Cyprus recently welcomed 10 leading GCC-based travel agents for a four-day familiarisation trip.
Aiming to support the Deputy Ministry of Tourism of Cyprus’ strategic objective to boost inbound tourism from the GCC, the familiarisation trip saw travel agents from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Jeddah and Kuwait City descend on the island.
“Cyprus has all the ingredients to attract increased visitor numbers of local and expatriate travellers from the GCC in coming years,” said department head, Mawasim Tourism & Holidays, Abu Dhabi, Ibrahim Arnaout. “With access to abundant and diverse historical sites already in place, the island has significantly enhanced its general infrastructure and leisure product portfolio in recent years. Ongoing moves to expand the growing Halal tourism sector, including all related facilities, will also bear fruit in coming years.”
The 10-strong travel trade delegation included representatives from Akbar Travel, Al Faris Jeddah, Al Ghanim Travel Kuwait, Al Mulla Travel, Al Rais, Al Rostamani Travel, Barakat Travel Kuwait, Dadabhai Jeddah, Jumbo Travel, Mawassim Travel, Sharaf Travel and Travel Club Travel & Tourism.
Regional officer director – GCC, Middle East, Deputy Ministry of Tourism of Cyprus, Christos Demetriou remarked: “The response from our Gulf travel partners underlines the expansion being undertaken by the Deputy Ministry of Tourism to expand the island’s appeal to a wide cross-section of traveller groups based in the region.”
The four-day itinerary kicked off in the coastal city of Larnaca with a tour of the Hala Sultan Tekke mosque and its nearby salt lakes, which attract thousands of flamingos every year. The group also explored the archaeological remains of Kourion, the most impressive ancient ruins on the island. Decades of excavations have unearthed many significant finds at Kourion, all of which can be viewed in a special on-site museum.
The following day, the group explored Paphos, Limanaki Harbour, the birthplace of Aphrodite – Petra tou Romiou, Limassol Castle and the city’s all-new marina, while the second half of the trip took agents into the Troodos Mountains to explore the traditional village of Lefkara, known for its lace and silverwork.
The capital of Nicosia and the city’s Venetian Walls were a key stop on the tour, as was the famed coastal city of Ayia Napa.
Representatives from Cyprus’ Deputy Ministry of Tourism and its gathered stakeholders will be available to share updates and future plans at stand EU5640 during the Arabian Travel Market 2019.