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Drinking on the street, plastic chairs to be banned

Drinking alcohol on the street, plastic chairs and laughing gas will all be banned under the planned national tourism strategy, the fight for the introduction of which will begin soon, tourism minister Savvas Perdios said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the Cyprus Hotel Association (Pasyxe)’s AGM, the minister spoke about the transfer of power from the Cyprus Tourism Organisation to the ministry, the way the ministry dealt with the impacts of Brexit, and the national strategy.

“Many will be annoyed that the ministry is interested in banning the use of plastic chairs, the consumption of alcohol in streets, sidewalks, and squares, and the sale of laughing gas,” Perdios said.

He added the ministry “is not just for advertising” but rather has authority in the tourism sector, which accounts for 20 per cent of the island’s GDP.

Arrivals from Israel and Ukraine increased in the past year, he said, while in 2020 Cyprus expects to have airline companies run 35 flights a week from Germany.

“If everything goes well the results from Germany could be better than in 2019 and 2018,” Perdios said.

Head of Pasyxe Haris Loizides said the rise in tourism seen over the past few years is expected to continue.

He said the 2019 results for the tourism industry were about the same as 2018, with arrivals last year approaching four million, up one per cent.

Loizides also said revenue was stable, but there was potential for a slight decline in relation to 2018’s numbers.

Commenting on tourism from the UK, Loizides added currently efforts were being thrown in to retaining the arrivals from the country, and dealing with the problems caused by the shutdown of Thomas Cook.

“The agreement with the German company Condor to launch eight weekly flights to Paphos Airport from four German airports, coupled with encouraging messages from the Russian market, allow us to be optimistic that we will overcome the difficulties,” he said.

Loizides also said their goal to reach five million arrivals by 2030 is achievable if new markets are found, and Cyprus is promoted as a year round destination.

“We want more Cyprus in our tourist product,” he said, adding that renovations need to be made to the aesthetics of tourist destinations, and large-scale projects need to be undertaken for promotion.

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