articles | 07 July 2021

Cyprus tourism is seeing comprehensive upgrade thanks to investment

“Investment in Cyprus tourism will be socially immersive – this means that it will benefit the whole island,” Cyprus Deputy Minister for Tourism Savas Perdios told the Invest Cyprus Tourism and Hospitality International Investment Summit.

“In the past, Cyprus tourism has been concentrated at 75% for sun and sea tourists. We wish to change this to 60%, with 40% targeting other destinations and activities.”

This will lead to a comprehensive upgrade, he added. Finance Minister Constantinos Petridis agreed, noting that the island’s economy is on the way to recovery with near four per cent growth in 2021.

The conference showed the high level of interest that international investors are demonstrating for Cyprus, thanks to the National Tourism Strategy which plans improvements through 2030. These investors, however, demanded action on infrastructure improvements and government services.

Today, there is very positive sentiment from international investors for the hospitality sector in Cyprus, as Christophe de Bruyn of Innovative Tourism Advisors pointed out.

“We look Cyprus is a market where things can happen, it has a lot of potential” agreed Andreas Santis, managing director of NCH Capital. We have a project investing €150 million in hotels. Cyprus hotels are moving away from the traditional family hotels of the 1970s and 1980s to branded and international projects, along with residential resorts. We hope for further support from the government in developing the necessary infrastructure.”

Investor interest is being manifested in increased contact with Invest Cyprus. “We have intensified our promotional activities working closely with the international investor community and giving the signal to the Cyprus market on what is needed. Invest Cyprus is working to ensure that procedures for investment become seamless and that the skilled labour needed for projects is available. We are particularly happy that investors here are interested in green field projects, and this shows their belief in the country and its prospects. They share our vision for the future, particularly in terms of making Cyprus a sustainable destination.”

In 2019 and 2020, we have seen nine large-scale mixed-use developments, and the investment of €610 million into hotel development,” noted Stephanie Panayi head of Strategic Projects at Invest Cyprus. New Cyprus hotels are expected to create many new jobs.

Invest Cyprus has a TourInvest unit which maintains a bank of projects for investors. “This is part of a wider Project Bank with a portfolio of projects in key sectors of the economy – we aim to connect investors with opportunities,” Panayi explains.

The Project Bank Matchmaking Platform will bring together project owners and investors. There is a variety of projects, in diverse thematic areas, and with different investment tickets.

“There will be a procedure to examine all the details involved in these projects. We identify and promote investment opportunities that are locally available. Invest Cyprus will also ensure that the information submitted is valid,” Panayi concluded.

Investors already at work in Cyprus concurred that their experiences have been positive.

For Kevin Sweet, CFO of the City of Dreams Mediterranean and Cyprus Casinos which has invested more than €600 million in its new resort and casino in Cyprus is a great location, connecting Europe and the Middle East, with vast potential.

“We expect to receive more than 1,000 tourists per year and to create more than 2,000 jobs. Our plan is to participate in future development of year-round activities, and hope for the reduction of barriers to entry for tourists in all seasons. The Cyprus government and private companies have shown great initiative in addressing challenges – you don’t see this in other jurisdictions,” he said.

Panos Alexandrou, of Kition Ocean Holdings is working on the largest infrastructure project ever done in Cyprus with the Larnaca Port. Larnaca has seen less growth during the last decade than other cities in Cyprus, he noted.

“There is an opportunity to jump in and start work on the ground. With our projects, we will start changing Larnaca A lot of infrastructure is needed in this city. There should be big development changes, with the construction of more apartments, and villas. This will lead to the demand for more roads, parks and recreational areas, all of which will give people still more reasons to visit Cyprus. We will help to make Cyprus a real hub. The government is providing excellent support and we are showing other investors that Cyprus can work closely with us to achieve results, Alexandrou said.

Source: Cyprus Mail

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