The Ministry of Tourism has stated its readiness to examine the issue if the need arises
The need to institutionalize hostel-type hostels was discussed today in the Parliamentary Committee on Energy, Trade, Industry and Tourism.
Today, there are 10 hostel units operating in Cyprus, according to the President of Cyprus Youth Hostel Federation Elias Iliadis, who added that they have been operating for the last 10 years without a legal framework. The hostels are for low-income tourism, mainly youth, backpackers, Erasmus students and digital nomads, he said. "It is quality tourism from people who are interested in visiting museums and nature trails." It does not compete with hotels, as it targets other audiences. "If there is no choice in Cyprus, they will resort to either the occupied or the surrounding destinations," he added.
The Ministry of Tourism has stated its readiness to examine the issue, if necessary. He states that the hostels rent beds, not rooms.
As mentioned by a representative of OEB, Cyprus is the only EU country that is not represented in the European Federation for youth hostels, sounding the alarm that if it is not institutionalized, a corresponding Federation of the Occupied Territories may be established in the EU.
The need for institutionalization was also supported by the Cyprus Youth Organization, stating that it wishes to cooperate with this type of business, as it supports the low-cost option for temporary residence.
The Chairman of the Committee, DISY MP Kyriakos Hatzigiannis stated that "it is not only a matter of tourism development, but also of social development".
"Cyprus has every obligation to provide this opportunity, it is a social need, especially for a country that has an increased number of students and a huge housing problem," he added in statements after the meeting.
Asked about the timetable for the submission of the bill, he replied that instructions have been given for a comparative study of how hostels work in other countries and in a month at the latest there will be a draft bill.
DIKO MP Chrysis Pantelidis said in a statement that "the establishment of such a framework will enrich the tourism market of Cyprus and will create the conditions for the development of a healthy, competitive and quality environment in another sector of Tourism."