This year is expected to be a very special year for Cyprus tourism, said Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, addressing on Friday the opening of the 20th tourism fair “Travel 2017”, in Nicosia.
The Minister also announced that the evaluation process for the casino, proposed to be built in the southern coastal town of Limassol, was concluded today and “we are ready for the next and final step before granting the license, which is the approval by the Cabinet”.
Lakkotrypis said the timing of the exhibition was decisive, as it coincides with the beginning of the summer season. This fair comes at the right moment, as it becomes apparent that the great impetus in the tourism industry, achieved in the past three years, will continue this year as well, said the Minister.
He added that following last years achievements, there is already a rise in tourist arrivals by 13.5%, in the period between January and March 2017, while revenue in January went up by 21.6%.
Lakkotrypis referred to ongoing efforts to enrich Cyprus tourist product with investments in major projects, such as golf courses, marinas and casino resorts. At the same time, he added, we are working to expand Cyprus air connectivity and to promote our tourism destination in targeted audiences abroad. The Minister also noted that a new national tourism strategy is being finalized soon.
President of the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (ACTA) Ntinos Kakkouras said he was cautiously optimistic about the prospects of the tourist industry, noting that indications for this years bookings are very encouraging so far.
Tourist arrivals between January and March 2017 reached 285,693, compared to 251,608 in the same period last year, said Kakkouris, noting that there is an increase of 13.5%.
George Penintaex, President of the Cyprus Association for children with cancer and related diseases One Dream One Wish, thanked ACTA for deciding to donate part of the proceedings from this event.
He added that both the tourism fair and the Association are about the same age, counting 20 years since their establishment. Our biggest wish, to render the Association unnecessary by eliminating cancer has not been fulfilled yet, he said.
On a positive note, he noted that 40% of the 200 various types of cancer are curable, as long as they are detected at an early stage and patients undergo the right treatment.
Stelios Trahonitis, Bank of Cyprus Card Services Director, also addressed the opening, noting that the bank is supporting initiatives by various stakeholders, aiming to enhance tourism.
The 20th “Travel 2017” fair, organized by ACTA and Display Art, will remain open until Sunday, April 23, at the Filoxenia Conference Center, in Nicosia. Entrance to the exhibition is free.
Source: Cyprus News Agency