Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios on Wednesday said that two major schemes are being prepared that aim to upgrade Cyprus’ tourism product.

These include improving and upgrading services, with a particular focus placed on the healthcare and wellness sector, including the creation of relevant centres in rural areas.

The new schemes will have a budget of €20 million, with the amount being drawn from Cyprus’ recovery and resilience plan.

Also applicable for the scheme will be hotels that are currently not in operation.

“We are essentially talking about a qualitative improvement of the services provided by existing units with clear objectives, such as their digital transition, their energy transition and the upgrading or addition of health, wellness and assisted living services,” Perdios told local outlet Stockwatch.

The minister explained that through this specific scheme, hoteliers will be able to upgrade their reservation system, modernise their restaurants and bar areas, improve their rooms and create wellness areas.

“It is an admission that as Cyprus we have not developed sufficiently in the field of health and wellness tourism, which are an important part of special forms of tourism,” Perdios said.

“All this will help the hotel industry to attract a high-income segment of the market that until today remains extremely underutilised”, he added.

The Association for the Protection of Borrowers (Syprodat) this week expressed relief at the recent approval by President Anastasiades of a piece of legislation postponing foreclosures until October 31, 2022.

According to the legislation, this also affects in-progress foreclosures, as well as the bidding process by other parties for the acquisition of the respective property, meaning that the process will need to be restarted from the beginning after the aforementioned period.

Moreover, the legislation affects credit acquisition companies or funds, as well as private parties involved in the acquisition of such properties.

The association has also called on loan management agencies to proceed with restructuring wherever applicable, as they are obliged to do so in accordance with the relevant Central Bank directive.

“This is the only way non-performing loans (NPLs) will be reduced,” the association said.

“Foreclosures will not solve the problem of non-performing loans,” it added.

The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) ended Wednesday, August 24 with losses.

The general Cyprus Stock Market Index was at 73.83 points at 13:04 during the day, reflecting a drop of 0.18 per cent over the previous day of trading.

The FTSE / CySE 20 Index was at 43.90 points, which represents a decrease of 0.3 per cent.

The total value of transactions came up to €98,983.

In terms of the sub-indexes, the main, alternative and investment firm indexes fell by 0.06 per cent, 0.53 per cent and 0.49 per cent respectively, while the hotel index remained stable.

The biggest investment interest was attracted by the Bank of Cyprus (+0.39 per cent), Vassiliko Cement Works (no change), Logicom (+1.14 per cent), Hellenic Bank (-0.86 per cent), and Petrolina Holdings (-0.9 per cent).