New tourism boss seeking to add value

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Cyprus’ new Deputy Minister of Tourism, Costas Koumis, said he would start immediately working hard to add value to the country’s holiday industry.

Outgoing minister Savvas Perdios, who was the first to hold this post in 2019, believes Koumis will continue the implementation of the Cyprus Tourism Strategy 2030.

“It is a great honour and a heavy responsibility 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 this country,” said Koumis in Wednesday’s handover ceremony.

“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 European tourism development, actively shaping Europe’s tourism agenda,” he added.

He said the aim was to maximise the benefits of the Recovery and Resilience Plan, to strengthen infrastructure in tourist areas, invest in new areas and support declining resorts, further improve Cyprus’ air connectivity, strengthen existing markets, and open new ones.

“And to invest in sustainable development, and in human resources to support small-and-medium-size enterprises, to promote the digital transformation in tourism, strengthen the competitiveness of the country’s tourism product.”

Perdios said he was “happy and proud” to hand over a sector that is rising in terms of arrivals, revenue, and quality.

“In the last three years, the customer satisfaction rate in Cyprus has reached 86% while the target is 90% by 2030.”

In terms of revenue, he said, 2022, despite all the adversities, “was a pretty good year; we reached 90% of 2019, which was a record year.

“January 2023 was also the best January of all time, as 90,000 arrivals were recorded,” said Perdios.

He hoped his successor would not have to face crises such as bankruptcies of tour operators and airlines, such as the ones experienced in recent years, a pandemic, or continue to face the war in Ukraine.