NICOSIA, March 9 (Xinhua) -- March is a "write-off" for tourism with no serious chance of recovering due to the spread of COVID-19 , Haris Loizides, the president of the Cyprus Hotel Association said on Monday.
Loizides made his statement after meeting with Bank of Cyprus CEO Panicos Nicolaou and other bank executives, to make an assessment of the situation and examine what could be done to ameliorate the situation.
"March reservations had been seriously affected by developments and this month is essentially a write-off ...We think the month does not have any serious chance of recovering," said Loizides.
The Tourism and Travel sector contributed 21.9 percent to Cyprus' GDP in 2019, and according to deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios, it has the potential of increasing its share in the Cypriot economy to 25 percent.
However, hoteliers and tourism agents pin their hopes on the next months when temperatures will rise considerably.
"Once the 'flu season' was over, the situation might be more manageable," Loizides said, but he refused to be dragged into speculating into specifics about future bookings.
Cyprus on Monday confirmed its first two cases of COVID-19, a health professional who returned from Britain recently, and a 25-year old man who traveled to northern Italy.