The deputy ministry for tourism’s budget for 2022 focuses on six main areas, deputy minister Savvas Perdios said while presenting his ministry’s budget to the House finance committee on Monday.
Marking an increase from 2021’s budget of €45.7 million, the deputy ministry’s budget for the coming year amounts to €53.7 million, to be split up among six main areas.
Firstly, Perdios said the finance ministry has approved a grant of €5 million that will go to developing digital marketing and advertising Cyprus abroad for the next 12 months.
The second focus will be to strengthen tourism through upgrades to infrastructure and special forms of tourism.
Thirdly, the deputy ministry will help promote areas that have not yet sufficiently developed for tourism such as mountainous and rural areas, through a series of new initiatives like the Heartland of Legends route.
The fourth goal is to help local tourism grow through schemes like this year’s local tourism scheme, which has been extended to March 2022.
The fifth concerns collaborating with travel agencies and airlines on targeted advertising to help enter markets with year-round flight schedules.
Lastly, €3 million will be taken from the government’s Recovery and Resilience Plan for four different projects.
Perdios noted that the largest percentage of the budget, 40 per cent, will go on marketing, 25 per cent staff salaries and 25 per cent to upgrading the tourism product.
Without making any solid predictions for 2022, he said that trips to Cyprus are being planned from important markets like the UK, Russia and Poland.
“Until the end of March we will travel to over 30 countries to build on our relationships with their airlines, tourist agents and fellow deputy ministries, where we will present our progress over the past 18 months but also our vision for the future.”
When Cyprus comes out of the pandemic as a tourist destination, he added, “we want it to be different, sending the message that moves have been made to improve our product and adapt to today’s trends.”
The deputy minister said that 75 per cent of the goals forming the national tourism strategy for 2021 were reached by late August, and are expected to get closer to 100 per cent by the end of the year.
The goal, he said, is for Cyprus to increase its tourist visitors from four to five million by 2030, and for winter visits to increase from 25 to 40 per cent so that mountainous and rural areas get to benefit from an extended tourist period.