The president of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (C.T.O.) has announced that a delegation from the C.T.O. will accompany the Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades on his forthcoming visit to China scheduled to take place on the 15th October 2015. They will be investigating what has so far caused their failure to attract large numbers of Chinese tourists to Cyprus and ways that tourism from China could be boosted. It seems likely that the visa requirements to enter Cyprus play a part in these difficulties, as would be tourists currently are required to attend the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Beijing and present documents as well as attending for interview. A meeting is due to take place at the foreign ministry to address the issues seen as impeding the flow of tourists from China. When these issues are resolved to make entry easier the C.T.O. will act to reach their target. The government scheme offering investment citizenship has seen an increase in the number of Chinese nationals taking part and offers a gateway to the European Union (E.U.).
This prospect of visa free travel within the E.U. is a highly attractive one. There has also been a corresponding increase in property sales with the greatest proportion of the sales being in the Pafos district, which has actively courted the Chinese investors in recent years. The trend for tourist arrivals overall from January to August 2015 has been upwards, apart from the month of June, and with record numbers arriving in April and August. The United Kingdom (U.K.) market still provides the major part of tourism to Cyprus with Russia, Greece, Sweden, Germany and Israel following behind.
A substantial boost to tourist numbers is anticipated with the opening of the proposed Casino Resort and could amount to an additional 500,000 tourists visiting the island. Proposals for the project are under scrutiny with world class operatives in contention. The goal is to make a high quality resort to surpass those not only in Europe, but also in the rest of the world and would provide considerable employment.
Sources: www.mfa.gov.cy/mfa/Embassies/Embassy_Beijing, www.cyprus-mail.com, www.theguardian.com.
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