Minister of Finance Constantinos Petrides said that the best marketing for our tourism industry would be that 100% of the employees are vaccinated, noting that this would show that Cyprus is a safe country to travel.
The Minister, who was speaking at the 43rd hotel conference and exhibition of the Cyprus Hotel Association, said that this would be of great importance for the tourism industry "in our effort to show that Cyprus is not just a hospitable country because it offers nice gastronomy or nice sun or nice attractions," adding that Cyprus is a hospitable country because at the period of the pandemic it also offers security.
Petrides also said that despite the budgetary issues due to the pandemic and extraordinary expenditures that have been made which to date exceed 2 to 2.5 billion euros to support the economy, the government strengthened development budgets, that are linked to a great extent to the goal of upgrading the tourism sector.
He noted that those who travel to the countryside and the mountains realise that Cyprus in 2020 and 2021 is not the same as it was in 1990 in terms of environment, infrastructure, beauty.
On his part, Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios said that Cyprus has now the opportunity to attract EU tourism markets, before the end of the pandemic, since after the pandemic Europeans will travel again to other destinations.
He said that unfortunately our main markets are outside the EU, adding that at the moment the only region in the world that presents a framework of stability for trips abroad is the EU and its member states.
We must all realise, he pointed out, that in the next 12 months the EU will be the one that will give us a stable travel framework so that we can attract tourism from there as well.
He said, however, that this does not mean that we are not interested in the UK, Russia and Israel markets, but that they can not be the only ones.
Cyprus Hotel Association President Haris Loizides said that the first half of 2021 has already been lost for the tourist sector, while uncertainty continues to prevail. He added that developments in the main markets that interest Cyprus, ie Britain and Israel did not allow for a better flow of tourist arrivals during the first half of the year.
But he pointed out that "we are activating a plan to exit the crisis, expecting better days for tourism for the second half of the year with the hope to have a dynamic return in 2022".