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Second homes boost visitor numbers despite overall drop in bookings for Cyprus holidays

Visitor numbers to Cyprus have remained at a steady level, despite an overall drop in sales of holidays in Cyprus from around the world and one of the main reasons is thought to be the boom in sales of second homes in the country.

Over 50% of visitors to Cyprus each year come from the UK, attracted by the cheap holidays in Ayia Napa and other popular resorts. There has been a rise in visitors to Cyprus from the UK in 2006.

Online travel agency, www.freedomdirect.co.uk has identified an increase in flight-only bookings for Cyprus this season. This supports the theory that larger numbers of people, especially families, are travelling to Cyprus to stay in second homes.

The Cypriot property market looks very positive at the moment with investors wanting to cash in on the boost to the economy expected with the adoption of the Euro in 2008.

Over the last 12 months Freedom Direct has noticed a trend towards holidaymakers, especially families, increasingly booking their whole holiday packages together – rather than only flights or hotels, which was the initial trend when online travel booking became widely available.

Cyprus bucks this trend more than other countries with flights to Cyprus being booked more often than hotels in Cyprus.

Germany sends the second largest group of holidaymakers to Cyprus and there has been a 30% drop in visitors from Germany to Cyprus over the last 12 months. This could partly be due to the World Cup, with Germans having been reluctant to miss out on the festival atmosphere generated by the tournament.

There are regular flights to Larnaca from airports all around the UK, including the London airports, Manchester, East Midlands, Glasgow and Birmingham.

The most popular resorts in Cyprus are Ayia Napa, Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos. Ayia Napa which is one of the most famous party resorts in the Mediterranean along with Ibiza Town and Faliraki, continues to draw large numbers of group bookings of under-30s, attracted by the nightlife and cheap accommodation.

Property group Assetz predicts a decrease in interest rates when the Euro is adopted in Cyprus in 2008, making borrowing cheaper and further strengthening the property market.

Nielsen statistics show that holiday bookings made in the UK have been down 9% overall so far this summer – with holidays in Egypt and Turkey defying the general trend and enjoying increases of 3% each.

Online travel agency, www.freedomdirect.co.uk offers holidaymakers the option of booking holiday packages, or separate flights and hotels to build their ideal holiday.



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