Statement by the President of the Cyprus Hotel Association, Μr Haris Loizides, on the occasion of World Tourism Day
The World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) decision to dedicate this year’s World Tourism Day to the protection and proper management of water, highlights tourism’s role in efforts to preserve the world´s vital water resources, and protect the environment in general.
According to the World Tourism Organisation, water is one of the most important resources that can help tourism prosper. Each year, millions of people travel to destinations, in coastal as well as inland areas, where water is a basic natural resource. Water is a vital factor for the hotel and tourism industry. Hotels need it to function (food preparation, cleaning and hygiene, entertainment), as do other sectors of the economy that support tourism, from agriculture to transport.
As one of the largest industries in the global economy, tourism has a responsibility to play a leading role in ensuring that tourism businesses and destinations invest sufficiently in proper water management throughout the supply chain that feeds them.
The Cyprus Hotel Association completely agrees with UNWTO and is in close contact with its members in order to adopt programmes and technologies to reduce water consumption and improve water waste management. A modern, environmentally-friendly hotel has a duty to systematically check the quantities of water being consumed, ensure its facilities are being properly maintained, provide guests with information on the need to save water and use the appropriate technologies for saving water and managing water waste.
Prudent management of water resources becomes all the more relevant in Cyprus, which is often blighted by droughts. Given that water is the most important natural resource for survival and sustainable growth in any country, raising awareness should be the relevant authorities’ main goal, through which the correct messages can be sent to the productive forces of the economy, organised bodies, the public and children, who are the future of the planet.
On the occasion of World Tourism Day, I would like to point out that the recent developments in the Cyprus economy unfavourably impacted tourist inflow to our country, creating massive problems in the tourism and hotel industry. The current tourist year could, at best, be described as a “year for gathering our strength”. We are optimistic that with a change in attitude and mind-set, which is demanded by the prevailing circumstances, our country can transform into a more qualitative destination for tourists. The challenges and stakes ahead of us are many and competition remains intense. It demands systematic observation of the new trends, collective efforts and changes in various domains of public administration and entrepreneurship, so we can reap as many benefits as possible as a state and society.”
This year marks the 34th anniversary of the establishment of World Tourism Day. The Day, which is celebrated on 27 September of every year, is mainly aimed at highlighting the social, cultural, political, environmental and financial contribution of tourism internationally. The Maldives will host this year’s events.