Cyprus and Hermes Airports signed an agreement today aimed at boosting the number of tourists by offering incentives to airlines, said Efthymios Flourentzos, minister of communications and works.
“The incentives aim at boosting tourist numbers mainly from new markets through reduced passenger fees,” Flourentzos told reporters in Nicosia today. “We intend to put these incentives immediately into force. Passenger fees are considered too high, mainly by low-cost airlines”.
Airlines can benefit from three incentive plans; one covers new destinations, another the winter season and a third is designed for airlines that intend using Cyprus’s airports for at least five years, the minister said. The cut in passenger fees will depend on the extra passengers carried, he added.
Nicolas Shacolas, honorary life chairman of Hermes Airports, said the incentives could help increase tourist arrivals “by more than 400,000” next year. Directly or indirectly, tourism makes up a quarter of Cyprus’s economy, the euro area’s third-smallest.
In the 11 months to November this year, 2,326,889 tourists visited Cyprus, compared to 2,111,798 last year, government statistics show.
Hermes Airports operates the island’s two international airports at Paphos and Larnaca.