Cyprus takes measures to boost its tourism

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The cabinet has approved nine incentive schemes to boost the coronavirus-stricken tourism sector which welcomed three million fewer tourists last year.

Pandemic lockdowns and travel restrictions saw Cyprus tourist arrivals drop by 84.1% in 2020

Announcing the schemes, the Deputy Ministry of Tourism said new and upgraded versions of previous plans form part of the 2030 National Tourism Strategy.

One of the schemes includes incentives to boost alternative tourism, such as conferences, international sports events, attracting foreign teams to choose Cyprus as their training base ahead of a new season.

Another scheme provides incentives for the certification of recreational diving services in Cyprus.

There is an initiative to promote the creation and upgrade of infrastructure and facilities related to urban tourism and communities.

The schemes also include incentives to boost agrotourism by organising events to promote local food products and wines and organising familiarization trips for niche tourism on the island.

One of the schemes provides incentives for hosting cruise ships.

“Beyond the specialized objectives served by each plan, the deputy ministry is generally aiming, through their implementation, at upgrading the tourist product and attracting larger flows of visitors to our country outside the peak period,” the tourism ministry said.

Since Saturday, travelling to Cyprus has become a harder task after authorities tightened controls at airport fearing the import of more potent strains of the virus.

People now arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports from category A and B countries need to self-isolate for three days and undertake a PCR test for coronavirus upon ending their quarantine.

Previously, passengers from category A destinations did not need to present a negative PCR test to enter, while those from category B countries required one, but did not need to self-isolate.

Following concerns over new potent strains of coronavirus infiltrating Europe, Cyprus health authorities have decided to step up measures for arrivals at airports.

The decision was taken bearing in mind evidence of increased transmissibility and aggressive spread of the new SARS-CoV-2 variants, known as the ‘Kent’ and ‘South African’ variant.