Lodging businesses in the Republic of Cyprus have until Friday to apply for a state subsidy that would partially fund hotel stays for vacationers who got the vaccine or the state has a record of their recovery from COVID.
According to the deputy tourism ministry, hospitality businesses that offer lodging for tourists within the Republic have until July 9 to declare interest in participating in a state subsidy program, which aims to boost vaccinations on the island according to the government.
The program allows for citizens and permanent residents in the Republic of Cyprus to enjoy a 35% discount on their hotel room rate with a 3-day minimum stay, provided they either vaccinated with at least one dose against COVID-19 or the state has official record of their recovery from the virus within the last six months.
Eligible persons may choose any participating hotel or apartment complex, including rooms in agritourism venues, where they will be asked to pay only 65% of the rate officially listed under the government scheme with a cap at €80 including VAT taxes.
Both adults and children can benefit from the discount as long as all health criteria are met and all documents promptly provided at time of booking, with the program set to run from July 15 through August 31.
The measure is one of several incentives the government has thrown together in a goody bag aimed at rewarding vaccinated citizens and urging more people to get the jab.
Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios, who was sworn in two years ago on a promise to push for national strategy and reforms int eh industry, has been credited with a number of schemes to modernize the sector.
But Perdios, who comes from a family of prominent hoteliers on the island, was said to be a tossup when it came to reform, with some worrying over a potential conflict of interest and others pointing out that his experience and ties in the industry could prove instrumental.
The tourism minister’s father, Jason Perdios, is CEO at Louis Hotels, a prominent leading Group in the industry with eight decades of presence and experience in Cyprus and Greece.
Perdios senior has been an advocate for excellence in customer service, saying the Cypriot tourism industry stood to gain from modernizing infrastructure and catering to the needs of foreign travelers, by providing foreign-language speaking staff and advertising the island with a clear message.
But after COVID forced the government to have an on-and-off hit or miss approach with incoming tourists, steps were taken to boost domestic tourism, with the local industry putting pressure on the government to lift restrictions imposed on citizens.
An announcement made on Monday said lodging businesses and agents in the tourism industry have until Friday afternoon at 1pm to submit a request to participate in the program.