The political turbulence in the Eastern Mediterranean dealt a severe blow to the cruise industry in Cyprus. Since 2010, the country has lost about 85% of recorded cruise ship tourists. The negative figures are gradually changing since interest in cruising vacations has come back. Agreements have been signed on common theme packages with neighbouring countries. Many investors are currently keen to get active in the sector.
The messages received by Cyprus' Deputy Ministry of Tourism refer to growing interest in cruise ships arriving in the region within the next 2 to 3 years. Last year, 31 cruise vessels arrived at Cypriot ports with a total of 61,745 passengers, while more than 60 cruise ships were recorded this year.
The estimation is that over 100 cruise ships will be anchored at ports in Cyprus by the end of 2020. In other words, their number has multiplied within 3 years and that is why concerted action is taken to re-energize the interest in the cruise sector by both tourists and investors.
At the same time, the Deputy Ministry of Shipping is interested in attracting cruise ships to Cyprus and is preparing to open a tender for the anticipated Cyprus-Greece ferry link, provided that the project gets the green light from the EC (European Commission).
The Deputy Ministry differentiated registration fees that in the past were not competitive when it came to passenger ships. This has led to a rise in the registration of cruise ships under the Cypriot flag.
The Deputy Ministry of Tourism’s 3 set goals includes promoting Cyprus as a country attracting international cruise companies, developing voyages whose starting point is Cyprus as well as attracting more tourists via Fly, Cruise & Stay.
The long term plan is to seek to develop a specialized Branding strategy for the country as a cruise destination.