About 20 percent of all residents who are staying in licensed accommodation establishments in Cyprus are local residents - either Cypriots or non-Cypriots. This statistic is depicted from the CTO figures for 2012 which are showing that a total of 509,000 stayed in hotels and tourism establishments in the government-controlled areas. It also corresponds to 1.09 million overnight stays in licensed tourism establishments of the total 14.6 million overnight stays by Cypriots and tourists.
On average, Cyprus residents stay for 2.1 days in local hotels compared to the 6.7 days averaged by foreign tourists. Cypriots' share of the total overnight stays in hotels is 7.5% of the total number of overnight stays.
Out of 509,000 arrivals in local hotels by Cyprus residents, 344,000 take place between April and October which corresponds to 836,000 overnight stays or 77% of total overnight stays by residents of Cyprus. CTO director general Marios Hannides told The Cyprus Weekly efforts are constantly made to further boost domestic tourism on a year-round basis as a way for Cyprus residents to get to know and discover the island, to boost local economies and create jobs for Cypriots.
"These efforts to further enhance domestic tourism throughout the year concern promoting alternative forms of tourism such as the Short Escapes project which gives Cyprus residents, Cypriots and non-Cypriots, the change to visit various noteworthy sites in Cyprus accompanied by a tour guide," Hannides said.
"The alternative forms of tourism include the wine routes, diving tourism, cycling routes, and nature trails giving local residents the opportunity to know and explore their home country and to support local economies which if developed they promote Cypriot products and create much-needed new jobs for Cypriots," he added.
The aim of the CTO is to encourage Cyprus residents to become familiar with the island and come closer to the history, culture and traditions of local communities.
"According to a recent European study, out of Europe's 283 natural habitats, 83 are in Cyprus. Through these unique offers, Cyprus residents have the chance to discover and explore Cyprus' unique beauties worldwide," Hannides said.
"Value-for-money Agrotourism also offers unique high quality accommodation and experiences at low prices in traditionally renovated establishments in Cyprus' countryside and villages and gives Cyprus residents and tourists the chance to know the life, culture and history of local villages like the fact that a Paphos wine is as old as 2,000 years," Hannides said.