The Russia-Ukraine conflict is having a major impact on Cyprus, the small island nation in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, according to Africanews, the multilingual news media service headquartered in Lyon, France.

The island, which is 2,300 kilometers south of Moscow and which has long been a favorite holiday destination of both Russians and Ukrainians, has lost around 600 million euros ($626 million) so far this year because of travel bans and other factors. The sum is even more significant when considered in the context of the island’s $28 billion annual gross domestic product.

Haris Loizides, board president of the Cyprus Hotel Association, said: “There are hotels, especially in the Famagusta area, Ayia Napa, and Protaras, which are suffering mostly because they had the extensive contracts with tour operators from Russia. And they are facing huge difficulties at the moment.”

Loizides said the European Union’s ban on Russian flights using its airspace is the main reason Russians are no longer traveling to the resort island, which is one of the closest Mediterranean holiday destinations to Russia.

Loizides said around one fifth of all tourists to Cyprus in 2019 were from Russian and Ukraine.

He said hotel operators are now trying to lure Russians via nations that allow Russian flights, including Serbia, Georgia, and Israel.

“We are maintaining close cooperation with Russian clients and exploring possibilities of getting them into Cyprus through points in Europe or outside Europe, which are not affected by the sanctions,” he said.

Cyprus is also trying to make up for the fall in revenue by attracting more visitors from other places. The island, which had no direct flights from France two years ago, now has 20 each week. Germany and Scandinavian countries have also ramped up their number of direct flights.

And Cyprus’s deputy minister for tourism, Savvas Perdios, said the new markets will be good for Cyprus because travelers from them spend more than visitors from Russia.

“The per person expenditure per day is lower from Russia than for many other markets,” Perdios said, with Russians spending around 60 euros a day and others spending 90.

But the Agence France-Presse news service said the 800,000 Russian and Ukrainian vacationers that headed to Cyprus each year before the conflict began will be hard to replace.

Vassos Xidias, owner of a seafood restaurant on Ayia Napa harbor, told it his revenue has plummeted by 50 percent this year.

“Now, we’ll see how much this will be covered by the European market and others,” he said. “It’s the gamble that we’re waiting to see over the next four months.”

Travel experts have said other destinations popular with Russians, including Cuba, Egypt, Turkey, and Thailand, have also seen far fewer visitors this year and resulting falls in revenue.

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