The accession of Cyprus as a full member state of the EU has created manifold opportunities for the country’s tourism industry.
Inter alia, opportunities arose for co-financing and financial support from regional and social policies and the cohesion policies of the EU for projects, infrastructure and activities related to tourism, thus supporting and leading to the improvement, diversification and strengthening of the competitiveness of the tourism product and services.
In addition, in the framework of the programmes co-financed by the European territorial cooperation programs relating to the tourism sector, opportunities were created for both the public and the private sector for networking, sharing of expertise and best practices with member states and non-member states, thus adding a border, transnational and interregional dimension to projects and interventions.
At the same time, Cyprus has the opportunity to express its views on the political framework and policies related to tourism in Europe, particularly through its participation in the Tourism Advisory Committee and other fora and organisations.
The Lisbon Treaty created a new legal basis for tourism in relation to its European dimension. The EU has now the competence to carry out actions to support, coordinate and supplement the actions of the member states in the field of tourism and as such, has developed initiatives and tools to promote actions of added value.
The tourism sector is crucial for the economic recovery of the island. Therefore within the political and the economic environment in the EU and especially during the programming period 2014-2020, the Cypriot authorities – national, regional and local -, and the business sector are trying to exploit to the maximum extent possible opportunities for co-financing projects, actions and investments in the sector.
Specifically, the CTO, as the responsible body for tourism, shall focus its efforts on priority actions arising from the revised Tourism Strategy 2011-2015 and at the same time on those that shall contribute to achieving the priorities of the Europe 2020 Strategy and the thematic objectives of the Cohesion Policy and other relevant EU policies. Emphasis shall be given to strengthening the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises and to the promotion of employment by extending the tourist season.
Contribution to the Economy
Contribution of tourism to the economy is of vital importance. In 2013, more than 2.4 million tourists visited Cyprus, and generated €2.1 billion compared to 25.700 tourist arrivals in 1960 with £1.8 million (€3.8 million) in foreign exchange earnings. Tourists are mainly from the UK (37.1%), Russia (25.3%), Scandinavian countries (10.1%), Greece (4.4%) and Germany (4.1%).