Cyprus this summer topped the EU hotel occupancy list with 79.2% of the country’s hotels and other tourism accommodation being used in June.
The heartening figure was revealed in the most recent European Commission Eurostat information available on ‘Occupancy Rates in Hotels and Similar Establishments’ released this week.
However, the number was 1.8% down on occupancy rates in June 2012.
For the six-month period January-June 2013, meanwhile, occupancy in Cyprus was at 51.7% compared to 53.8% the previous year but still the highest occupancy rate in the bloc.
Commenting on the figures to the press, Cyprus Hotel Association Director General Zacharias Ioannides said that the summer months had seen a satisfying level of occupancy but that the start of the winter period had seen many hotels close their doors for the season.
He said that recent open skies agreements with Russia could regenerate interest in visiting Cyprus and give some hotels an incentive to stay open.
For this to be achieved, Ioannides said, airline and travel company support was imperative.
Phidias Karis, the general secretary of the Cyprus Association of Tourist Enterprises (STEK) noted that many EU countries also on the list were not seaside holiday destinations.
He said: “It is fortunate that we have tourists in the summer because we have a problem during the winter months.”
Karis also said that the loosening of visa restrictions for Russian tourists would do a great deal towards helping attract more winter visitors, adding he hoped other former soviet countries would follow suit along with neighbours such as Israel.
Other EU countries that enjoyed high occupancy rates in June this year included Malta (73%), Greece (69.5%), Spain (59.8%) and the UK (56.3%).
The lowest percentages were endured by Slovakia (29%) and Romania (32.8%)
Overall the EU’s hotels and hotel accommodation were 50.6% full on average in June, a 1.4% increase on the previous year.