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Deputy Minister of Tourism and ACTA: Optimism for the new tourism year

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Υφυπουργσ Τ&omicron ;υρισμοΙ και ACTA: ΑισιοδοξΙα για τη νεα τουριστικor χρονια

The Deputy Minister of Tourism Kostas Koumis and the Association of Travel Agents of Cyprus (ACTA) expressed moderate optimism for the new tourism year, at a time when Cyprus, despite the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and now in neighboring Israel , is on track to achieve a historic record in tourism revenue.

The reports were made during ACTA's Annual General Assembly, which also marks the end of the term of the president of the Association, Vassilis Stamataris after six consecutive years at the helm of the Association.

In his address to the assembly, Mr. Koumis stated that “after the contacts of the Deputy Ministry in the Northern Countries, in France, in Great Britain, in Poland last week and of course taking into account all that is being transmitted by our partners around the world, but also by you, we are moderately optimistic ».

For the current year, Mr. Koumis said that based on the data, the year in terms of arrivals will close close to the performance of 2019, the record year for the tourism of our country, with a 21% increase compared to 2022, while “revenue-wise, we're probably heading for a new record.”

At the same time, Mr. Koumis announced that very soon, the update of the strategy with a horizon of 2035 is expected to be completed, underlining that it now places special emphasis on the principles of sustainable development, the green transition, digital transformation and the further improvement of infrastructure accessibility.

In his speech, the Deputy Minister of Tourism referred to a chronic problem of Cypriot tourism, seasonality, stressing that “we as the Deputy Ministry of Tourism, as well as the government as a whole, have focused on this effort , which, as I have mentioned, is unfortunately a perennial problem, but also a perennial goal of the state”.

He pointed out, however, that this is not an easy goal, nor is it a problem that can be solved within a few days, and he referred to actions such as the cooperation between all tourism operators, the improvement and strengthening of the air connection during the winter months, or even the months at the beginning and end of the tourist season, operating our tourist resorts for a longer period of time and getting rid of the seasonal work culture, solving issues related to working capital and improving city-to-city connectivity.

He referred to a proposal submitted by the Deputy Ministry against the Summit of Tourism Ministers of Mediterranean States, such as the European Union developing a social tourism program, according to which European citizens will be given the opportunity, based on income criteria, to visit other European countries in times of low demand, a proposal he said was welcomed by all delegates.

Among other things, Mr. Koumis said that the benefits of such a project will be multidimensional, since destinations will benefit, since we are talking about periods of low demand and it will be an important step in the direction of reducing seasonality.

Besides, Mr. Koumis said that the bill entitled “On the establishment and operation of catering and entertainment venues” is being finalized these days and will very soon be submitted for legal technical review to the Legal Service, while the bill has already been submitted for legal technical review entitled “The Law on the Regulation of the Establishment and Operation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodations” which concerns the operation and licensing of hotel businesses.

In his last speech as President of ACTA, Vassilis Stamataris expressed optimism for the new year.

“The messages we are getting as of now are positive, but it takes hard work and work to convert interest into bookings,” he stressed.

However, he said that the year “does not look easy because of the war crises in Ukraine and Israel, but also problems plaguing the economy, such as inflation, high interest rates, energy costs and others”.

” So, the battle for the new tourism year will take place in a fluid and thorny environment, but this setting concerns the whole planet”, he added.

“The goal in 2024 should be to increase tourist traffic compared to 2023 and to achieve this, it is not enough just to promote the tourist product, it is necessary to improve our tourist product and the services we offer,” he continued.

At this point, Mr. Stamataris referred to the actions that the Association has been asking for over time and for which steps have been taken, such as the increase in advertising funds to promote Cyprus in new markets, new actions to enrich the tourist product, new infrastructure projects, solving the permanent problem of seasonality, increasing air connectivity especially during the winter seasons, renovating hotel units and new incentives for tourist companies and agents.

In conclusion, Mr. Stamataris said that after a very difficult period that we experienced, but the problems of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine “I feel satisfied because we managed through enormous efforts to talk about achievements in tourism and travel. We kept our link alive and believe me it wasn't easy at all.”

Finally, he announced that a proposal had been submitted to change the name of the Association to ACTTA, with the name corresponding to the Association of Travel and Tourism Agents of Cyprus.

On behalf of the President of the KEBE, the Director of Services and Trade of the Chamber, Christos Petsidis said that “the year that is leaving is impressive for the tourism events of Cyprus and your Association and your members have contributed decisively to this success”. 2023 should not cause us to become complacent and rest.

Saying that tourism is known to be a sensitive sector, affected by various developments from both internal and external factors, while tourist trends are constantly changing, the Mr. Petsidis noted that “this means that Cyprus must constantly strengthen the tourism sector in order to withstand the challenges and on the other hand to enrich our tourism product”.

Source: 24h.com.cy

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