Two news from Spain, the most mature tourist market in Europe and the Mediterranean, come to remind us that the model of mass tourism, based on the “sun and sea” shape, is on the verge of .
First, Barcelona is taking measures for hypertourism and plans to put a limit on cruise ship mooring. According to Bloomberg, restrictions on cruise ships have been adopted by Venice, Dubrovnik, Santorini, Dublin and Bruges. The public opinion of the city seems to have changed after the pandemic, as then its inhabitants were satisfied to live the city without excessive tourism for the first time in many years. The deputy mayor of Barcelona states that the local population can not stand the large number of visitors.
Second, Mallorca has set a dress code for bars and restaurants and exorcises drunk tourists (mostly Britons). At the same time, many bars and restaurants have abolished the “Happy hour”.
European tourism is recovering strongly this year after two years of pandemics, but the pandemic has led to structural changes in people's behavior. The need for travel has never gone away, but what kind of travel do we want today and especially what kind of tourism does Cyprus want. These are the questions we need to answer.
The two news from Spain show us that mass tourism has tired mainly the local communities, but also the entrepreneurs themselves. Abandoning mass tourism does not mean turning to an elitist tourism that the European middle class would not have placed. Barcelona will continue to be a 12-month destination with millions of visitors and Mallorca will continue to be a popular summer destination. The former simply chose to sacrifice the golden cruise tourism for the benefit of the tranquility of the inhabitants and the protection of the marine environment and the latter does not want drunk tourists.
What does Cyprus want?
The answer to this question begins with a basic finding. We must forget the Russians for years to come. The domestic tourism industry must turn to the European market to fill the gap. This is a positive development. The European market is larger than the Russian one and generates more revenue.
In the last decade, a lot of ink has been spilled on analyzes about the need to build a different tourism model that will overcome the dependence on the “sun and sea” model. This also means reducing dependence on the UK market.
So we need a diverse model: we need families, and retirees and students and young people and cruising. The multi-collection model to succeed needs to have character, to have a strong identity. We do not need to search much to find it. The main advantage of Cyprus is its simplicity. It is not a sophisticated destination, it has good infrastructure and the visitor within a week can discover an entire country. Enriching the experience and upgrading the focus is enough for Cyprus to conquer the European market.