You can create your own opinion regarding the matter of all inclusive offers made by the hotels in Cyprus to holiday makers. However lets have a look at the current problem with All Inclusive offers in Cyprus from local media and possible solutions and actions anyone of us can contribute with!
Despite the surge in tourists, restaurants, clubs, taverns and souvenir shops in Protaras are emptier than ever. Three months into the tourist season and yet owners of tourist businesses in the area have expressed their disappointment. According to Petros Assia, the president of leisure businesses in Protaras, this phenomenon has been very common in the last five years.
“Although the streets, beaches and hotels in Protaras are full, the rest of the businesses are empty, which has a massive impact on the tourist industry in Cyprus”, said Assia. He added: “I don’t see the situation improving for the rest of the summer months”.
Assia highlighted that this trend is most noticeable in the areas where most “all- inclusive” hotels are located. He said that in other areas with less all-inclusive’ services available, the tourist influx at businesses is much better. “If this all-inclusive trend is not properly monitored and criteria are set to not only improve it and at the same time protect the rest of the tourist industry, in a few years the climate will be non-reversible,” Assia said.
“This will mean that Cyprus will be just offering hotel services and lacking in the rest that the tourism industry has to offer”. All-inclusive hotels, which increase every year at an alarming rate, offer not only meals but also transportation services and souvenir shops, so tourists don’t spend any money on any other services outside the hotels.
“That is why most of the other businesses in the area are on the brink of bankruptcy”, said Assia. “The lack of profit that the businesses are currently experiencing means that there is no money for upgrades and renovations, which makes them less competitive”. Assia argued that tourists who visit the island come on a tight budget, and choose to use public transport, do not visit any bars or restaurants or spend any money on shopping.
All-inclusive hotel holidays, especially in Paphos, have become a reality in Cyprus but pose risks for the sustainability of tourism, deputy director general of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation Annita Demetriades said in June 2016. The majority of hotel beds in Paphos are all-inclusive. “A large number of hotels are offering all-inclusive holidays but negative economic and social effects have been observed in the local community at entertainment establishments, supermarkets, souvenir shops and for excursions,” she said.
To improve the above situation, the CTO, the Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative and the Travel Foundation UK, commissioned the Brighton Hospitality Research Group (BHR) from Brighton University, to further investigate the matter with a view to identifying incentives that could push tourists in Paphos to spend more money and time outside of the hotels. Read the full study here.
According to the main conclusions of the study, it was found that among the tourists there was a lack of reliable information in relation to the activities they could engage in outside the hotel complex, and that businesses with something to offer found it was difficult to find a way of promoting what they had to offer.
President of the Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative Philippos Drousiotis, said: “In Paphos, and all over Cyprus in general there is a need to ensure that tourists know the destination and what it has to offer them.”
Follow other great projects implementing sustainability into tourism product, such as Minimum Standards for Sustainability in Hotel Industry, Sustainable Hotel Gardens in Cyprus, Cyprus Breakfast (more information on Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative website).
What can holiday maker do?
In the article Your benefits of being a responsible traveler, you can see in the point 3 the recommendation for tourists to buy locally made products and use local services, including to eat at local restaurants and visit local bars and cafes, stay in locally run hotels or apartments; tourists should ask about excursions using local guides and drivers, as they have insider knowledge. Putting money into the local economy helps local people and give your trip or holiday an extra dimension.
“Sustainable (responsible) tourism is about making a positive difference to the people and environment of destinations you are travelling to. Respect the local cultures and the natural environment, buy locally and take responsibility of your actions while enjoying yourself.”
How to enjoy your holiday in the sustainable way?
Sustainable tourists aim to make only a positive impact on the environment, society and economy when visiting their chosen destination, using local transportation, accommodation, entertainment, food and shopping. Sustainable tourists should respect local cultures and environment, buying locally unfairly, protect water, energy and endangered wildlife, take responsibility for their actions, protect and enhance destinations. Everybody should be a sustainable tourists, no matter how close or far away from home they are travelling. Following the 10 steps will not only help you become the best sustainable tourist possible, but help preserve our beloved tourist destinations for many years to come!
Check list of our events to support local initiatives and buy food and other products from local producers, for example by visiting local markets, like one in Pano Akourdaleia Farmer’s market or traditional Herb Garden Market in Polis, or any markets in all cities and villages in Cyprus.
Also, it is important to mention few words concerning to the Local Travels in Cyprus as many locals do not know and never visited places in Cyprus. We will recently do our own research to discover the awareness and visit rate of certain places in Cyprus by locals. There are already initiatives in local tourism boards to attract local visitors in certain areas in Cyprus (Cyprus for Cypriots), find a full article here. The other new project in Paphos examines the synergies of culture and heritage in innovation and sustainable tourism development, read here.
The best will be if you also come up with your own solution to the problem, no matter if you are a local, foreigner, business owner or holiday maker in Cyprus and share your possible solution with others!
What is the opinion on behalf of Cyprus Excursion?
“I believe any tourist can spend as much as he can afford once he is attracted by the products and services the local businesses are offering. If local business owners are complaining and not adding any value, this conservative approach of “what worked will work forever” will ruin them soon. Offer something unique, not what every of your neighbor offers. Sell the story, provide unforgettable relationships, not just expensive products and services. You complain about big tour operators who are the money ruler, but you should focus on the one who accepts these rules. It might hurt, however this is the way to defend what we stand for. Also, look at Cyprus via eyes of tourists coming here for the first time and repeatedly.”
Contact us if you have any questions which we can answer.
Cyprus Excursion is the very first project with the aim to support, develop and promote sustainable tourism in Cyprus and local travels in Cyprus via Trips Tips. If you go by your own or rented car and you have space, place your offer on our Trip Sharing group, save more money, meet new people and share your wonderful day!
Related article: Shaping the future of sustainable tourism in Cyprus, 8 Myths About Responsible Tourism, Your benefits of being a responsible traveler, Your support towards sustainable tourism in Cyprus, Paphos one of top 100 ‘most green’ destinations worldwide.
Published on 7th of June 2016.
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