On Monday, the Association of Cyprus Tourist Enterprises (Stek) issued a statement on World Tourism Day to put forward ‘rethinking tourism,’ a vital theme of the larger initiative. With this at the forefront, Stek is committed to continuously evaluating and transforming Cyprus into one of the world’s leading destinations.
World Tourism Day, which takes place every September 27, first began in 1980. This year, the focus on the future is more important than ever. In keeping with the UNWTO movements to rethink tourism, Stek issued the following statement about the tourism reset:
“This means putting people and the planet first and bringing everyone from governments and businesses to local communities together around a shared vision for a more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient sector.”
Stek also iterated how the Covid-19 pandemic affected the industry on a social and economic level. The organization pointed out how both developed and developing countries are feeling the adverse effects of the crisis and the effects the safety measures enacted to combat its spread have had. The organization stressed how in Cyprus, the recovery of tourism is inextricably linked to economic growth:
“We consider Cyprus tourism’s results to be encouraging if we take into account the losses of tourist flows from both Russia, the second largest tourist market for Cyprus, and also, to a lesser extent, Ukraine. In the current era, timely statistical information and in-depth analysis of tourism trends recorded after the pandemic are decisive factors on which the actions that change and adjust our tourist product must be based.”
Stek President Akis Vavlitis emphasized that Cyprus must remain vigilant and flexible to address the fast-changing environment. He pointed out how adaptability has become a top priority in Cyprus and the industry. He also stressed the importance of sustainable development as the backbone of forward-thinking decision-makers.
The island is in a kind of crucible, caught between the effects of myriad crises and functional problems that have faced the industry for some time. This truly is the time for rethinking tourism from every angle. Another acute problem was brought to light by the director general of the Cyprus Hotel Association, Philokypros Roussounides (at left), who keyed on the labor shortages in the hospitality sector that plague not only Cyprus but the entire EU. The report from Financial Mirror says these shortages are expected to persist for another five years.
Some readers may recall that Akis Vavlitis met Energy Minister Natasa Pilides in early August about applying virtual net energy metering (VNEM) and billing to hotels. The burgeoning energy crisis is but one challenge facing Cyprus tourism. Vavlitis and Stek are dealing with everything from industry crippling local noise pollution to the widening conflict in Ukraine.