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30 May, 2024
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Sustainability is the name of the game

Cyprus tourism is moving towards a new strategy of sustainability and long-term viability

Maria Eracleous

Maria Eracleous

Deputy Ministry of Tourism intends to chart a new tourism course, with new Deputy Minister Kostas Koumis aiming to develop a tourism strategy with a 2035 completion date. As he explained to "K," it is essentially a marriage of the best elements of the Spanish strategy (THR Asesores en Turismo Hotelera y Recreación S.A.) and the previous National Strategy prepared during the previous Deputy Minister Savvas Perdiou's tenure. He went on to say that the new strategy will take into account the new major projects that are coming to Cyprus and are expected to have a significant tourism footprint, as well as include and analyze specific types of tourism, and will, of course, emphasize issues of long-term viability and sustainability in tourism.

They begin with research

The project will transition from theory to practice in the coming days, beginning with a review of existing texts. Mr. Koumis explained that, while he is aware of the content of the Spanish strategy, he has no knowledge of the second one so far because its content is not - in its entirety - accessible to the general public. The summer season is also thought to be beneficial for the development of this new approach because it is a period of peak tourism, which can provide useful data for the content of the new strategy.

Open to the general public

What is clear is that the new strategy is intended to be open and accessible to the general public in order to convey messages to the tourism community. It was important to disseminate the information, as the Deputy Minister stated at the most recent tourism conference. "Alas, if the findings of any study cannot be transferred to the tourism community in order for the community itself to improve." The Deputy Minister also clarifies his intention not to conduct an open tender for the new strategy, but to conduct the process internally in the Deputy Ministry.

Priority is given to sustainability

The new strategy and the Deputy Ministry's actions will prioritize long-term viability and sustainability in tourism. Costas Koumis stated that a decision has already been made within the Ministry of State to create an interdepartmental committee that deals with sustainable development and long-term viability and to promote this direction in actions and projects. "We believe that it is critical and extremely beneficial for each department to be aware of developments pertaining to sustainable development and that each department should be prepared to present its proposals pertaining to sustainable development."

Perdio's Strategy

The announcement of the new tourism strategy comes just a few months after the previous one was approved by the Environmental Authority (the opinion was given in November 2022). Its available content highlights the vision to develop Cyprus in a sustainable way, to establish it as a year-round destination, and to promote it as a quality, digitally smart and environmentally friendly destination. Among the ten-year targets set shortly after the establishment of the Ministry of State in 2020, was to increase overnight stays by around 32% to reach around 48 million by 2030, which translates into a 31% increase in tourist arrivals (5 million ) The need for good management and efforts to mitigate the problem of seasonality and over-concentration in certain areas is stressed, so that more areas can benefit from the socio-economic impetus of tourism, while at the same time ensuring that the natural resources of areas with high tourist numbers are not stretched to the limit. The measurable objectives of the 2030 Strategy include tourism revenues so that an additional €1.5 billion will be transferred to the Cypriot economy through tourism. This represents a 53% increase compared to the contribution of €2.9 billion to the economy in 2018. The target for the daily expenditure per tourist was an increase of 16% in 2030 ( around 90 euros). Regarding the issue of seasonality, the target was as 40% of overnight stays were distributed in the period November - April, from 22% in 2018, while overnight stays in mountainous areas and other rural villages increased from 100 thousand in 2018 to 400 thousand in 2030.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

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