President of the House Standing Committee on Energy, Trade, Industry and Tourism Andreas Kyprianou said on Tuesday that the Deputy Ministry of Tourism is ready to reopen Cyprus to tourism on June 15 and that relevant protocols are ready.
Speaking to CNA following a teleconference earlier today between the members of the Committee and Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios, Kyprianou said that the Ministry aims to recuperate 30% of the arrivals and tourism revenue that Cyprus recorded in 2019.
“A new campaign will promote Cyprus as a safe destination as regards Coronavirus and there appears to be a lot of interest in making the most of the August-September-October-November period to secure 30% of our revenue from tourism that we had in 2019 that translates into around €800 million in income and 1 million tourists,” he said, adding that Cyprus is by far the safest country in the Mediterranean and the fifth safest in the world.
Kyprianou mentioned that despite the adverse climate, 57% of the new national strategy on tourism has been completed.
“Cyprus will be ready to reopen to tourists on June 15 but this will depend on Cabinet decisions and recommendations by the experts and the Ministries of Health and Transport,” he added.
Kyprianou mentioned that protocols for tourism will be in place for catering establishments, transportation to and from airports and for behaviour in hotels, taxis, beaches as well as swimming pools.
He said that relevant letters have also been drafted to send out to an array of stakeholders including travel agents, Cypriot ambassadors, Foreign and Tourism ministries of EU member states in relation to the reopening of Cyprus to tourism on June 15.
A letter will also be sent to the Union of Cyprus Municipalities and Communities as well as the Ministry of Interior to request the expansion of outdoor dining facilities by using public spaces where possible.
“Where a restaurant is adjacent to a pedestrian road, a square or a car park it can be allowed to place a seating area or to be able to use part of a coastal public area which will both enable restaurants to increase clientele in order to survive and to make customers safer as it would enhance social distancing,” he explained.
Asked what markets the Deputy Ministry will focus on, he said that it will be countries at the same epidemiological levels as Cyprus, like Greece, Israel, some Middle-Eastern countries and Germany, in hope that that at a later stage Cyprus will be able to recuperate traditional markets like the UK and Russia.
The Committee will meet again with Deputy Minister Perdios on Tuesday to discuss the new tourism strategy further.