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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

In the Plenary, a proposal for a law to extend the hotel licensing period

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Deputy Minister Kostas Koumis emphasizes that after the relevant amendments brought by the Parliament “serious malfunctions have arisen in the hotel industry of our country”

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<p>A law proposal is submitted to the upcoming Plenary Session of the Parliament, which aims to extend the transitional period of the framework established by the Parliament itself last March regarding the licensing of hotels and tourist accommodation.</p>
<p class=In his letter to the parliamentary Tourism Committee, Deputy Minister Kostas Koumis emphasizes that after the relevant amendments brought about by the Parliament “serious malfunctions have arisen in the hotel industry of our country”. He also notes that by March 2024 only approximately 7% of the country's hotel businesses had secured an operating license, with the remaining percentage operating under the provisions of Article 18 of the law as passed in 2019, which granted a transitional period five years with a deadline of March 15, 2024 to secure the relevant certificates and the relevant operating license.

“On the basis of the new data, as they have been formed with the passing of the amending law, more than 90% of the hotel companies are unable to secure the required certificates, imposed by the Law, in the time specified in it, that is, with its publication “, states the Deputy Minister.

In the new law proposal submitted jointly by DIKO, DIPA, EDEK and the Environmentalists-Citizens Cooperation Movement, it maintains the obligation to secure an operating license until the end of 2024 on the basis of the provisions of the law, however setting the possibility of excluding hotel of units that, by the end of the year, submit to the Deputy Ministry of Tourism with notification to the competent Building Authority architectural plans as built (ie with the changes made to the original plans) and a certificate from ETEK that the architectural plans reflect the actual layout of the hotel or tourist accommodation.

“As the Deputy Ministry of Tourism we welcome the proposed law because it is important to give the industry time and at the same time to set the appropriate conditions for securing all the appropriate certificates”, said the Deputy Minister of Tourism in statements after the committee session that examined the proposal of law.

“With the proposed law that has been submitted, for which a consultation was also held with the Deputy Ministry of Tourism, a certain margin has been set in relation to security issues and I would say that the security framework of the operation of hotel accommodations is strengthened,” he added.

Both speaking before Epitopi and in his statements, Mr. Koumis explained that a very large number of hotels have proceeded in previous years in expansions or renovations, which, as he said, mainly, they resulted from the urban planning incentives given in 2013.

“The industry went in this direction in order to remain competitive and at the same time, due to the fact that it was a mass phenomenon, the state somehow showed weaknesses in coping,” he added, noting that “each company has six months to submit the plans as “built” and at the same time make the corresponding arrangements to secure the other certificates”.

Mr. Koumis also recalled that in March 2019 a five-year transitional period had been granted, without including an escalation of the measures, which resulted in very few hotel businesses, at the end of this period, in 2024, having secured the required permissions.

“As a government we submitted a bill which was passed with some amendments. Today, a law proposal was put before the committee which adds some additional amendments and the matter is heading in the right direction”, he said.

The President of the Parliamentary Committee disagreed with the law proposal. of DISY Kyriakos Hatzigiannis, speaking of “scumbags” who ignore the requirements of the law on matters such as fire safety.

I, he said, “personally strongly disagree. The proposal should have come with the name of the Deputy Ministry or the Government and not have MPs submit a proposal for a law in order not to be in front of a danger”. “I question the naivety of some who do not consider the importance that can exist in the event of a fire”, he added.

Speaking before the session, the DIKO Member of Parliament and one of the of the rapporteurs of the law proposal, Panikos Leonidou, said that we are going to deal with a problem that did not start today, to add that a problem will arise due to the legislation that was enacted last March.

AKEL Member of Parliament Kostas Kostas said that the distortions must be corrected, noting however that the proposed law must be approved next Thursday before Parliament closes for the elections.

Ministry Spokesperson of the Interior, said that the Ministry agrees with the proposed law and added that a circular will also be sent to the new urban planning and building authorities so that they can prepare in relation to the licensing that will follow. Agreement was also expressed by the representatives of the Ministry of Justice and the Fire Service.

A representative of PASYXE agreed with the proposed law, while the President of STEK Chrysaimilis Psilogeni requested that the compliance deadline be extended until the end of 2025, as there are many hotels that may not have time to comply. He also requested that a planning permit be included as a condition instead of a building permit, since there are many new hotels that have not yet secured it.

Source: www.kathimerini.com.cy

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