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An extra 250,000 airline seats are being added for the coming winter tourism season, meaning a 20% increase in the number of arrivals between November and March. Although summer arrivals have reached record levels over the past two years with an estimated 3.6m expected by the end of the year, winter tourism has never been the strong suit of the island due to the lack of air connectivity in winter and hotels shutting down for the season.

But the situation has improved dramatically over the past three years, with more and more hotels staying open this coming season, spurred on by increased flights for the period.Cyprus Hotels Association Director General Zacharias Ioannides said the 250,000 extra seats, running at 70-80 per cent capacity per flight should result in an extra 100,000 visitors approximately or a 20% increase.

Two positive trends were noted, one was the number of hotels staying open, which would be around 50% this year, and the second was that an increasing number were opening a month earlier and closing a month later than usual, thus extending the season.Winter season ‘officially’ runs from November 1 to March 30 but the aim of the industry and tourism authorities is to extend the season as much as possible as Cyprus tries to become a year-round destination.



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