The cabinet on Wednesday approved a bill to establish a deputy ministry for tourism, which is to be up and running at the beginning of next year.
The cabinet also authorised Energy and Tourism Minister George Lakkotrypis to table the bill to parliament for a vote.
The bill, according to deputy government spokesperson Klelia Vasiliou, provides for the transfer of the responsibility on tourism-related legislation from the ministry of energy, commerce, industry and tourism to the new deputy ministry from January 2, 2019.
To that end, cabinet also approved renaming the ministry of energy, commerce, industry and tourism by deleting the tourism part, as it will no longer be in charge of that sector.
An energy ministry source told the Cyprus Mail that, by the beginning of the year, everything will be ready for the transition.
The new deputy ministry is to be housed at the offices of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), the source said. The government’s intention is for all current CTO employees to be transferred to the new ministry.
The decision as to the appointment of the deputy minister lies with President Nicos Anastasiades.
The approval by the House plenum of the bill is believed to be a formality as parliament already passed a law last July establishing the deputy ministry for tourism, which was initially to start operating at the beginning of this month.
The government hopes that the new ministry will work to increase the industry’s ‘momentum’, yielding significant results in medium to long term – increased tourist arrivals, high-quality service, and tackling the problem of seasonality.
The establishment of the ministry is expected to usher in the implementation of the national strategy for tourism that has been shaped over the last five years through consultations with all stakeholders. The strategy includes clear targets and timetables expected to lead to the upgrading and promotion of Cyprus’ tourist product.