, Cyprus Deputy Minister of Tourism, during his visit to the United Arab Emirates and heard plans for strengthening tourism from the GCC region to Cyprus. 

What is the Airline connectivity and Visa information for UAE Nationals/Residents?

For nationals/residents from the Middle East traveling to Cyprus, there are several airlines that provide direct connectivity between the two regions. The duration of the flights is about an average four to five hours. Major airlines operating flights to Cyprus include - Emirates, Qatar Airways, Wizz Air has announced flights connecting Larnaca from Abu Dhabi, Cyprus Airways has also started flights connecting from Dubai.

UAE nationals do not require a visa to visit Cyprus. UAE residents need to apply for their visa at the Cyprus visa application centre depending upon their nationality. Holders of valid multiple entry Schengen visa are allowed to travel to Cyprus. It is advisable to consult the official website of the Embassy or Consulate of Cyprus or contact the relevant immigration authorities for the latest visa regulations and requirements.

Have you seen, post Covid, recovery of Cyprus tourist arrivals and the number of tourist arrivals from the UAE to Cyprus specifically?

For the period of January – December 2022, arrivals of tourists totalled 3.2 million to 1.9 million in the corresponding period of 2021.  3.9 million arrivals in the period of January – December 2019 visited Cyprus. For a percentage of 61.9% of tourists, the purpose of their trip in December 2022 was holidays, for 27,4% visit to friends and relatives and for 10.4% business.

In 2022, Cyprus welcomed 21, 206 visitors from the UAE which was in par with the tourist arrival numbers pre-covid.

What are the top 3 reasons to travel to Cyprus from the Middle East  

There are several enticing reasons to travel to Cyprus from the Middle East. The combination of cultural richness, natural beauty, and warm hospitality make it a compelling destination for a memorable vacation. Below are the top three reasons that the traveller can choose Cyprus as a destination to travel.

  • Rich Cultural Heritage & Cuisine: Cyprus has a fascinating history and a diverse cultural heritage that dates back thousands of years. Travelers from the Middle East can explore ancient archaeological sites such as the Tombs of the Kings in Paphos or the ancient city of Kourion, which offer insights into the island's historical significance. Additionally, the charming villages and traditional Cypriot cuisine provide a unique cultural experience.
  • Beautiful Beaches and Natural Landscapes: Cyprus is renowned for its stunning beaches and picturesque landscapes. The island boasts crystal-clear waters, sandy shores, and rocky coves that are perfect for relaxation and water activities. Whether you want to sunbathe, swim, snorkel, or indulge in water sports, Cyprus offers a variety of coastal areas to suit your preferences. Furthermore, the Troodos Mountains in the interior provide opportunities for hiking, biking, and exploring beautiful nature trails.
  • Mediterranean Climate and Hospitality: Cyprus enjoys a Mediterranean climate with long, warm summers and mild winters, making it an ideal destination for year-round travel. The pleasant weather allows visitors from the Middle East to escape extreme temperatures and enjoy outdoor activities. Moreover, Cypriots are known for their warm hospitality and friendly nature, making travellers feel welcomed and comfortable during their stay. The island offers a range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to boutique hotels ensuring a memorable and relaxing experience.

What is the best time to visit Cyprus?

Cyprus can be visited all year around. However, the best time to visit Cyprus for a traveller from the Middle East would be during the shoulder seasons of spring (March to May/June) and autumn (September to November). During these months, the weather is pleasant with temperatures ranging from 20-30°C (68-86°F), making it comfortable for outdoor activities and exploring the island and the beaches.

What is the marketing strategy for this region to attract the travellers?

We will be focussing to introduce and promote MICE and family travel from this region.

During this official visit to the United Arab Emirates, we met and connected with various travel trade stakeholders like travel agents and airlines in Dubai to understand the current positioning of Cyprus and address any issues or challenges.

With airlines like Cyprus Airways and Wizz Air starting flights to Cyprus from United Arab Emirates, we aim to collaborate and work closely with the various airline partners connecting to Cyprus.

We plan to have strategic B2B and B2C activities in the market like joint partnerships with travel agents, organise destination workshops, familiarization trips, roadshows. We will focus on working with key influencers and media partners to visit Cyprus and showcase the attractions and experiences

as well as other key trade stakeholders to push the destination in the market through digital and social media engagements.

Travellers from Saudi Arabia are also important for us to attract and promote Cyprus. Middle East is a key region for the Cyprus Ministry of Tourism and we hope to welcome more travellers from this region to visit our country.

Follow us on our Whatsapp channel for latest news