Cyprus signs agreement with Saudi Arabia in boost to tourism

Monday, July 3, 2023


Saudi Arabia

Deputy Minister of Tourism Kostas Koumis announced on Wednesday the approval of a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Arabia in the tourism sector, as well as the establishment of a tourism observatory within the Deputy Ministry to enhance Cyprus’ tourism competitiveness.

Following a cabinet meeting, Koumis stated that the signing of the memorandum of understanding with Saudi Arabia had been approved, with both parties acknowledging the need to strengthen their bilateral cooperation and aim for further development of tourism flows.

He mentioned that the memorandum is expected to facilitate closer collaboration between the two countries in the tourism sector, including the exchange of knowledge and information, the development of specialised forms of tourism, cooperation in tourism training programmes, and the joint production of audiovisual material and tourism products.

In response to a question, the Deputy Minister revealed that he will travel to Saudi Arabia next Sunday to showcase the country in three cities with which Cyprus will soon have air connectivity.

Moreover, he emphasised that Saudi Arabia is an emerging market with relatively low tourist arrivals to date, and expressed optimism that the air connectivity and increased outbound travel of Saudi Arabians will yield positive results.

Koumis also stressed the need to enhance Cyprus’ visibility as a tourist destination for Saudi Arabia, stating that significant efforts will be made in that direction.

He clarified that no specific target for tourist arrivals had been set, but the ministry is in communication with both the Cypriot embassy in Saudi Arabia and tourism stakeholders, and they are optimistic about achieving good results in the first year.

Furthermore, Koumis announced the establishment of a tourism observatory aimed at collecting data and information related to all aspects of Cyprus’ tourism activities.

He stated that the observatory will gather data and provide comprehensive information to all stakeholders to enhance the competitiveness of the sector.

In addition, the observatory will collect and analyse results from primary and secondary research conducted through various sources.

The Deputy Minister highlighted that the observatory will operate as a unit within the Deputy Ministry and expressed conviction that it will greatly contribute to strengthening the Cypriot tourism sector.

Crucially, he also assured transparency in presenting the collected and analysed data.

As an example of the observatory’s work, he mentioned the issue of noise pollution, which is currently under intense discussion, particularly as it primarily affects tourist areas.

The minister explained that while there is a problem, it does not affect all regions, and there is hope that those specific areas with more pronounced issues can be addressed effectively.

Finally, Koumis emphasised the importance of disseminating the collected data to local authorities and other stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Justice.

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