In January 2020, Airbnb's were officially allowed to operate in Cyprus, giving tourists an alternate mode of accommodation on the island in addition to hotels and hotel apartments. Airbnb's catered to the younger more adventurous set, looking for a more personalized experience of what the island could offer.
And although hotel companies expressed their concerns about unfair competition, the move allowed Cyprus' tourism sector to develop with the times, adapting to the needs of a new wave of tourists looking for the Cyprus experience.
In the latest effort to upgrade the tourist infrastructure of Cyprus and move with the times, companies on the island are now offering 2 additional types of accommodation - hostels and glamping, something that is new for our tourism sector but thriving in other countries.
One of the things the pandemic has brought to the fore is the need for privacy and social distancing, but most especially after lockdowns, the need to be in the great outdoors. As a result, glamping, or glamourous camping, has become a popular way to holiday. Companies that offer glamping holidays provide luxury camps that can offer tourists a way to relax and rejuvenate while surrounded by nature
The glamping trend is getting more popular worldwide. And the time has come for Cyprus to offer it to tourists as well. Soon, a bill is expected to be submitted to the Plenary Session of Parliament regulating the operation of luxury camps. The bill describes Glamping luxury camps as fenced land areas with facilities that are located outside residential areas providing guests with a luxurious camping experience with or without food.
The luxury camps have arranged spaces in which various types and sizes of camping equipment are placed, such as themed tents, treehouses, or "frame and tented cabins", environmentally friendly and in harmony with nature. Proprietors will also need a license to operate.
Moreover, a number of services will be provided such as free high-speed Wi-Fi which will cover the entire camp area, as well as Jacuzzis. Each camping accommodation will be equipped with beds, linen, indoor and outdoor seating, a dining table, a cupboard, and a hammock. They will also have air conditioning and heating, electricity, hot and cold water supply, a sink and a refrigerator. Some may also have an outdoor gym with various fitness equipment which can be in the form of an arena compatible with the environment. In addition, there will be those that will offer an outdoor barbecue area and food storage. The services also include the operation of a restaurant category leisure center with indoor and outdoor customer service, with shared toilets and auxiliary spaces (kitchen, warehouses, staff locker rooms).
Visitors will have the opportunity to do activities such as nature walks, horse riding, cycling, visits to farms, museums, workshops for processing agricultural products, etc.
Before the start of the summer holidays, a draft law on the Regulation of the Establishment and Operation of Hostels is expected to be brought before the plenary session of the Parliament. This will provide a more economical option for younger visitors. The draft law will establish the minimum requirements for hostels to be able to operate as such.
Hostels should be housed in a stand-alone building or part of a building and provide temporary accommodation under a rental agreement per bed. Technical specifications include reception areas with 24-hour telephone access, a seating area, a dining area for dining and other activities with easy access to the shared kitchen. They must also have sofas and chairs for at least 30% of the accommodation capacity, tables, TV, mobile charging points and vending machines for food and beverages. In addition, the capacity of the bedrooms is defined from one to twelve beds while in the rooms there may be separate bathrooms and kitchens.
In the common areas but also in the bedrooms there should also be adequate natural or artificial lighting, air conditioning and / or ceiling fans, hot water supply 24 hours a day, free high speed internet access (Wi-Fi) in the common areas and in the bedrooms, and at least one computer.
[This article was translated from its Greek original]