Small island in the Mediterranean is making big waves in the sustainable tourism sector. For the first time in any destination, mandatory sustainability standards for hotels have been approved by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO). This means every hotel operating in Cyprus must now take action to protect the environment and support their local community.
The new minimum standards are part of a wider programme of reforms from the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, the Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative (CSTI) and the Travel Foundation – to make Cyprus a leading destination for sustainable tourism.
Hotel Sustainability Criteria in Cyprus – the sustainability standards for hotels cover a range of criteria including:
The CTO’s inspectors will check compliance as part of their general assessment of quality standards. As hotels sustainability performance improves over time, the standards will be reviewed and revised in order to move the Cypriot hotel sector towards best practice in the long-term.
Salli Felton, Acting Chief Executive of the Travel Foundation finds it “fantastic to support Cyprus with this world-first. Their commitment to implementing minimum sustainability standards for hotels has created a national framework that will ensure sustainability is business as usual rather than an optional extra. This step change will see Cyprus leading the way where other destinations are sure to follow.”
Thoughts: This is an interesting one. Sustainable tourism top-down through the national tourism organization, rather than relying on hotel and tour business owners and managers to realize the potential and mid- to long-term benefit of investing in sustainability initiatives. Most of them ain’t like being told what to do.
On the other hand, if Cyprus really manages to position itself as a credible ecotourism destination, then all the players involved will benefit, as environmentally conscious travellers tend to stay longer, spend more, and perhaps be more interested in local cultures. Curious to see how this works out.
Cyprus Excursion deals also with sustainability issues and promotes Cyprus as sustainable tourist destination.
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