Extending the Mediterranean island’s tourist season is the biggest challenge for the fledgling Deputy Ministry of Tourism and for Savvas Perdios who is at its helm.
Insiders believe that key to success is specialised tourism which is much discussed but hard to achieve since Cyprus is a country that is identified as the ultimate sun and sea destination.
That is why the deputy ministry is now focusing on the promotion of special types of tourism with Perdios set to meet foreign tour operators in October to ‘sell’ sports tourism. This is the best time for such a promotion when the summer heat eases.
Specifically, Perdios plans to promote water sports to Swedish and Russians (among others) such as swimming and diving. But also mountain sports such as cycling and team sports in general, such as football.
At the same time, Perdios will seek to attract major sport events to the island since a very high number of people travel for big sport events, irrespective of whether they participate or not.
With all this in mind the deputy minister has already approached neighbouring countries such as Greece and Lebanon and bilateral agreements have been signed focusing on common tourist packages, some of which include cycling routes and others diving spots.
Within this framework an agreement was signed to set up the International Sports and Tourism Organisation for Peace and Prosperity.
Perdios will kick off his contacts in London focusing on the promotion of cycling tourism with 15 specialised tour operators.
By Demetra Landou