With reference to the article on Sunday, March 4 on the decline of mountain resorts, while tourist numbers are going up, Cyprus tourism is in fact in an existential crisis. It is now trapped in quick-sand of all-inclusive.
The tourism model in Cyprus is becoming more colonial. A handful of large tour operators decide the fate of destinations. Smaller destinations are dead or in their last days.
CTO or officialdom has no interest – they are agents of the colonial powers – the new tour operators. The whole narrative on tourism – from numbers, service to sustainability – has been hijacked by companies which only work with big numbers.
While European small destinations are now the drivers of tourism in smaller countries and regions of Europe – in Cyprus the process is quite the opposite.
Every study commissioned by CTO, and every example in Europe has demonstrated beyond doubt that the future is in authentic tourism provided by smaller service providers in villages and small communities.
Our investment and model has demonstrated that it is possible to do the same in Cyprus – i.e. create a sustainable, truly green and authentic resort and attract sophisticated travellers.
However, the mendacity and lethargy of the system is such that it plays against small businesses and as a result, tourism numbers are not picking up – no transfer, no services, no labour, no incentive and no support of any kind. All of this is reserved for big hotels – all incentives are given to big tour operators for bringing large numbers to Cyprus.
It is a very important theme and subject which is getting no attention from hotel associations, tour operators, and CTO because they have reserved all their budgets for all-inclusive numbers.
The social implications are even greater. We see that there is a massive brain drain from villages and towns and the Chrysochous Bay area villages are left with Vietnamese caretakers of elderly people. The east European residents are unskilled – people who should not be working in hospitality but we are compelled to take them. Moreover, they are the largest vote bank in our area so mayors and mukhtars are beholden to them.
I am writing to say thanks for raising this important issue.
This issue needs to be discussed head-on, which will hopefully start a process which can save real destinations of Cyprus.
Ajay Goyal, Zening Resort, Latchi