Dear Deputy Minister of Tourism,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure for me to attend the 26th Annual e-Tourism Conference today, organized by IFITT-International Federation for IT and Travel & Tourism.
Organized for the first time in Cyprus, this conference is a major annual international event, attended by distinguished participants and speakers.
This event coincides with two significant developments in the field of tourism in Cyprus: The record breaking increase in tourist arrivals and the establishment of the Deputy Ministry of Tourism, which consists a turning point for the further development of tourism.
As you know, tourism is the driving force of the Cyprus’ economy. Following a constant upward trend in the recent years, tourism influx reached 4 million visitors this year, something that had seemed impossible a few years ago. While the main objective is not the number of tourist arrivals but the income increase, we feel satisfied for this year’s performance.
However, tourism should be profoundly supported and enhanced, as it is a sector with unpredictable changes. Our touristic product should be constantly upgraded and enriched in order for our country to increase its prospects to become an attractive tourist destination for the region and beyond. There is no doubt that our competitive advantages are numerous, starting with the specialized professionals in the tourism industry. Yet we need to improve our infrastructure and upgrade our services and deal with long unsolved challenges, such as seasonality.
This is exactly why CCCI constantly highlights the need to deal with such structural issues and broaden the future prospects of tourism.
Tourism stakeholders should not be complacent due to the recent progress, but need to be constantly updated about the latest developments and trends in the fields of traveling and tourism.
This conference is a great opportunity for participants to exchange their ideas about current problems and challenges, as well as to develop their knowledge on implementing new information and communication technologies in the tourism industry.
Increasing our competitiveness in the field of tourism should be our main aim.
CCCI has always stated the need to develop a new economic strategy which will harness the traditional sectors and boost new ones. Only through the necessary reforms and technological upgrade, will our country have a promising future in the field of tourism. We should also focus on reshaping our tourist product on institutional level. This is the reason why we strongly support the establishment of the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation, Digital Transformation, Investments and Competitiveness.
Apart from CCCI’s initiatives, we will definitely support any initiative taken to enhance our tourist product.
I wish you have a fruitful and constructive conference.
Christodoulos E. Angastiniotis