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Cyprus

Tourism minister wants to extend domestic tourism scheme

Deputy Minister for tourism Savvas Perdios (left)

Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios will submit a plan to extend the subsided holiday scheme aiming to boost local tourism during the next Council of Ministers on Wednesday.

Speaking to state broadcaster CyBC radio on Monday, the Deputy Minister said the proposal will aim to extend the domestic tourism scheme until the end of July as Cyprus prepares for the loss of the Russian and Ukrainian tourist markets.

The scheme, which offers generous state paid for discounts at participating hotels and holiday lets for permanent residents, was introduced in the wake of the pandemic in 2020.

Perdios also met Akel general secretary Stefanos Stefanou on Monday, after the party sounded the alarm regarding the anticipated shortfall of some 800,000 Russian and Ukrainian holidaymakers this summer.

Speaking after the meeting, Perdios said tourist arrivals will be at the same levels as last year’s summer season and might even be better.

During the meeting they discussed ways and means for Cyprus` industry to cope with the consequences of the war in Ukraine.

Perdios told the press that this possibility was foreseen at the end of January, before the Russian invasion, adding that the efforts focus on attracting 200,000-250,000 arrivals from other markets. He said however that the loss from Russia and Ukraine cannot be covered from other markets.

According to the Deputy Minister, the goal of having a summer season at the same level as last year remains feasible.

Last week, Akel proposed a plan to the deputy ministry of tourism revolving around two main pillars.

The first was the speedy intervention of the state in finding new markets or boosting existing markets so that the largest number of tourists could be brought in.

The second was to boost domestic tourism, which, according to Stefanou, had provided answers during the pandemic.

Following the meeting, the Akel general secretary said in an announcement that after two years of fighting against the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, the tourism industry is now in dire need of support from the state.

“The subsidised holiday scheme will give respite to hoteliers and, in general, to people working in the tourism industry.

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