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Tour guides say ‘unfairly excluded’ from state pandemic support to sector

paphos harbour tourists 2016
Tourists walk along Paphos harbour (file photo)

Tourist guides on Saturday said its members were being unfairly treated after the sector was not included in the new state support plans for businesses impacted by the pandemic.

In a written statement, Cyprus tourist guide association expressed great dissatisfaction over their non-inclusion to the state support schemed and the one-off grant by the finance ministry for this year.

They added its members, “who add value to the tourism product”, are being unfairly treated as they are unable to cover their living expenses and are in “desperation and financial distress”.

Many guides have not worked for many months or worked occasionally, as tourist arrivals were at a 40 per cent of the 2019 rates.

Given the prevailing tourism trends, such as seasonality, coupled with outbreaks of coronavirus, they are also enduring a difficult winter, the announcement added.

The association said the hotel industry is already benefiting from the state plans, since November, and throughout the winter period.

Their statement came a few days after taxi drivers issued a similar announcement, warning the state with a six-hour work stoppage because the finance ministry announced the one-off grant which failed to include the sector.

The work-stoppage, which was expected to affect main roads, was postponed on Wednesday after the ministry announced additional sectors, including taxi drivers in the grant.

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