Cyprus’s exposure to Thomas Cook’s failure was lessened in the past few years as leaders “foresaw its demise”.
The country’s deputy tourism minister, Savvas Perdios, said Cook’s UK business to Cyprus represented 4%.
“It’s small enough to give us the opportunity to make up those numbers, but hoteliers lost €25-30 million in unpaid dues from July to September.
“Obviously they are not going to get that back.
He added: “If Cyprus was exposed only 4% to Thomas Cook, it’s because we were wary over the last few years.
“The model of tour operating will always remain strong. But [companies] also need to make sure they’re diversified.”
Perdios insisted though a strategy to attract more visitors from beyond its biggest markets of the UK and Russia was unrelated to Cook’s demise.
“It’s not sustainable for the island to continue to only focus on two markets. There is so much to showcase,” he said.
“Obviously the UK is and will remain extremely important to us,” he added. “We’re not in the business of cutting off the hand that feeds us.”
“Within the UK market demographics there’s a lot of potential to attract people year-round.”
Perdios identified three main “markets” with “untapped potential”.
The first was “destination hoppers” – tourists from countries such as the US, Canada, Japan and Korea, who like to combine more than one destination.
Secondly, Perdios highlighted those looking for short breaks – typically visiting from eastern Europe, the Middle East and the Gulf.
His third category was the over-50s, who would come from central, western and northern Europe.
Cyprus saw 4 million arrivals last year and this year will be “more or less the same”.
“Our growth over the last three years has been 50%. For us it’s not a negative that we’ve stayed stable,” said Perdios.
“It could have been worse if you look at everything that’s happened this year.”
He added the fastest growing market for Cyprus was Israel.
Elsewhere, Cyprus is working on a new brand name and design, to better represent its tourism proposition – a move away from simply advertising its beach offering.