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Shaping the future of sustainable tourism in Cyprus

Sharing ideas, shaping trends in tourism and building relationship together with governmental organisations in Cyprus, this is a goal of Cyprus Excursion project as we can all support, develop and promote sustainable tourism in Cyprus in one direction. Go ahead to know more about the most important initiatives Cyprus Tourism Organisation was involved in the last years aiming to shape the future of sustainable tourism in Cyprus.

During the 5 year strategic partnership between Cyprus Tourism Organisation, Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative and the Travel Foundation, a number of initiatives have been established in order to support Cyprus in integrating sustainable tourism principles into every day tourism practice.

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Since 2010, the partnership has worked tirelessly to engage stakeholders across the country, with innovative projects that have reaffirmed not just the ethical case, but also the business case for sustainable and responsible tourism.

The 2014 introduction of minimum sustainability standards into the quality criteria for hotels was a very significant achievement, not just for Cyprus, but potentially also for the travel and tourism industry internationally. Through this successful initiative, Cyprus has demonstrated clear leadership in embedding sustainability into its tourism product.

Cyprus is the first destination in the world to establish mandatory minimum standards for sustainability for accommodation providers. The integration of minimum sustainability standards, has allowed the Cyprus Tourism Organisation and its project partners to ensure that the principles of sustainability are well understood and most of all supported by hotel stakeholders.

Other successful initiatives include the ‘Cyprus Breakfast’ that has now been rolled out across the island. By integrating authentic local produce into ‘mainstream’ holiday experiences, economic benefit can be created for small-scale producers from outside resort areas, while at the same time our local culture and tradition is promoted.

Other projects include the ‘Optimizing All Inclusive Customer Spend’ a pilot project which has been carried out in Pafos area, the ‘Greening Cyprus Beaches’, and the Waste mapping project. The aim of this project was to highlight the financial and environmental benefits of undertaking waste mapping as part of a hotel’s on-going business operations.

Additionally, Cyprus Tourism Organisation supports and implements a series of other sustainable initiatives notably the development and promotion of agrotourism in rural areas as well as the introduction of thematic routes, focused on culture, cycling and hiking placing significant emphasis on tourism experiences in the heart of Cyprus communities.

Our government’s tourism strategy over the next years will aim to further improve the performance of the sector “within the framework of sustainable development” – thereby reinforcing our commitment to sustainability at a national level for the next decade and beyond, focusing on synergies and cooperation between all parties involved.

While we know that there is a great deal still to achieve, we are proud of our progress to date. We were extremely satisfied that, of all countries that TUI Group operates globally, Cyprus was chosen as the most suitable for the ground-breaking ‘Total Impact Measurement and Management’ pilot project that the Travel Foundation undertook over the last year. We understand this was based on several positive factors, including among others the partnership framework between the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, the Travel Foundation and the Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative that has yielded such positive, replicable projects.

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We have to also stress the fact that our continuing, joint efforts to create a sustainable tourist product, has resulted in Cyprus being awarded for the first time in the prestigious World ResponsibleTourism Awards, in the category “Best Destination for Responsible Tourism”, the winner announced at World Travel Market on 4th November, 2015.

Sustainability is vitally important to Cyprus, and we must continue to embrace and act upon its principles in order to ensure the viability of our island as a holiday destination into the future.

We would like to thank Mrs. Monica Liatiri, Tourism Officer at Cyprus Tourism Organisation for sharing the information with Cyprus Excursion. Cyprus Excursion is aiming to support, develop and promote sustainable tourism in Cyprus by building a powerful network of local partners.

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