Cyprus tourism did very well, reaching 80% of tourist arrivals in 2019, with arrivals from the EU increasing by 22%, while for the first year in 2022 the budget of the Deputy Ministry of Tourism is fully absorbed, said Deputy Minister Savvas Perdios, who also underlined that the EU tourism market is “the most stable framework for the development of our tourism” over the next three years.
He was speaking before a parliamentary committee of financial and budgetary affairs on Monday.
Perdios emphasised that the tourism identity of Cyprus has changed, while the amount given to improve the tourist product has increased to 28% of the budget, from 10%, and about a quarter of the amount spent on advertising is directed to digital technology.
“What our tourism achieved this year is not only related to this year’s work. It is related to the work of the last four years and we are seeing the results this year”, underlined Perdios, speaking before the members of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, which examined the budget of the Deputy Ministry of Tourism for 2023.
He said that the most important thing is not that we are at 80% of 2019 but that while as a total of arrivals “we are at minus 20% (compared to 2019 arrivals), from the EU we are at plus 22% compared to 2019” , he reported and added that “for the first time arrivals from the EU outnumber those from the United Kingdom”.
He said 40% of arrivals are from the EU, while arrivals from the UK are around 38%, and noted that “the fears some have had that we will lose the Russians and become over-reliant on the British are not true”.
He also reported that arrivals from Germany, among others, increased by 28% compared to 2019, from Poland by 130%, from Denmark by 63%, from France by 105%, and from Austria by 53%.
He also said that before the pandemic 70% of our tourism depended on tour operators, while today it depends to them only for 50% – which was our goal – and added that this year’s results highlight Cyprus’ potential to attract visitors from more countries, of various ages and for various interests.
In addition, the Deputy Minister of Tourism said that this year’s results show that the tourist product is constantly being upgraded and added that for many years the tourist product was based only on the “sun and sea” slogan which is no longer the case, while he referred to the establishment of 12 quality labels that give identity to the tourist product of Cyprus.
The third thing that this year’s results show, according to Perdios, is that the resilience of Cyprus as a tourist destination has been significantly strengthened, adding that we are at 50% compared to 2019, a percentage that is the best in the world.
Explaining how the specific results were achieved, Perdios said that the budget in 2019 was approximately 48 million euros and this year “we are delivering a budget of almost 54 million euros”, adding that the most important thing is that previously only 10% of the budget was allocated to improving the product, “while now we give 28% to upgrade the product.”
He also mentioned that, in addition to the quality labels, the Deputy Ministry runs 18 grant projects for each special form of tourism, for villages, for the countryside and for winter, adding that “in 2019 we gave 5 million euros for upgrading the product, while in the budget of 2023 we allocate 15 million euros”.
In relation to advertising, Perdios said that “the percentage we spend on advertising remains significant” and amounts to almost 38% of the budget or almost 20 million euros, of which 5 million euros concern digital advertising (€3 million for winter months) “allowing us to advertise all year round.”
This means that over 0.5 billion mobile phones in the world are “seeing our ad”, he pointed out.
Source: Cyprus News Agency