Cypriot tourism is heavily dependent on several giant tour operators who will determine the fate of the sector after defeating coronaviruses.
In recent years, about 60% of tourists visit Cyprus with travel packages provided by travel organizers. In particular, TUI, JET2, Easy Jet and Biblio-Globus attract the largest number of tourists from the UK and Russia.
The coronavirus crisis forced tour operators to cancel travel packages and suspend operations. Despite the positive feedback on the finances of these companies, their requested loans and the announced layoffs of employees seem to indicate the exact opposite.
There is no doubt that all tour operators are currently aiming for the winter of this year and the summer of 2021. No travel organizer can predict the exact time when a pandemic will be in control, or when airports will open. Therefore, their main task is to provide as much liquidity as possible.
Any movement of a giant tour operator directly affects tourism in Cyprus. TUI was on the verge of bankruptcy and received a loan of 1.8 billion euros from the German federal government.
After the crash in September of Thomas Cook’s main rival, TUI management hastened to take advantage of this situation and expanded the total number of travel packages to Cyprus. The message sent to hoteliers in Cyprus in March was that it would strengthen the company’s role in the Cyprus market, attracting more tourists.
However, the coronavirus pandemic has changed everything, and the suspension of flights, which attract more than 600,000 tourists annually, means that everything went wrong.
The newcomer easyJet Holidays, whose goal was to grab a piece of the collapsed British pie Thomas Cook, is also in turmoil.
The coronavirus crisis is a big blow for a company that would enter the organized travel market for the first time this year. easyJet is facing serious liquidity problems.
As for JET2, the company has already announced that it will cease operations until June 17 and that the main focus will be on the winter of 2020 and the following year – 2021.
The game on the Russian market is somewhat different. Biblio-Globus has always taken a different approach, but at the moment there is no clear picture of the Russian market.
However, it is known that hoteliers did not receive booking requests from Russia, and this is no longer a positive sign.
What is even more uncertain is that Moscow is very secretive about the situation with coronavirus in this region.