British High Commissioner Kidd says Brexit won’t affect tourism

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By Stelios Orphanides

British High Commissioner Matthew Kidd said he does not believe that Brexit will impact Cyprus’s commercial ties with the UK, including in the areas of tourism and trade, even as Cyprus is a country affected most by Brexit.

Kidd, who was commenting in Greek in an interview to state-radio CyBC on Monday, said that the exchange rate of sterling and the quality of services offered to tourists will be important.

“But Brexit itself will not impact tourism directly,” he said. “Also, commercial ties will depend on the performance of our economy. We believe that we have advantages which will allow us to successfully maintain (post-Brexit) business ties with the rest of the world and also Europe”.

The UK is Cyprus’s most important source of incoming tourism, sector that accounts directly or indirectly for roughly a quarter of the economy.

The British diplomat said that divorce negotiations which started this summer have produced progress in the area of the rights of EU citizens in the UK and Britons living in other member states and did not rule out further progress in other areas in the next rounds of discussion.

EU chief negotiator in the Brexit talks Michel Barnier said on Thursday that he hadn’t made decisive progress with his British counterpart David Davis adding that differences include the UK’s demand that it still has a say in the single market, the UK’s financial obligations after the divorce and whether the European Court of Justice can rule on matters concerning EU citizens in the UK.

Kidd said that despite a drop in the exchange rate of sterling following the June 2016 referendum in which British voters decided to leave the EU, there are no second thoughts on Brexit. Words like hard or soft Brexit are not important, he continued adding that while “the solution will be complicated and difficult, it can turn out positive both for us and the other countries. This is the common target”.

He also said that for students commencing their studies this and next year, the situation will remain unchanged and they will continue benefiting from the current tuition fees.

“The sector will remain very important and we will find a solution that will allow students from Cyprus and elsewhere to continue to feel that Britain is a suitable country to study in,” he said.

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Stelios Orphanides is a journalist at CyprusBusinessMail.com. To contact Stelios Orphanides: [email protected]

  • MAGCYP

    High Commissioner Kidd is peddling Tory propaganda. Of course Brexit will have a negative impact on Cyprus. You can’t breakaway from a close union of 40 years without repercussions.

    If the UK doesn’t pay its share of the divorce the remaining 27 will have to make up the short fall.

    If Sterling keeps falling which is a distinct possibility the cost of foreign holidays for British tourists in the Euro zone will increase and for some it may be unaffordable. The same poor exchange rate could impact those from the UK who were thinking about buying property in Cyprus and possibly relocating.

    This assumes that the UK is still in the EU Open Skies Agreement or has negotiated an alternative that has been accepted by all countries that are signed up to EU Open Skies Agreement. If they haven’t there will be no flights from the UK to Cyprus.

    If there is no trade deal, tariffs may be applied by the UK to Cyprus goods exported to the UK. Similarly UK goods imported into Cyprus may rise in value.

    Of course none of this may happen. Between now and April Fools Day 2019 sweetness and light could have descended upon the Brexit negotiators, the UK Government and the EU with little or no change to how this function now. And no one noticed that pig flying by.

    • Monica

      Who should we believe …. The High Commissioner ( with direct contact with the negotiating parties) … or …. ?????

      • Alexander Reuterswärd

        Monica, in this case its irrelevant what contacts he has. Its a guess (You might say that his guess should be more qualified but he has no clue how the negotiations will end).

        Cyprus like all other nations dependant on Tourism from the UK have to take action and work hard to attract tourism from other areas.

        To spread a message like this is harmful since it might make people confident that Cyprus dont need to take further action.

        • Monica

          To spread fear and unrest, whilst not knowing the outcome, is also harmful.
          Anyone who runs a business (including tourism) should be constantly trying to improve it’s trade.
          Brexit aside, who knows what other events might occur (natural or manmade) to affect it’s profitability ?

          • MAGCYP

            Monica,

            What the High Commissioner says in public is scripted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office which is controlled by the UK Government which is trying to portray an almost ‘business as usual, it will be alright on the night’ approach.

            This is not how the rest of Europe, the wider world and the Daily Express and Mail see it. The Cyprus Government will be receiving, like all the other 27 EU countries, regular briefings from the EU negotiators which given the leaks from the talks would indicate that they see it differently to what Commissioner Kidd has said in public.

            Given the importance to the Cyprus economy of British tourists I would be very surprised if Cyprus isn’t already preparing contingency plans as some of the other EU countries are doing as has been mentioned.

