PtD: The tourism sector of highest priority in the last decade

In the last decade, the Government has placed the tourism sector as the highest priority for the development of the country, said the President of the Republic Nikos Anastasiadis in his speech at the 44th Cyprus Hotel Summit and Exhibition, organized by PASYXE.

“I am convinced that the tourism industry is able to further strengthen its competitive advantages in order to meet the growing challenges and demands of the market,” he said.

The President said that he considers it necessary to ensure a bright future for Cypriot tourism to ensure the continuation of the successful tourism policy and the smooth implementation of the National Tourism Strategy 2020-2030 and in the following years.

He praised the Deputy Minister of Tourism for the action he demonstrated, the foresight and the well-thought-out plans which, with the support of both the Ministry of Transport, but also particularly the Ministry of Finance, made successful the implementation of a strategy whose results are tangible and have contributed important in the development of tourism.

“As a guarantee for success, I also consider ensuring the good cooperation of the state with the private sector, without which what I mentioned above would not be possible”, he noted.

The President further referred to correct policies, followed by Cyprus and managed in the last decade to achieve historic performances in the tourism sector, with a significant increase in the sector’s contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, the improvement of the level of well-being of the population, the creation jobs and other important benefits for many other sectors of the economy.

He referred to the policies, which were, as he said, the result of the State’s consultation with PASYXE and the private sector, such as the Incentive Plan for airlines to strengthen air connectivity and increase passenger traffic, the provision of urban planning incentives, the routing of large tourist development projects, the open space policy since November 2013, the employee training plans, the conclusion of cooperation agreements with large foreign travel organizers and others and the modernization of the regulatory framework governing the licensing and operation of tourism businesses, with the aim of further upgrading and competitiveness of the sector.

“The culmination of the policies implemented by the Government was the creation of the Deputy Ministry of Tourism, which was a historically important reform for our country. Within the first four years of its operation, the Deputy Ministry has designed and is implementing a comprehensive tourism policy for the country through the National Tourism Strategy 2020-2030,” he said.

He noted that at the same time, even in times of crisis such as the pandemic, the Government generously supported businesses and workers in the tourism and hotel industry, thereby allowing the gradual recovery of the sector from 2021 onwards.

He noted that the Deputy Ministry of Tourism is now entering the second stage of the implementation of the National Tourism Strategy 2020-2030. Already a large number of actions, included in the plan for implementation for the period 2020-2022, have been completed or are at an advanced stage.

“The vision of the Government through the National Strategy is to increase the contribution of tourism to the GDP and to further improve the standard of living of our society”

He also added that the goal is the geographically balanced distribution of the benefits from tourism throughout the territory of the free Cyprus, with the development of areas that have not yet been developed for tourism, such as rural areas, mountainous communities and rugged areas .

Despite all the adversities, he added, the performance for 2022 confirms the correctness of the Government’s policies.

At 87% the increase in revenues from tourism until the end of the year

The President noted that tourism arrivals and revenues are expected to rise by the end of this year to 80% and 87%, respectively, compared to the historical performance of 2019.

“However, the most positive element for the country’s tourism sector is the increased daily spending due to the purchasing power of visitors coming from EU countries, which have significantly upgraded their share of total arrivals, and the significant flow of individual tourists in compared to the pre-pandemic era,” he said

At the same time, he added, tens of millions of euros will be allocated through the “Cyprus-Tomorrow” Plan to strengthen the added value of tourism, through sponsorship plans for upgrading tourist accommodation and hotels in the countryside, mountainous and rugged areas, creating medical facilities and autonomous assisted living facilities with the aim of attracting medical tourism and health and wellness tourism and promoting the circular economy in hotel facilities.

PASYXE honored President Anastasiades

In a ceremony during the Conference, PASYXE honored and awarded President Anastasiadis for his cooperation and contribution to the sector during this decade.

As stated by the President of PASYXE, Haris Loizidis, “the leaps we achieved are there and speak for themselves”.

He described as the most important decision the creation of the Deputy Ministry of Tourism in 2019, with the President choosing to lead the Deputy Ministry a person who comes from tourism, who immediately got to work with tangible results. At the same time, Mr. Loizidis referred to the incentives given by the Government for tourism, increasing connectivity and effective management during the pandemic.

During his opening remarks, Mr. Loizidis said that private and public sector cooperation remains central to long-term economic prosperity and growth, something that has materialized in practice over the past decade.

Mr. Loizidis also referred to the domestic and international activities of PASYXE.

He mentioned that tourism has worked for a number of years as the engine of the Cypriot economy and expressed optimism that after the difficult current situation this will happen in the future as well, always having as a safe guide the National Strategy for Tourism 2020-2030.

Referring to the challenges due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he said that “when you can’t avoid a crisis, the best thing is to make sure you come out of it wiser” and referred to the plan B of the Ministry of Tourism, which helped increase revenue and tourism traffic in 2022″.

He added that it is clear from the numbers that we are on track to grow revenue beyond arrivals, while welcoming recent announcements by airlines to increase routes.

At the same time, he stated that in 2023 the effort should continue given the climate of uncertainty that exists.

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