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Society

Cyprus Paying Price for Big Tourism, Benefits Not for All

NICOSIA – The return of tourists during the COVID-19 pandemic after the lifting of health measures is seeing some big returns for Cyprus but not as much as believed, and is bringing environmental damage, critics said.

Cypriot fintech company WiRE FS CEO Pavlos Loizou said that while tourism is the big revenue engine for the country that in the last couple of decades it hasn’t brought benefits to everyone.

“Since 2000, we have not been able to increase the real income generated by the tourism industry, despite the increase in the number of tourist arrivals, successive incentive schemes, increase in building rates, subsidies, and other measures,” he added, explaining that this is because “Cyprus chose to prioritize volume over quality, The Cyprus Mail said.

That has seen overdevelopment in places overrun with tourists, taking away from the quality of sites and overwhelming the infrastructure, as he said the country doesn’t respect environmental laws and is wasting water.

“Quality takes work, organization, rules, oversight, strategy, and vision,” Loizou said, although growing arrivals this year has been reduced by European Union sanctions on Russian airlines over the invasion of Ukraine.

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