          • Monica

            I would hope they have been making contingency plans.
            By the way … I think you mean “all the other” 26 !!!

  • Soho-Knights

    Αs long as value for money and service with a smile is given Cyprus will be fine.

    • Pc

      Value for money will be highly dependent on the exchange rate. And from a tourism perspective that is moving in the wrong direction. And then there is the open-skies agreement, which can affect ticket prices. What Kidd says is waffle. If there is no impact, it will be because other tourists will make up for the shortfall.

      • gentlegiant161

        What will happen to open skies policy when UK is no longer in EU …?
        As for the rest of your comment I’m inclined to agree.

  • Alexander Reuterswärd

    Interesting that Spain is setting up special taskforce to attract more tourists from Germany, Holland, France and Italy due to Brexit thhat thhey are sure will affect the number of tourists from UK.

    • Monica

      That does not make them more profitable in the EU though.
      All they are doing is transferring cash from one member nation to another.
      It does not bring money into the EU … It just ‘swops it around’.

      • Alexander Reuterswärd

        it will be more competition to attract tourism from within the European union, and Cyprus must work hard to attract these groups to fill up the potential loss of tourism from the United kingdom.

        it has nothing to do with money from outside Europe, it’s about feeding Cypriot hotels with quality tourists or they go bust.

        • Monica

          Shuffling funds around an internal market does not supply profits though. It just re-distributes them.
          So without UK tourists they will be losing … unless they look to their Arab neighbours for visitors.

          • Alexander Reuterswärd

            countries in Europe that prepare and work to attract tourism will be profitable and their population will have better life’s than coun8that don’t work to improve their marketing and products. it is irrelevant where the money come from.

          • Monica

            It is not irrelevant.
            If Germans choose to holiday in Cyprus, rather than Spain … Spain loses out. The same for each of those in the internal market.
            Profit is made from outside the EU. Anything else is one member’s gain and another’s loss …. stale-mate.

          • Alexander Reuterswärd

            profits are made both inside and outside the European union, just like Cyprus is making profits from UK tourism right now.

            believe it or not, Europe is a group of independent nations with independent budgets.

          • Monica

            With the deficits in finances of Eastern & Med. countries they will still be begging for EU funds … and they are about to lose a good proportion of that.

          • Alexander Reuterswärd

            that a completely different area, and has nothing to do with tourism to Cyprus.

          • Monica

            As tourism keeps quite a few of those countries afloat, I think it is very relevant and inter-twined with the well-being of those nations.
            Projects funded by the EU and funds (due during bail-in/bail-outs) ….. to keep those nations in a reasonable condition for anyone wanting to visit ? Where does the EU get that cash, except from the coffers of their richer members ? … unless they keep printing it !

          • Alexander Reuterswärd

            I disagree 🙂 but hope you enjoy a sunny day in paradise

          • Arnt Otto Østlie

            Don’t bother Alexander, she just found an opportunity to mount her hobbyhorse again.
            Whatever, the High Commisioner is obviously “Kidding”.

          • gentlegiant161

            Madam Quixote with her M Thatcher headscarf tilting at windmills again…
            It’s pointless arguing with such fanatics they will only accept their words coming out of your mouth.
            Crazy.

          • Kittyliz

            Oh dear, oh dear Monica-the whole planet’s economies are about ‘shuffling funds around’ as you put it=Redistribution of wealth. Some countries get richer, others get poorer.
            Each country in the EU has its own stand-alone economy. This is why some borrow from others, and repay the lenders. The fact they they are in the eurozone makes diddly squat difference.
            Do try to remember also that the UK is STILL inside the EU-UK tourists’ money is also simply ‘shuffled around”.
            Profits are profits, whether paid in bananas, carob beans, pounds or euro.

  • cyprus observer

    And just how can he make such a comment! He is not is possession of all the facts, so it is therefore plain wreckless to make predictions like this.

    • Monica

      Would you prefer that neither side made comments ( as neither side has the full facts re. the outcome) ……..or should they make plans for any eventuality, as the UK are doing ?
      Rule nothing in and rule nothing out !

  • Muffin the Mule

    Cyprus will have to simply do more to attract tourists from within the EU itself. Easily done.

  • Douglas

    Brits love Cyprus and our love hate relationship has survived many years 🙂

  • Cydee

    Should’ve kept the C£pound.

  • martin

    all cy needs to do is reduce prices which are far to high.