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Cyprus Travel Agents disagree with survey ...

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Cyprus Travel Agents disagree with survey ...

Postby Gasman » Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:36 am

High prices are hurting tourism

THE MAIN complaint by tourists who come to Cyprus is that the high prices are not reflected in quality and services, travel agents warned yesterday.

The Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (ACTA) also called for the radical restructuring of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) so that it becomes more effective.

“The main complaint we receive from our visitors is that our prices do not reflect the quality and services on offer,” said ACTA chairman Victor Mantovani during the organisation’s AGM. “Anyone who thinks they will achieve an increase in their profits with unreasonable prices is mistaken and unfortunately they not only hurt their own pocket but our country in general.”

Mantovani said ACTA disagreed with a recent survey that found Cyprus to be the cheapest tourist destination.

Cyprus topped the list of cheapest places to holiday in a survey by Skyscanner, which took into account the cost of visiting the country and flights.

“What is the excuse? The higher rent rates at Phinikoudes (Larnaca seafront) compared to Oxford Street?” Mantovani said.

The ACTA chief also took a shot at airport operator Hermes for its charges.

“Unfortunately the rates charged by Hermes to the users of the new airport are deemed very high, a fact that is certain to deal a further blow to the already hurt competitiveness of our tourist product,” Mantovani said.

He reiterated the need for the radical restructuring of the CTO into two organizations – one handling administrative and legal issues and the other dealing exclusively with drafting strategies and promoting tourism.

“At the moment our tourism is like a sail boat in the middle of the ocean without wind and without a compass. The result: stagnation,” Mantovani said.

“Tourism needs vision, proper planning and coordination and guidance. Things that the CTO is not in a position to offer in its current bureaucratic form,” Mantovani said.

CTO chairman Alecos Orountiotis suggested there will be change within the organisation and appeared optimistic over tourist arrivals this year.

He said one should not remain fixated on specific ways of action but “readjust and broaden our actions.”

“At the CTO we have adjusted our promotional actions depending on the features and the conditions of every market, considering the wider economy.”

The head of the CTO said that despite the difficulties, there has been an increase in arrivals in May by almost five per cent.

“This sends positive and optimistic messages, arming us with more strength and insistence to continue the efforts,” Orountiotis said.
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Postby Raymanoff » Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:50 am

OMG, this is the first time i hear about this problem... Hermes overcharging? oh nooo.... are you seriarse?
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Postby Get Real! » Sun Jun 20, 2010 1:32 am

Has Mantovani been to the remaining countries in the survey and researched complaints from there? I very much doubt it!

The problem is the mistaken perception that just because Cyprus was cheap in the 80s & 90s she should remain cheap …but joining the EU meant that her overheads have gone up to meet EU rules & regulations so tourists should stop comparing Cyprus to holiday destinations of Arab countries and the like!

More and more is being demanded by the EU in every aspect of life… ie:

Building a hotel in the 80s & 90s was a matter of a bunch of guys arriving at the building site in their flip-flops and just hammering away to get the carpentry up, but these days you gotta pay for site safety technicians for a couple of months first who have to build a perimeter safety wall, install nets, add signs, etc. So who is going to pay for this new huge overhead for every new building?

I finished building my house in 2008 and by 2009 about 10 additional pages of new electric-related regulation was in force… ie: All aluminium doors and windows must now be grounded! The EU doesn’t care that nobody in Cyprus’ many decades of using aluminium doors, windows & shutters has ever had such an accident, and they simply impose fines for failing to comply!

So who is going to pay the additional $1,000 odd overhead p/house for the electrician to comply with this new law?

And we haven’t even started yet… there is new legislation that touches every aspect of life including transport, air safety, foodstuff, liquor, etc.

In a nutshell all those tourists and foreigners living here, who were complaining all these years that such and such in Cyprus is bad and so forth have finally had their wish come true because “progress” in well and truly on its way but they’ve now gotta pay for it, so dig deep and quit complaining!
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Postby Gasman » Sun Jun 20, 2010 8:32 am

I agree with all that regarding the EU and their rules and regs GR.

This survey was to do with people's 'perception' of how expensive places were. Sterling going down the crapper has more to do with the 'perception' Brits have of how expensive it is here. Most of them now refer to the Euro prices as 'pounds' - 10euro = £10 sterling (they wouldn't do that if it was still 1.4 euro to the £).

But they used to do the same with the Cyp £ prices too! Managing to convince themselves that stuff was actually cheaper than it was - £10Cyp = £10 sterling. No wonder they think things in Cyprus 'have gone up' a lot.

It should have been pretty obvious really that, once in the EU club, the cost of just about everything would keep rising to match the costs in the other member countries. Not just food and drink, but petrol, water rates, electricity, income and other taxes. And that they would get a huge influx of people from other 'EU countries' (some they might never have thought of as being 'EU') coming here hoping to better themselves because things were so bad in their country of origin.

Re the Aluminium windows - they just stopped using them in the UK where I lived. In the mid 90s I tried to get some to match existing ones and couldn't. Countless numbers of small hotels, guest houses and B&Bs down in the West Country had to close because they could not afford to comply with the myriad rules and extreme fire and safety regs.

I could give examples of utterly ridiculous nitpicking regs being applied strictly where it seemed ridiculous to do so. Just one example was that 'childminders' looking after other people's children in their own homes (and charging hourly rates much lower than business nurseries), had to comply with the same hygiene requirements as cafes did. No washing machine in the kitchen, two separate sinks, insistence on a lot of properly kept financial records etc.

The only way round the food hygiene stuff was not to feed the kids cooked meals and get their parents to provide packed snack food. I believe they relaxed this one after a great outcry. But the immediate result was that a lot of them deregistered and went back to doing it 'unofficially', counter productive to the aim of keeping them registered and able to be checked upon.
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