A serious situation for Cypris makes tourism even more crucial, writes Lucy Huxley

We’re used to seeing news stories during December touting bookies’ odds for a white Christmas, but seeing the same headlines relating to a white Easter takes some getting used to.

For outbound destinations that offer a break from the 
Arctic temperatures in the UK, the cold snap couldn’t have come at a better time.

And for those agents whose businesses have been unaffected by the snow and ice, the cold weather has certainly given a timely sales story to secure a late-break booking or nudge a wavering customer for a guaranteed dose of summer sun.

One of the destinations desperate to secure bookings is Cyprus, a long-time favourite of British holidaymakers but now experiencing troubled times (pages 5 & 10).

Cyprus isn’t alone in facing a financial experience, of course. Last year, Greece was in the line of fire as customers wondered how civil unrest in Athens and a possible exit from the euro might impact their holiday in the Aegean or the eastern Mediterranean.

Even Spain has had to counter stories about increased tourist taxes and restless populations as austerity bites.

There is no point pretending the economic situation in Europe isn’t serious, and Cyprus faces severe repercussions in the coming years.

But the events of the past couple of weeks serve only to make tourism even more crucial to the island’s future.

Cyprus’s banks may have lost their appeal. But its beaches, mountains and tourism facilities, which welcome hundreds of thousands of British guests every year, are open for business.