Cyprus’ new Deputy Minister of Tourism, Costas Koumis, said he will start immediately “hard work” with the aim of adding value to the country’s tourism, at the handover/takeover ceremony for the Deputy Ministry’s portfolio, noting that he will seek to achieve every goal of the National Tourism Strategy, to make Cyprus one of the key players of the European tourism state of affairs.
Outgoing Deputy Minister, Savvas Perdios, who was the first to hold this post since the Deputy Ministry was established in 2019, expressed the belief that, with Koumis at the helm, the Deputy Ministry will continue its work and the implementation of the national, Cyprus Tourism Strategy 2030.
Koumis, in his speech at the ceremony, in the presence of the staff of the Deputy Ministry as well as representatives of the country’s tourism sector, said that it was a “great honour and a heavy responsibility” for him to take over the country’s tourism portfolio, if one considers that, the daily life of tens of thousands of families is affected by tourism in the country.
“We are here to pursue the achievement of every goal that has been set in the national Tourism Strategy, so that Cyprus becomes one of the protagonists of the European tourism development with the aim and goal of little Cyprus actively participating in shaping Europe’s tourism agenda,” he said among other things.
He added that, as Deputy Ministry, they will seek to be present “at the heart of tourism”, with many visits to the tourist areas and that they will work “collectively and responsibly” in order to implement the proposals announced by the President of the Republic for tourism.
He also said that the aim was to maximise the benefits of the Recovery and Resilience Plan, to further strengthen infrastructure in tourist areas, to invest in new areas and to support declining tourist areas, to strengthen summer resorts and inland areas, further improve Cyprus’ air connectivity, strengthen, even more, existing markets and open new ones, to invest in quality, in sustainable development, and in human resources, to support small-and-medium-size enterprises, to promote the digital transformation in tourism, to further promote special forms of tourism, to strengthen the competitiveness of the country’s tourism product, and to help in the construction of major projects.
Perdios in his speech, said that, he was “happy and proud” to hand over a sector which is on the rise, both in terms of arrivals and revenue as well as quality.
In the last three years, he noted, the customer satisfaction rate in Cyprus has reached 86% while the target is to reach 90% by 2030, expressing optimism that Koumis and the Deputy Ministry’s staff would achieve this. In terms of revenue, he said, in 2022, despite all the adversities, “was a pretty good year, we reached 90% of 2019 which was a record year, while this January was also the best January of all time”, as 90,000 arrivals were recorded. He said this shows the outlook for both this year and the future.
Perdios assured the new Deputy Minister that he will be by his side for whatever he needs, noting that he believes in him, and wished him success in his work, while expressing hope that he will not have to face any crisis such as bankruptcies of tour operators and airline companies, such as the ones experienced in recent years, a pandemic, or continue to face the war in Ukraine.
He thanked the staff for their hard work and the representatives of the tourism industry for their support.
Koumis and Perdios expressed their condolences to the families of the victims of the deadly train accident in Greece.