The Cyprus Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KeveI) on Friday announced that it has prolonged the application deadline for its I-STARS grant scheme, catering specifically to tourism businesses.

The extension grants an opportunity for interested enterprises to submit their applications until Wednesday, December 6, 2023, at 6 pm local time.

This grant, offering up to €5,600 per company, stands as a significant boost for businesses within the tourism sector.

Notably, this financial support is fully funded and does not fall under the de-minimis regulation.

According to the chamber, the initiative aims to promote the adoption of sustainable practices among tourism-oriented businesses.

The advantages of integrating sustainability measures within these enterprises are manifold and impact both the businesses and the destinations they serve.

The chamber explained that more sustainable tourism businesses stand to gain from a number of benefits.

These include the attraction of higher-quality tourists, since travellers who are inclined toward sustainability often favour destinations and businesses adhering to sustainable practices, thereby contributing to the economic growth of these locations.

Moreover, businesses can see improved performance and competitiveness, since more sustainable operations tend to heighten efficiency and profits by reducing operating costs, attracting a more conscientious clientele, and fostering a competitive edge.

Furthermore, businesses embracing sustainability initiatives elevate their image among consumers increasingly attentive to environmental and social responsibilities, improving their business image.

Additionally, sustainable practices actively curtail the environmental footprint of tourism activities, incorporating measures like energy conservation, effective waste management, and the preservation of natural assets, reducing environmental impact.

The chamber also said that businesses implementing sustainable practices actively contribute to local communities, providing benefits such as employment opportunities, educational support, and backing for local projects, advancing corporate social responsibility.

Applicants also stand to benefit from a spectrum of services offered by the chamber’s specialised sustainability consultants, encompassing diverse aspects of sustainable business operations.

This extension presents a unique opportunity for Cyprus’s tourism sector to embrace sustainability while reaping the benefits of financial aid and expert guidance offered by the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce & Industry.