This is not the first time we have come on a tour of the free areas of the Famagusta region, especially right now when the tourist season should have started, to have a dialogue once again with the tourist industry stakeholders and to study the problems that exist and where the procedures are for solutions to be found.
What we conclude is that the comprehensive tourism strategy, which has been talked about for a number of years – both by the previous and the current government – has simply not been implemented. The statement by the Deputy Minister for Tourism that he will actually bring this proposal back for public consultation is characteristic, whereas previously, from the previous government, we were told that they would go ahead and implement it. That was their response when we asked for the proposal to be discussed. The answer was that the proposal has been completed and will subsequently be implemented.
So we need a strategy on tourism to be implemented that will address the long-standing problems that Cypriot tourism has. The first and major problem that Cyprus tourism has is seasonality. This phenomenon becomes even more acute because the tourist market is very competitive and various markets have emerged in our region.
Secondly, Cyprus’ tourism is very much affected by the numerous geopolitical developments in the region.
Thirdly, it has been affected by the war in Ukraine, in the sense that for three years now we have not had tourism from Russia, which was one of the key factors for Cyprus tourism especially in the free areas of Famagusta. So measures should also be taken so that in such cases a replacement of the tourist product is found.
There are a number of other issues, on which we have made representations to the government in the past. It is well known that when we were here as soon as the war in Ukraine started, we had elaborated, following a discussion with stakeholders on Cyprus tourism, specific proposals that were submitted to the government.
We will do the same now, firstly to recall problems that exist, secondly to re-submit our own proposals on how we should act to address problems that are now before us, but also to solve long-standing problems Cypriot tourism faces.
Stement by Stefanos Stefanou

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