Tourism Deputy Minister Savvas Perdios has concluded a first visit to Washington and New York with a view to gathering information and promoting Cyprus as a tourism destination with a "positive impression" he told CNA.
The Deputy Minister held meetings in Washington and New York with Cypriot expatriates and tour operators in order to promote the new image and identity of Cyprus tourism.
In statements to CNA he spoke of his meetings and the Deputy Ministry's goals to access the American market.
“Important meetings were held with ASTA (American Society of Travel Advisors), ATTA (Adventure, Travel Trade Association) and USTOA (United States Tour Operators Association)," he said.
These three associations, he added, "are of great importance to us, because they have a significant number of members who are active in the tourism industry and can open the door to America for us and therefore help us to slowly develop this large market."
Perdios further noted that the advantage of these partnerships is that "they will help us have access to the American market." He explained that "priority is given to the greater New York area, New Jersey and Pennsylvania," adding that the first steps will be taken in these areas.
As the Deputy Minister pointed out, the well-known American cruise company "Royal Caribbean" has already opened a regional office for the Eastern Mediterranean in Cyprus, something which will contribute to creating recognition in the American market.
At the end of the event in Astoria, New York, Perdios told CNA that he got a positive impression from this first trip to approach the American market.
"Our first impression is positive. But above all what we take away is that the Americans, who are well-traveled people, are looking for something new, something different in Europe," he said.
"The fact that Cyprus is now taking its first steps in this market is positive. This way we will be able to present Cyprus as something new and different," he noted.
The event took place in a well-known restaurant in Astoria and was attended by many representatives of the Cypriot community there.
Addressing Cypriots of New York at the event shortly before the presentation on the tourism promotion of Cyprus, the Deputy Minister referred to their decision to migrate to another country to build a new life away from their families.
"This is something I have much respect for because I am a refugee myself. Your role is also very important. You are our ambassadors in America and that is why it is important that you are here tonight", Perdios said.