On the surface it would seem like nothing’s happened but look beneath and there are serious fears for the future in Cyprus.
The recent bailout conditions have almost certainly destroyed the island’s future as a financial centre and the clumsy way the exercise has been handled is feared to have damaged the island’s number two income provider; tourism.
Drive the island’s roads at the moment and there are plenty of the red plates signifying Cyprus hire cars
out on the roads and the hotels and apartment complexes, whilst not bulging at the seams, are at least showing a better picture than over the last few years. Look ahead though and the picture isn’t so rosy.
Part of the problem has been the way the problem has been reported around the world and in particular in the UK. Expatriates are reporting worried phone calls from family back in the UK asking if they have enough money to survive, enough food and whether they’ve been caught up in the rioting. Nightly news reports focusing on the small pockets of dissent are translating in people’s minds as island-wide civil war with no cash and no food but the story portrayed couldn’t be further from the truth. Outside of the capital, there has been little disturbance from the norm and the restrictions on the movement of money are being got around in the typically Cypriot way.
The result of the exaggerated reporting has seen a tail off in bookings for the rest of the summer and a flurry of phone calls to tour operators wondering whether it’s safe to travel to the country.
Cyprus is really no different to what it was a few weeks back, the sun still shines, the mezes are just as filling and delicious and the wine and beer just as refreshing. The people, realising the importance of tourism are pushing the boundaries of hospitality still further and those willing to ignore the hyperbole are in for a fabulous holiday this summer.
Don’t just restrict your holiday ideas to summer either for the sun shines long and strong into November and after the shortest winter in years, temperatures through February and March have exceeded 20C on most days.
Instead of helping Cyprus through the EU bailout, visit the Island of Love and you’ll find Cyprus will love you more than ever!