Statement by Haris Loizides, President of the Cyprus Hotel Association, to mark World Tourism Day.

“The Covid-19 pandemic continues to sweep the planet, affecting both powerful economies and more vulnerable countries alike. The present crisis highlights, among other things, the need to reassess our growth model.

This year’s celebrations for World Tourism Day, which is celebrated every year on 27 September, take place under very special conditions because of the pandemic. The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) declared 2021 as the year of Tourism for Inclusive Growth, highlighting the importance of the tourism sector for economic prosperity and job creation, as well as bringing the world closer together.

The current crisis must be seen as an opportunity to look beyond tourism statistics and acknowledge that behind every figure, there is a person. To this end, the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) calls upon its members, organisations, businesses, and individuals, to use the benefits of tourism, in order to make sure that no one is left behind, as the world prepares to enter the post-pandemic era.  

The celebrations for this year’s World Tourism Day will be hosted by Côte d’Ivoire, highlighting the ability of the tourism industry to drive inclusive growth, by promoting mutual respect and creating opportunities for millions of people around the world.

In this framework, our country’s new national strategy for tourism focuses on the development of rural areas, alongside traditional tourist destinations.

Tourism has traditionally been one of the main pillars of growth in Cyprus. After the 2013 Economic crisis, tourism had a crucial role in restarting the economy and helping the country return to growth. Today, despite the severe blow to the tourism industry from the pandemic, the Cyprus Hotel Association is convinced that with the partnership of the State and the Private Sector, tourism will recover and that it will continue to help create the necessary conditions for long-term economic prosperity.

During this extremely difficult time, our Association has done its best, in cooperation with the State and other competent bodies, to actively support the tourism industry. We will remain by the State’s side in its efforts towards economic recovery and overcoming the consequences of the pandemic.  

This year marks 42 years since World Tourism Day was first observed. The main goal of the Day, which is celebrated every year on 27 September, is to highlight the social, cultural, political, environmental, and economic contribution of tourism worldwide. This year's festivities will be hosted by Côte d'Ivoire.