Cyprus must not get complacent with the growth in tourist arrivals in recent years and needs to diversify its product, deputy minister for tourism Savvas Perdios said on Tuesday.
He was speaking to reporters following his first meeting with parliamentarians after being appointed to the junior ministry for tourism.
Perdios said the island needs to invest on the points that can give it a competitive advantage, such as the temperate climate and hospitality.
He has initiated a round of consultations with all industry stakeholders to gather and assess ideas which could improve Cyprus’ tourist offering.
Among other things, the industry should focus on individual customers and on all age ranges, for example people aged over 50 who travel off-season and have more purchasing power.
“We need to have different targeting for different markets… not all customers like to hear the same thing,” he said.
The island must move beyond the single ‘sun and sea’ marketing track, he added.
Perdios also discussed with MPs issues of seasonality, the possible impact of Brexit, the demise of Cobalt Air, and the new legislation pertaining to tourist lodgings.
The minister promised to present MPs a comprehensive tourism strategy in the near future.
For his part, chair of the House energy and commerce committee Andreas Kyprianou called tourism the ‘steam engine’ of the economy, greatly contributing to GDP growth and helping the island come out of the financial crisis.