Holidaymakers return to Cyprus

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

Cyprus has been in the news recently as the focus for the fallout of the banking crisis continues to shift, and the island saw a 43% fall in bookings during March due to the bad publicity the ‘bank tax’ had delivered.

That month withdrawal limits were imposed at some ATMs and card payments were restricted. In addition, the savings of many people on the island were placed under threat, so it was perhaps no surprise that many potential visitors opted to stay away.

However, the tide seems to have turned and confidence has returned for British holidaymakers, as one tour operator, Sovereign Luxury Travel, has reported a 100% rise in bookings.

Steph Pritchard, the company’s managing director, said: “We’ve seen a real turnaround for Cyprus and bookings have really picked up. This can be attributed in part to some really alluring offers in the market.”

With May and early June widely held to be the ideal time of year to visit the island, a number of tour operators and travel agents are offering discounts of 30% on various packages.

Sovereign has cut the cost of a break for a family of four by more than £1,800, down from a previous price of £6,179, staying for a week at the five-star Le Meridien Limassol Spa & Resort.

Digging around for deals on flights and hotels is a great way to save money before you jet off abroad. You can also stay on top of your budget whilst overseas by taking a prepaid card.

“Banks are open and functioning normally, there are no withdrawal limits from UK bank accounts, and businesses are accepting cash and card payment,” said Maria Whiteman, CEO of Directline Holidays.

“Hotels, restaurants, bars and attractions are open for business as usual and Cyprus remains one of our most popular holiday hotspots,” she continued.

Although the worst of the trouble seems to be over, anyone visiting the southern half of the island is advised to arm themselves with a range of payment options, including sufficient cash.

Visitors to the north of the island need not worry, as the local currency there is the Turkish lira and the area has been unaffected by the recent turmoil.

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