Sixteen football teams from Russia are flying to Cyprus to take part in their country’s national football league tournament, giving Cyprus tourism a head start for the year.
The Russian Football Federation has assigned the tournament to Larnaca-based Tecoma Services Ltd, an experienced travel agency drawing football and other sports events into Cyprus during the winter season.
The tournament itself will include 32 matches which will take place in Larnaca in February 14-23, specifically at the stadiums of GSZ, Ammochostos, and Dasaki Achnas. The final game will take place on February 23 and will be broadcasted live on Russian television and the internet.
The travel agency is expected to draw a big crowd, as football teams from Russia often travel in family packs. The agent also has its own hotel reservations online system and plenty of experience in organising sports and other specialised tourism events.
Sports tourism has been high on the agenda at the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) which has been trying to boost inbound tourism with better targeted promotional efforts.
Cyprus is favoured as a training destination in football, cycling, swimming, and running, but it is facing strong competition from nearby countries.
Russia has been giving signals it would pull back on sending tourists to Turkey, following strained diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Cyprus has received Russian tourists who have changed holiday plans following the downing of a passenger plane in Sinai on October 31 last year, killing all 224 people on board, most of them tourists returning home from the Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh.
Source: In Cyprus