Cyprus tourism was hit worse than initially estimated from the coronavirus pandemic, Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios has said, noting that tourist arrivals and income fell by 84% in relation to the previous year instead of 80% initially estimated.
Perdios briefed on Tuesday the parliamentary committee on tourism of the the tourism strategic planning implementation.
He noted that the pandemic has led the tourist industry to rapid changes, adding that plans set out for the next two to three years are now fast tracked.
Among other things, he said the Deputy Ministry plans to promote thematic beaches, explaining that the aim is to also have quiet beaches without music or water sports.
He added that agrotourism and other forms of tourism such as sports tourism, religious tourism and others will be promoted.
According to Perdios about €7 million will be used in order to go ahead with tourism related infrastructure projects.
Referring to the prospects ahead, the Deputy Minister said that how tourism fares in 2021 will depend on epidemiologists’ recommendations and the classification of countries. If there is no stability, then it will be impossible to attract tourists, he warned.
Cyprus has classified countries into three categories depending on epidemiological risk. Passengers from Category A countries are allowed to travel to Cyprus without the imposition of any conditions. Passengers from Category B are requested to provide a COVID-19 free test within 72 hours prior to their departure. Only specific groups of people are allowed to enter Cyprus from Category C countries while they are also requested to be quarantined for 14 days. The list of countries is reviewed regularly and countries are upgraded or downgraded accordingly.