New study un­der­way for ‘na­tional tourism strat­egy’ (again)

Rus­sia decline of un­der 25% can be re­cov­ered from other mar­kets

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

En­ergy, Com­merce, In­dus­try and Tourism Min­is­ter Yior­gos Lakkotrypis said that a study is un­der­way on a na­tional tourism strat­egy, un­der the su­per­vi­sion of the Pres­i­dency and with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the Min­istries of Tourism and Fi­nance.

Speak­ing be­fore the House Com­merce Com­mit­tee, the Min­is­ter also said that if the de­clin­ing tourist ar­rivals from Rus­sia are con­tained un­der 25%, the num­bers can be made up from other mar­kets.

He said that a study on the re­or­gan­i­sa­tion and re­struc­tur­ing of the Cyprus Tourism Or­gan­i­sa­tion will start be­ing im­ple­mented grad­u­ally and that an­other study on the na­tional tourist strat­egy is un­der prepa­ra­tion.

Lakkotrypis said that in April they will pro­ceed with the mod­erni­sa­tion of the reg­u­la­tory frame­work in an at­tempt to re­duce ad­min­is­tra­tive costs by 25%.

“It’s a mat­ter of re-brand­ing and repo­si­tion­ing our tourism prod­uct” he told the Com­mit­tee.

The Min­is­ter dis­agreed with any re­duc­tion in prices in the tourist in­dus­try, adding that “we must fo­cus on qual­ity rather than on price”. He as­sured that the CTO will con­tinue to be the state’s ad­vi­sor on tourism, but “it re­mains to an­swer what are its new re­spon­si­bil­i­ties”.

The Min­is­ter noted that 2014 saw a 1.5% in­crease in ar­rivals and that to­tal rev­enue was up ap­prox­i­mately 3%, de­spite the prob­lems that ap­peared in the last months of the year with ar­rivals from Rus­sia. He added that the fig­ures for 2015 are en­cour­ag­ing.

Lakkotrypis was op­ti­mistic that the drop in the num­bers of Rus­sian tourists will be re­strained, not­ing that if it were con­tained un­der 25%, it could be made up from other mar­kets, such as the UK which is al­ready up by 1.5% and from Ger­many, Aus­tria, Is­rael and The Nether­lands, also pre­sent­ing a slight in­crease.

On his part, CTO Pres­i­dent An­ge­los Loizou said the trend in tourist rev­enue seems en­cour­ag­ing, not­ing that fol­low­ing more anal­y­sis of the last quar­ter of 2014 in­come from tourism in­creased by 4.5%.

Zacharias Ioan­nides, Direc­tor Gen­eral of the Cyprus Hote­liers As­so­ci­a­tion, said that Rus­sian tour op­er­a­tors are ex­pect­ing Cyprus to sup­port them, adding that hote­liers al­ready of­fer sig­nif­i­cant dis­counts, es­pe­cially for April, May and June, if needed.

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