Deputy Minister of Tourism Kostas Koumis is in Riyadh on Wednesday to participate in World Tourism Day events.

World Tourism Day has been designated as September 27 by the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) and this year is dedicated to redefining the role of investments in the successful implementation of its Agenda 2030–Tourism and Green Investments.

The WTO aims for a new investment strategy that includes creating opportunities and investing in human capital towards accelerating the green transition, the deputy ministry of tourism said in a statement.

The statement also said harnessing the prosperity that comes with innovation, technology and entrepreneurship -“investing in people, planet and prosperity”- are strategic priorities for the ministry, [as are] sustainable tourism, upgrading human resources skills, digital transition and encouraging non-discriminatory entrepreneurship.

“We celebrate World Tourism Day 2023, highlighting the need to respond to modern trends and challenges, a necessary condition for establishing Cyprus as a quality, sustainable and year-round destination [and] contribute to the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the country,” the statement added.

As part of the event, Mayor of Lefkara, Sophocles Sophocleous, was honoured with the “Best Tourism Villages 2021” award, and a historical review of the Cyprus hotel industry was presented.

A new quality label for businesses was also presented, which rewards hotels that highlight the historical heritage of Cyprus through their “connection with events and elements of the past.”

According to the press release, the deputy minister stressed that making decisions and planning actions to support the green transition “should not be a catchy slogan, but an immediate necessity and an urgent responsibility.”

To this end the ministry announced a targeted plan of seminars in all districts and a campaign to raise awareness and promote tourism professions and the hospitality industry, as well as rewards for best practices and programmes in schools.

According to the ministry, sustainability is now an essential criterion in sponsorship schemes, quality labels and promotional activities in Cyprus, thus encouraging professionals in the sector to invest in the sustainability of the product on offer.

The innovative project “Heartland of Legends” consisting of a tourist route to showcase rural, mountainous and remote areas is a case in point, the minister said, noting that, “the circular route gives visitors the opportunity to get close to nature, learn about local traditions and participate in experiential activities.”