Statement by Cyprus Hotel Association (PASYXE) President Haris Loizides to mark World Tourism Day
“As the global economy continues to count its losses from the price hikes and energy crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine, and also the pandemic, the effort worldwide to revive the tourism industry is well underway.”
Once again, celebrations to commemorate World Tourism Day – held on 27 September each year – are taking place under difficult conditions. But unfavourable climate aside, the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) decided to establish 2022 as the year to restart tourism, turning its attention towards the future, and rebuilding the tourism industry on a more solid foundation. This year’s World Tourism Day celebrations will be held in Bali, Indonesia; a destination on the frontline of efforts to rethink tourism and establish the sector as a crucial pillar of sustainable development.
The World Tourism Organisation sees this year’s celebrations as an ideal opportunity to rethink tourism, by putting people and the planet at the top of our priorities under a common vision for a more sustainable and resilient tourism industry, without exclusions. In his message, the Secretary-General of UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili, recognises that rebuilding one of the world’s key economic sectors will not be an easy task. However, as he stresses, we are well on the way, since the pandemic crisis marked a shift towards creativity, while it accelerated the job market reform, creating new challenges as well as huge opportunities to ensure that even more people will benefit from the tourism restart. To this end, the World Tourism Organisation has called on all tourism stakeholders to consider what we are doing and how we are doing it, while taking into account the tourism sector’s huge capabilities and considerable global impact.
In our country, the tourism industry is widely acknowledged as one of the main contributors to economic growth. The general consensus is that the sector has been instrumental in overcoming challenges during the most difficult periods of Cyprus’ economy. In 2013, tourism played a crucial role in restarting growth, while after the pandemic, the sector continued to grow despite the additional difficulties created by the war in Ukraine and the subsequent loss of the Russian and Ukrainian markets, by investing in traditional European markets to replenish tourism flows.
For us at the Cyprus Hotel Association, the 2030 National Tourism Strategy continues to be a safe roadmap for the future. Implementing the National Tourism Strategy, upgrading our tourism product, improving our current model by adopting new features and increasing our revenue, are key elements that need to guide the activities of all tourism stakeholders.
Today marks 43 years since World Tourism Day was first established. The main goal of the Day, which is celebrated each year on 27 September, is to raise awareness about the social, cultural, political, environmental and financial contributions of tourism around the world. This year’s celebrations will be hosted by Bali, Indonesia.