Perdios: "We need to redefine the way we deal with tourism"
"We are working on a law that will allow overnight stays on farms and wineries"
Cyprus is not only a destination that offers sun and sea but also many other authentic experiences, such as sporting events including the L'Étape Tour de France, Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios said on Monday, presenting the work done on reorientation. of the country's tourism.
In a presentation entitled "Repurposing Cyprus Tourism", Mr. Perdios said that the State Department worked "non-stop" for the last 18 months during the pandemic to create tourism products that will be the focal point of the new identity of Cyprus. in the future.
Ambassadors, Ministries, Members of the Parliamentary Committee on Energy, Trade, Industry and Tourism, tourist and other economic entities of the place were invited to the presentation.
Mr. Perdios explained that they used the term reorientation because it refers to a more holistic approach to tourism. "It urges us to rethink not only the way we promote the destination, but also the way we treat it, how much we take away from it and how we can give it back," he said.
Mr. Perdios presented the new trends and preferences of tourists, which focus on avoiding the crowds, the interest in the natural environment, the combination of work and vacation, the experiences associated with the local community, etc. As he explained, these trends are in line with the National Tourism Strategy 2030, which foresaw the need to upgrade and enrich the tourism product. The emphasis on mountain development, various grant schemes, product labels, the promotion of digital marketing, the development of special forms of tourism and the 'Heartland of Legends' route, are some of the actions in which the Ministry invests, he said.
For 'Heartland of Legends', he explained that "as a country, we make an effort to highlight the authenticity of village life through a journey of 3.000 kilometers of authentic experiences." Through this product name, he said, attention is focused on all elements of the "slow Cypriot way of life" that includes gatherings for food, participation in folklore festivals, religious festivals, land cultivation and learning traditional arts and crafts. This is among 12 names that, as he said, will significantly enhance the tourist product of Cyprus, such as the "Cypriot breakfast". Among them is also the "Vegan friendly" brand that has been awarded so far to about 150 companies.
Mr. Perdios also said that a lot of money was spent on upgrading villages and small towns. "It is not strange that the village of Pano Lefkara has just been voted one of the best tourist villages in the world," the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) said. The village of Agros will be awarded again this year if some improvements are made in aspects that have been pointed out by the UNWTO, he added.
The State Department's main goal, he said, is to integrate rural tourism with a particular emphasis on a green and digital transition to support local communities. "We want to put tourism at the heart of our rural communities, creating a social context that will reduce inequalities, encourage female entrepreneurship, reduce youth unemployment, and support small and medium-sized enterprises such as farmers and artisans," he said. among others, Mr. Perdios.
To achieve this goal, he said, they are working on a law that will allow overnight stays on farms and wineries, expressing the hope that it will be passed this year. He also said that other bills that are being prepared, concern the improvement of the quality of the campsites and luxury camping (glamping), the home production of Cypriot food and the creation of handicraft workshops in rural and mountainous areas with full sponsorship.
He said large expenditures have been made in the last 18 months on infrastructure improvements, especially in tourism of special interest, including cycling and hiking facilities. He announced that Cyprus will host for the first time the L`Etape cycling tournament of the Tour de France for the next three years, starting in November. The tournament, which according to sources from the Ministry of Tourism is considered a very important sporting event, is a branch of the Tour de France where amateur cyclists have the opportunity to follow routes that simulate the conditions of the Tour de France.
Commenting on the fact, Mr. Perdios said that if someone said three years ago that such a thing could take place in Cyprus, maybe some people would burst out laughing, but today no one laughs at it.
"It's a fact, and it's very important for this special tourism sector," he added.
He also said that Cyprus will host the DP World Tour Golf Tournament, a sporting event attended by about 500 million people worldwide.
The Undersecretary also announced that the largest cruise company in the world, Royal Caribbean International, will continue its support in Cyprus this year and next year, adding that the company will make its own announcements in due course.
Mr. Perdios also referred to the casino-resort, which, as he said, is going to open in the summer. He said it will not only contribute to the entertainment sector, but it is a place where there will be restaurants with Michelin stars.
Cyprus, he noted, has a huge range of authentic experiences that visitors can enjoy depending on their interests. He said that ultimately the goal is for Cyprus to be ranked among the 30 most competitive tourist destinations in the world, by the end of the decade. It is currently in 44th place.
This vision, he added, is to establish Cyprus as a year-round destination, as a destination of higher quality, as a digitally smart destination, climate friendly and where all residents can benefit from tourism.
Cyprus, he concluded, is not only a destination for sun and sea, but offers everyone what they want: diving, gastronomy, cycling, hiking, culture and history and much more.