Cyprus hopes to tap a new niche market for tourists with luxury camping, or glamping, for which legislation is being drafted, deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdios said on Tuesday after briefing the House trade and tourism committee.
He spoke of a new era in tourism because of growing interest in spending time in nature and said Cyprus could compete well, both as regards camping as we know it, and the new market – glamping.
“The opinions of various bodies will be sought in the final stages of preparation, and then a bill will be submitted to the law office so that it can be implemented in 2022,” he said.
Perdios said he had briefed MPs on the National Tourism Strategy, adding that this year’s plan comprises three pillars: advertising and marketing; upgrading of infrastructure focusing on specific forms of tourism; and improvement of the competitiveness of urban and mountain areas.
Under a Council of Ministers decision, as of March 1, passengers from 56 countries will be able to visit Cyprus without being quarantined for 14 days, unless they test positive for Covid-19 upon their arrival.
Responding to a question, Perdios said it is too early for estimates about tourism as all countries are experiencing the second or third wave of the pandemic and it will be difficult for someone to travel today or in February and March.
“There is a hesitancy among our partners abroad to say what programme they expect to follow this year,” he said, adding that there should be a clearer picture in the next few weeks.
Asked about the possibility of a health passport for those who have been vaccinated for the coronavirus, he said this was an idea that was being discussed with opinion divided among supporters and opponents.
Committee chairman Andreas Kyprianou welcomed the new strategic plan which he said was focused on making Cyprus more than just a sun and sea destination focused on hotel tourism. Changes in the island’s tourism product will instead turn attention to the mountains, nature trails, traditional products and wine routes among others.
This will not only increase tourism flows but help combat rural depopulation, he said.
Greens MP Charalambos Theopemptou said it was important that tourism revenue benefited all areas of Cyprus. And he said the party had submitted proposals on regulations for camping sites. “I am very concerned about the creation of large, luxury camping sites. I am not voicing opposition, but we need to very careful,” he said.
Camping in the forest is carried out in cooperation with the forestry department, so it was important to be careful as regards their presence in the forest, the number of people they will cater for and the activities that they will include.
“We do not want to see camping sites that are damaging to nature and the forest, and run counter to protection of the environment,” he said.
Source: Cyprus Mail