The Greece–Cyprus connection: A big bet on tourism
A bilateral discussion between Greek and Cypriot political and professional tourism leaders about ways to cooperate around restarting tourism was organized on Tuesday 16 June by Cyprus Financial Media Way and Naftemporiki.
Held online, in view of the health crisis, the discussion, coordinated by the journalist Iosif Iosif, included the Deputy Minister of Tourism of Cyprus, Savva Perdios, the President of ACTA, Vassilis Stamataris, the President of the Pancyprian Hoteliers Association, Harry Loizidis, the Head of the GNTO Office in Cyprus, Mr. Theodoros, and FedHATTA President Lysandros Tsilidis.
The discussion centered on tourism between Greece and Cyprus during the period of resumption of tourism, avenues for joint initiatives, and the points on which the competent bodies and the State should focus, in order to support the recovery of the tourism sector.
Lysandros Tsilidis, President of FedHATTA, outlined the promotion program of FedHATTA, during the upcoming period, which includes a wide campaign in the US and European markets, details of which will be announced shortly. As he characteristically stated: “We fully support the effort of Cyprus to return to the rhythms of normalcy, and we support in every way the creation of joint tourist packages for large markets. This has already started after the discussion of the Deputy Minister of Tourism Mr. S. Perdiou in Rhodes in 2019, where we organized the ASTA International Showcase with TO. of North America, for the joint packages that will be addressed to American travelers. At that time, North American professionals responded to the call, expanding the organization of post tours in Egypt and Israel, to two countries – members of EMTAAS, which operates in the Eastern Mediterranean to promote joint packages. There are countries that love Cyprus as a destination, and that are facilitated by your flexibility regarding the issuance of visas, such as e.g. the Arab countries. The air connection can be made in this case through Egypt, Israel and Greece. In this way we create a strong advantage to large international markets “.
Mr. Th. Thalassinos referred to the ferry connection Greece – Cyprus, which arrived one step before its implementation before the outbreak of the pandemic, stating that this connection will stimulate travel flows during the summer months but also psychological security for Cypriot travelers that they are not cut off from Greece, but also from the countries with which Greece is connected.
Mr. L. Tsilidis added that of course this measure has been suspended for the time being due to the pandemic, but when he returns he will need to reconsider the need for a subsidy from the EU. as similar ventures in the past did not flourish due to the costs created by distance, but also the design of capable routes. As he characteristically said: “it is a measure that will help a lot, it will still need study. It is a very ambitious project that will connect the most distant state of Europe with Greece and the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean “.
Concluding the discussion, Lysandros Tsilidis, President of FedHATTA, added: “We invite you to present a joint campaign in large markets, such as the United States, in order to quickly restore a favorable situation. This is an opportunity for a more general restructuring, as we are talking about joint tourism packages. The older travel agents knew Cyprus as a destination, but the younger ones need to get to know it and be trained. Cyprus has a rich cultural, religious, wine and gastronomic tourism, it has opportunities for many types of tourist packages, as does, of course, Greece.”