The senior executive in charge of Melco Resorts and Entertainment Cyprus casino operations has suggested that the company’s new IR – due to open in 2021 – could help bring “an additional 300,000 tourists” annually to the country.
Craig Ballantyne, property president of the under-construction City of Dreams in Limassol, also proposed that the new resort will help offset the traditional dip in tourism demand experienced by Mediterranean destinations during the winter months.
“This ground-breaking project is expected to attract an additional 300,000 tourists on an annual basis thus, having a multiplying effect on the local economy,” he affirmed.
“We believe that the casino, as an alternative form of tourism, will assist in expanding the island’s tourism period thus fighting seasonality and establishing Cyprus as an all-year destination.”
According to the Cyprus’ Statistical Service, the number of inbound tourists to the island nation in the peak months of July, August and September 2018 was just over 2.12 million, compared to 695,472 in the low-season months of January, February and March.
Ballantyne also oversees Cyprus Casinos C2, a chain of smaller satellite venues.
C2 Ayia Napa opened its doors on 15 July, joining C2 Nicosia and C2 Larnaca which opened in December 2018, while a further satellite property is due to open by the end of the year in Paphos.
Under the terms of its monopoly gaming licence Melco Resorts is also entitled to run a temporary gaming venue – C2 Limassol – pending the launch of City of Dreams Mediterranean.