Deputy Tourism: The aim is to strengthen the competitiveness of the tourism product

Annual General Meeting of the All Cyprus Association of Hotel Managers

yfipourgos tourismou Kostas Koumis, PASYDIXE, TOURISM

The main objective of the Government, and especially of the Deputy Ministry of Tourism, is to strengthen the competitiveness of the tourism product of Cyprus, with special emphasis, among other things, on the green transition and digital transformation, stated today the responsible Deputy Minister Kostas Koumis.

In his address to the annual General Assembly of the Pancypriot Association of Hotel Managers (PASYDIXE), held in Larnaca, Mr. Koumis said that "as a Government we know and acknowledge" that the Association and the industry technocrats have "contributed the most to the development path of tourism in Cyprus, in times, in fact, extremely difficult, during which tourism played an extremely decisive role in the recovery of the country's economy".

He added that "today tourism, and especially Cypriot tourism, is facing significant challenges, as the geopolitical situation in the Eastern Mediterranean region is plagued by a crisis reminiscent of other times, at the same time that the economic environment in the major economies of Europe it is also characterized by particularities".

Essentially, he continued, "it is perhaps the first time in years, with the exception of the pandemic period, that external factors do not work beneficially for the tourism of our country, rather they work inhibitingly". However, he expressed confidence that we will succeed.

As the Deputy Ministry of Tourism, Mr. Koumis said, "we are working methodically to face the challenges, including climate change, connecting almost every policy of the Deputy Ministry and by extension the Government with the goal of the green transition, but also of the digital transformation. At the same time, we are moving in the direction of improving the tourism product, trying to meet new market trends, making the most of the Recovery and Resilience Plan," he said.

In his greeting, Mr. Koumis also referred to the plans that have been announced, which aim to further improve the tourist product, making special reference to the plan that aims to strengthen the infrastructure of the mountainous areas, the rural areas and the arid areas of Cyprus , in order for them to acquire those infrastructures "that will give them the right to make their mark on the tourist map".

He also noted that "all together, the state, tourism agencies and professionals should focus in order to further enhance the tourist experience of each visitor", and added that "an important parameter of our wider effort to improve the quality of the services provided it is also the field of education".

He also referred to the adoption by the Deputy Ministry of Tourism of the simultaneous targeting and challenge of the European Commission "for skilling - upskilling and reskilling" noting that "human capital and its special quality characteristics are a critical parameter for success and achieving a competitive advantage".

Regarding the new approach of the Deputy Ministry of Tourism, he said that it concerns "the issue of education holistically, since either directly or indirectly, a large percentage of our country's professionals are related to the tourism sector. Our intention is also to establish a closer relationship with local governments, recognizing the multidimensional impact of local governments on tourism", he pointed out.

The main objective of the Government, and especially of the Deputy Ministry of Tourism, noted Mr. Koumis, "is to strengthen the competitiveness of the tourism product of our country, with special emphasis now on the green transition, on the digital transformation, on the further improvement of the basic infrastructures, but and accessibility infrastructures, both in the coastal areas of our country and in the mountainous and rural areas".

Mr. Koumis also invited the Hotel Managers to participate in the effort of the Deputy Ministry of Tourism "to strengthen education services but also in the effort aimed at improving the infrastructure".

The President of PASYDIXE, Christos Angelidis, said in his speech that "the experiences and experiences of the past cannot be a one-dimensional advisor for strategic decisions in tourism, since the not-so-distant pandemic left its mark on the industry, but and geopolitical developments are capable of overturning any strategic plan we have drawn up. In these unpredictable developments, which can occur at any moment, climate change came to intervene with all its direct and indirect effects", he pointed out.

Mr. Angelidis analyzed the most important data and events as they have evolved over the last six years and have shaped the business and surrounding atmosphere in tourism, including the bankruptcy of 2019 airlines from 46 to date, the termination of travel agency operations and agents and the coronavirus pandemic.

He also referred to climate change which, he said, “has come. It is zero hour, we are experiencing its effects more acutely than ever and it is time to confront it. The approach should be multi-level, coordinated and bring together decisions of the European Union and the Republic of Cyprus, while at the same time it should be targeted, flexible and inventive at the level of the tourism industry", he said.

As PASYDIXE, he continued, we ask "from the responsible state agencies for the universal support of executives of the hotel industry, through the implementation of high-standard training and education programs. They will be the tip of our spear, they will be our vanguard", he said, asked for the political support of hotel businesses which "is now imperative", and called for "targeted urban planning and tax incentives to be granted with the aim of creating new facilities and qualitative and technological upgrading of the existing ones". He also reiterated the request for the creation of a National Institute for Tourism Studies.

He also said that this year PASYDIXE celebrates 40 years of life and service at the front line, and noted that its new Board of Directors, which elected him for another three years in the position of President, "is called upon to contribute to addressing and solving the major challenges of tourism industry".

Source: KYPE (Fanitsa Zannettou)