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President of Cyprus – tourism key for the country
05 Jun 13
The President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, stressed the importance of tourism to the economy of the island while receiving the UNWTO / World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Open Letter on Travel and Tourism. By accepting the Open Letter, President Anastasiades adds his voice to those world leaders which rally support for tourism as a key for growth and fairer development (Nicosia, Cyprus 24 May 2013).
UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai emphasized the importance of tourism to the Cyprus economy and highlighted the existing opportunities to grow the sector. ”The country is open for business and tourists all year around”. Rifai expressed his confidence that Cyprus would “implement policies that ensure the steady growth of the tourism sector, namely in the area of air connectivity and visa facilitation”.
Topics addressed during the meeting with President Anastasiades included the importance of visa facilitation and open skies policies as well as the need for product diversification.
The Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, singled out the fight against seasonality and the diversification of the tourism product as main priorities in order to increase Cyprus’ competitiveness.
Jürgen Buchy, President of the German Travel Association (DRV), who accompanied the UNWTO Secretary-General during the visit, confirmed that “in the German market bookings to Cyprus are currently steady”.
In 2012, 2.5 million international tourists visited Cyprus (+3% compared to 2011), generating more than US$ 2.6 billion in exports. Tourism is one of the leading economic activities of Cyprus, accounting for 26% of all exports.
Note to Editors:
UNWTO and WTTC are jointly presenting heads of state and government around the world an Open Letter which calls on them to acknowledge tourism’s key role in delivering more sustained and balanced growth and to prioritize the sector higher in national policies in order to maximize its potential. The Open Letter outlines Travel & Tourism’s value as one of the world’s largest generators of jobs, a powerful driver of socio-economic growth and development and a key player in the transformation to the Green Economy. To date, 51 heads of state and government have received the Open Letter from UNWTO and WTTC.
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