First ju­nior min­is­ter for tourism sworn in

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - CYPRUS -

Sav­vas Per­dios, the first Deputy Min­is­ter for Tourism, was sworn in by Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades on Wed­nes­day at a cer­e­mony held at the Pres­i­den­tial Palace, fol­lowed by the first Cab­i­net meet­ing to in­clude the ju­nior min­is­ter.

Anas­tasi­ades an­nounced the ap­point­ment of Per­dios, Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer at Louis Ho­tels, on De­cem­ber 27, to take over the new post cre­ated from the re­struc­tur­ing of the Cyprus Tourism Or­gan­i­sa­tion from a semi-state or­gan­i­sa­tion to a govern­ment depart­ment.

The change, one of three ju­nior min­istries an­nounced by Anas­tasi­ades al­most six years ago, means that the tourism re­spon­si­bil­i­ties are now re­moved from the over­bur­dened port­fo­lio of the Min­is­ter of En­ergy, Tourism, Com­merce and In­dus­try, with Per­dios re­port­ing di­rectly to the pres­i­dent.

Due to the con­sti­tu­tional lim­i­ta­tion of Cab­i­net posts, the Deputy Min­is­ter for Tourism and the Deputy Min­is­ter for Ship­ping, headed by Natasa Pili­dou, a new post cre­ated in March 2018, do not hav­ing vot­ing pow­ers in the Coun­cil of Min­is­ters, but par­tic­i­pate equally. The third ju­nior min­istry, for In­no­va­tion, has yet to be an­nounced.

Per­dios, 37, the son of Louis Ho­tels CEO Ja­son Per­dios, was pre­sented as hav­ing work ex­pe­ri­ence with “large in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions in the tourism in­dus­try” and is a fi­nance grad­u­ate from the Uni­ver­sity of War­wick as well as in ho­tel man­age­ment.

Govern­ment Spokesman Pro­dro­mos Pro­dro­mou said last week that Per­dios will un­der­take the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the ‘Na­tional Strat­egy for Tourism’ for 2018-2030 through the nec­es­sary pol­icy de­ci­sions, plan­ning, in­cen­tives for in­vest­ments and gen­eral su­per­vi­sion of the tourism sec­tor. Vari­a­tions of the ‘na­tional strat­egy’ have been on the agenda of all past Trade min­is­ters and CTO boards, with none im­ple­mented to date.

Af­ter the swear­ing in cer­e­mony at the Pres­i­dent Palace, Anas­tasi­ades said that with its new Deputy Min­istry, the tourism sec­tor en­ters a “new age of mod­erni­sa­tion”.

He said that with the tourism in­dus­try

di­rectly con­tribut­ing 13% to the na­tional econ­omy’s out­put, his ad­min­is­tra­tion in­tro­duced a num­ber of changes, such as town plan­ning in­cen­tives for the ho­tels sec­tor, in­fra­struc­ture projects such as the casino-re­sort, mari­nas, mixed-use de­vel­op­ments and golf cour­ses, as well as the pro­mo­tion of spe­cialised tourism, such as busi­ness and con­fer­ence, cul­ture, sports, health and re­li­gious hol­i­days.

All these ef­forts, Anas­tasi­ades said, are a part of the strat­egy to ex­tend the of­fi­cial tourist sea­son and to re­solve is­sues re­lated to sea­son­al­ity. As a re­sult, Jan­uary-toNovem­ber ar­rivals reached a new record of 3.8 mln, while the im­ple­men­ta­tion of a new na­tional strat­egy fore­sees a plan for steady growth within the new world en­vi­ron­ment which in­cludes sus­tain­able devel­op­ment.

In his re­sponse, Per­dios as­sured the Pres­i­dent that the new na­tional strat­egy will be the main fo­cus of the Deputy Min­istry’s ef­forts, adding that “tourism also means emo­tions and mem­o­ries for life for a vis­i­tor.”

He said that “re­forms, leg­is­la­tion and im­ple­men­ta­tion of a new na­tional strat­egy will take place grad­u­ally and with pa­tience. But noth­ing hap­pens with a magic wand. We need hard work, team­work and not too much talk.”

Per­dios said that “we are en­ter­ing an im­por­tant pe­riod of plan­ning so that we can say more in a few weeks.”

Af­ter the Cab­i­net meet­ing, Per­dios vis­ited the CTO of­fices in Ni­cosia to of­fi­cially take over the reins from the Or­gan­i­sa­tion’s chair­man An­ge­los Loizou.

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