A deputy tourism ministry is set to start operations by January 2, 2019, Tourism Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis told the AGM of the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (ACTA) on Wednesday.
He referred to the key steps taken to upgrade and promote Cyprus’ tourism which include the new tourism governmen body, a national tourism strategy for the period of 2017 – 2030 and the legal framework concerning the operation of tourism accommodation, travel agents and leisure centres.
Referring to the new deputy ministry and the national tourism strategy 2030 he said that they are both very important reforms achieved by the government. “We are going ahead with the modernisation of the regulatory framework on tourism issues aiming to facilitate the licensing and operation of businesses in the area of tourism,” he pointed out.
Lakkotrypis also referred to the record number of tourists visiting Cyprus in 2017 which were over 3.65 million, underlining that “even this year when other competitive tourist destinations have recovered, Cyprus has until July hosted over 9.6% more tourists than last year, while revenue until May was up by 4.5%.”
He further pointed out that visitors during the winter season between November and may have nearly doubled compared to 2012 and 2013.
On his part Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) President Christodoulos Angastiniotis also referred to the record arrivals in Cyprus during the first seven months of this year, adding that CCCI expects that a significant number of tourists will visit Cyprus during the upcoming winter season, much like last year when 500,000 tourists preferred Cyprus.
However, he noted that the tourist sector is still faced with quite a few challenges, adding that he expects that the government will go ahead with the new tourism strategy.
In his address ACTA President Vasilis Stamataris also said that it is very important that the national strategy is implemented, noting that it has a key role to play in modernising Cyprus’ tourism industry.
(Cyprus News Agency)