Cyprus Mail

Cyprus has tools to become a destination that respects environment

Åðáñ÷ßá Áììï÷þóôïõ Ïëïêëçñþèçêå ôï Ýñãï “keep our sand and sea plastic free”

Cyprus has all the tools to become a destination that respects the environment, Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios said on Wednesday, adding that recent Eurostat statistics show that around 38 per cent of Cyprus is comprised of protected areas.

Speaking at the celebratory event of the “Keep our Sand and Sea Plastic Free” project that took place in the afternoon at Malama Beach Holiday Village in Protaras, Perdios said that it is important for the Deputy Ministry to have such initiatives “since one of the five pillars of the National Tourism Strategy is for Cyprus to become a destination that respects the environment.”

Perdios also expressed his belief that “Cyprus has all the tools to become a destination that respects the environment. Recent Eurostat statistics show that around 38 per cent of Cyprus are protected areas, a high percentage, since the average for the European Union is 26 per cent” he said and noted that “it is important that our island is in the top six countries that designate areas as protected.”

Paralimni Mayor Theodoros Pyrillis said that “the Municipality will continue its programme in terms of adapting to new conditions and needs for the protection of the environment.” “Malama beach is the second beach of Paralimni to become free of plastics and microplastics and we will continue our efforts in other beaches,” he added.

For his part, President of the Famagusta Tourism Development and Promotion Company, Mayor of Ayia Napa Christos Zannettou expressed the belief that all beaches of Paralimni will become plastic-free to preserve the marine environment “so that we can create the sustainability that is needed. Certainly, the needs and the pressure on the beaches with the increasing number of tourists is very high and that is why we all have to be doubly careful.”

Christos Angelides, President of the Pancyprian Association of Hotel Managers, said that too many hotels and managers and employees have started to become environmentally conscious, paying attention to their actions, general recycling and environmental principles. “In hotels, apart from recycling, there is something else that is also important, which is the composting of leftover food that is no longer used,” he added.

Philippos Droussiotis, President of the Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Association, expressed his satisfaction for the completion of the first phase of this project for the free Famagusta area, which was a great success. Today the continuation of the project was announced for the next three years which will be extended to the whole of Cyprus, namely, Larnaca, Limassol, Limassol, Paphos, Polis Chrysochous and the other coasts”.

Veronika Blach, Senior Programme Lead at TUI Care Foundation, said that “we are very satisfied of the results, we are focusing on Ayia Napa and Paralimni, and we managed to have 100 businesses, including hotels, bars, restaurants, associations and schools, committing to plastic reduction and plastic elimination. That is quite an achievement and our goal in the next stage is to increase that number to 300”.

Elke Dens, Director of Global Programmes of the Travel Foundation, expressed hope that this is the launch of a project and many will follow “because we need to tackle climate, also other points like food waste, we have the hotel industry very much engaged so maybe they can continue to work together. We also have Cyprus breakfasts, and we offer local products to our guests, which is very successful, and we will continue that, in order to really make tourism more beneficial to local people here and to local businesses”.

Finally, Helen Caron, Member of the Board of Trustees of the TUI Care Foundation and TUI Group Purchasing Director in the area of Hotels & Resorts, Cruises, Destination Experiences, said that “one of the key headline messages is that the initiative has actually removed plastic waste equivalent to the weight of 23 -737 aircraft, which I think is a massive achievement if you put it into context”, adding that “tonight, we are going to announce the project for another three years and I’m delighted that we’re able to expand this initiative, which is a really important element to the Care Foundation”.

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