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Vision for many tourists November – April

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Vision for many tourists November - April

The five Christmas villages that will be set up this year in the communities of Agros, Kyperounta, Kakopetria, Platron and Kalopanagioti, the authentic route of experiences and in general the effort of promoting the countryside paid by the Ministry of Tourism is not accidental, since it serves the as described in the budgets submitted to Parliament.

According to the strategic plan of the Ministry of State for the two years 2022-2024, which accompanies the budgets, his vision “is to increase the contribution of tourism to the GDP of Cyprus. In this context, Cyprus aims to become, by 2030, a sustainable, year-round destination, which will attract 40% of its visitors during the period November – April “. A goal recorded in the National Tourism Strategy (EST 2030), but it is not easy, given that tourist arrivals in this period now barely exceed 20%.

Based on data from the Statistical Service, both 2018 and 2019, the two previous normal years for tourism, since last year can not be considered as such, due to the pandemic, the percentage of arrivals in the six months between November and April was reduced to about 24%, with visits in those six months hovering slightly below one million, out of a total of almost four million arrivals (3,976,777 in 2019 and 3,938,625 in 2018).

It is recalled that the total number of arrivals last year was reduced to 631,609, recording a decrease of 84.1%. It is recalled, however, that both 2018 and 2019, although the last two normal years for Cypriot tourism, were at the same time the two best years in its history, in terms of visits. “Despite the positive results of the last years of pre-coronavirus and the changes brought about by the pandemic in the tourist data, it is judged that the tourism sector in our country faces specific perennial pathogens, which must be addressed in order to maximize the efficiency of tourism. industry for the Cypriot economy “, the state ministry states in its strategic plan. In particular, the plan acknowledges that the Republic of Cyprus is facing difficulties in trying to extend the tourist season beyond the May-October period, but also that the tourist market in Cyprus is dependent on the influx of tourists from a small number of markets, such as the United Kingdom and Russia. These pathogens, the State Department continues, stem mainly from the fact that the country's tourism product has been based for many years, almost exclusively, in the concentric diptych “sun and sea”.

The main goals

In view of the above and to deal with the perennial pathogens of the “heavy industry of the place”, the main objectives of the Ministry of Tourism are the enrichment and upgrading of the tourism product, with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of tourism visiting Cyprus and, at the same time , the promotion of the tourist product that aims to increase the inflow of tourists from both foreign and domestic tourism. These two goals, according to the ministry, are expected to lead to an increase in tourism revenues and the added value of the sector for the Cypriot economy.

In order to achieve these fundamental goals, the Ministry of Tourism informs that it has completed and started implementing the new National Tourism Strategy (EST 2030), which covers the period from 2020 to 2030. Through the EST 2030, a goal is set for attracting visitors:

· At the age of 50 and over, in order to carry out activities that will offer them life experiences. The target markets of Cyprus for this age group are: Germany, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria and Belgium.

· 65 years of age and older, with financial comfort, for quality retirement and the possibility to stay abroad for several weeks in winter. Target markets: United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark.

· For short stays, from countries (markets) that are within 90 minutes, by air, from Cyprus. Target markets: Israel, Egypt, Lebanon, Greece, Jordan.

· From distant destinations, for short holidays in Cyprus, as part of their trip to neighboring countries such as Israel or Greece. Target markets: USA, China, Japan, India, Korea.

Towards the above directions, the State Department also records its pursuit for the improvement of the air connectivity of Cyprus, with countries from which there are possibilities for attracting tourists. To this end, he notes, the state and private entities are in contact with airlines and tour operators in order to establish routes that connect the country with as many markets as possible. In the same grid of actions, he adds, is the simplification of the process of obtaining a visa to enter Cyprus from countries that are considered internationally as net exporters of tourists.

Actions for enrichment

The strategic plan also refers to the actions included in the EST 2030 in order to enrich the country's tourism product. These include, among others, the promotion of a range of special products, such as sports, cultural and religious tourism, conference tourism and rural tourism.

“With the ultimate goal of alleviating the problem of seasonality, by expanding the tourist arrivals of the winter tourist season and the off-peak months, the State Department also implements action plans to attract tourism of special interests”, then adding a series of special products that could attract tourists from target markets such as wedding tourism, religious tourism, wellness tourism etc.

The actions taken by the government in general also include the promotion of new tourism infrastructure projects, which are expected to drastically differentiate the existing tourism product of Cyprus. These investments include, he says, the development of new golf courses, the construction of additional marinas and the creation of the integrated type of resort casino. “The promotion and completion of these projects will be among the priorities of the government in the coming years”, is stated in the strategic plan of the ministry and adds: “In short, in order to achieve the fundamental objectives set, 2020-2030 include finding new markets, upgrading the quality of tourism services and experiences offered by the country, improving infrastructure and developing existing and modern forms of tourism to extend the tourist season.

11.6 million for grants and 19 million for advertising

The strategic aspirations of the State Department, as recorded in its strategic plan, are to strengthen competitiveness, upgrade the tourism product, develop special forms of tourism and integrate mountainous, rural and remote areas in the tourist map.

Several incentive plans and sponsorships of the Ministry of Tourism are moving in this direction, as they are included in its budget, which for 2022 is budgeted to reach 53.7 million euros, from 47 million this year (excluding them). to calculate the amounts received through supplementary budgets in the current year).

These plans include the extension of the domestic tourism support plan, for the period December 2021- March 2022, however for this, as well as for other plans recorded in the budget, a relevant decision of the Council of Ministers will be required.

The sub-group “grants” includes proposed credits amounting to € 11,617,010, intended to cover actions, as well as financial support projects, for which, as mentioned, a decision of the Council of Ministers is required. The plans and actions mainly concern the promotion of all special forms of tourism, such as the conference tourism incentive plan, the “Plan for Enrichment Investments and Modernization of the tourist product for the extension of the tourist season”, the “Revitalization Plan and Landscaping of the Popular Neighborhood “,” Grants of Associations and Associations related to the promotion of Health and Wellness Tourism “,” Grant Scheme for Municipalities and Communities as well as private sector entities for the development of special and alternative forms of tourism (creation or upgrade) ” and several others, including the expansion of the domestic tourism boost plan after November that expires.

The largest expenditure line of the State Department in 2022 will be allocated for “enlightenment campaigns”, since in this subgroup of expenditures credits amounting to € 18,914,272. These are intended to cover, inter alia, cooperation with tourism partners abroad, including airlines, more intensive advertising campaigns in priority markets, as defined through the new business plan (electronic media) and special tourism promotion activities.


Source: 24h.com.cy

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