Invest Cyprus intensifying its efforts to attract tourism & hospitality investments through the “TourInvest” Unit

22 May 2020
Invest Cyprus intensifying its efforts to attract tourism & hospitality investments through the “TourInvest” Unit
Despite the tourism uncertainty prevailing globally, TourInvest unit’s efforts are currently focusing on supporting the sector through adjusting the right measures and facilitating regulations under the objective to lay the foundations for investment and to regenerate the sector.

What is TourInvest and what is its goal?

The TourInvest unit is a dedicated and specialised unit within Invest Cyprus which aims to promote Cyprus’ investment opportunities in the tourism and hospitality sector. The establishment of the unit falls in line with our National Tourism Strategy to establish the country as a quality, year-round destination and be one of the most competitive tourist destinations by 2030. The vision of the Cyprus Tourism Strategy is to turn Cyprus into a sustainable and technology-smart destination, increase the number of arrivals by 2030 by diversifying into other tourism thematic segments and fighting seasonality by attracting more tourists within winter months.

In order to contribute to the achievement of these targets, the TourInvest unit focuses on attracting multi-million investment into large-scale infrastructure projects, that exist in  diversified thematic areas, such as nautical tourism, cultural tourism, sports, conference, health and wellness, as well as agritourism in cooperation with the Deputy Ministry of Tourism and other stakeholders. TourInvest acts as the first point of contact to international investors, and provides valid and useful information on projects of their interest. The unit is also actively involved in the facilitation of the investment process and assisting investors to overcome any legal, regulatory, and other time-consuming procedures.

What kind of projects are you currently focusing on?

With the target to diversify the Cyprus tourism product and showcase the country as a quality year-round destination, our focus is on attracting investment into thematic tourism segments, and to showcase the potential of Cyprus, not only as a ‘sun and sea’ destination but also as a destination with the potential to develop other forms of tourism such as medical, health and wellness, sports and conference tourism. Large-scale infrastructure projects and mixed-use developments, such as new hotel projects, rehabilitation centres, conference and sports centres would attract considerable amount of investment as well as specific groups of tourists that would visit the Cyprus not only during summer months but also for other business and medical purposes. Emphasis is also given to the importance to extend the benefits of tourism from the coastal areas to mountainous and rural areas, and give boost and value to the agritourism product. Invest Cyprus is currently examining incentives and mechanism schemes to improve and make the investment environment and procedures even more attractive to entice more interest in the country.

How do you identify the available investment opportunities in the market? How can project owners work with TourInvest to attract investment for their projects?

Part of the TourInvest initiative is to create a Project Bank with all investment opportunities that are available in the hospitality and tourism sector, under the objective to attract investor interest in Cyprus. To achieve this, we have been maintaining close communication with project owners and business associates, from where we could derive information on the available opportunities. All projects received are going through an evaluation process by our team, taking into consideration specific criteria and ensuring that all information is valid and reliable and aligned with our strategy.

We encourage those who are directly involved with market opportunities to contact us and send us sufficient information on projects through [email protected].

How will TourInvest be promoting investment projects to international investors?
The TourInvest unit aims to build its own network of international investors, which will look into Cyprus as a long-term investment hub and to whom we would always provide the right information based on their interests. To grow and manage this network of both existing and new investors, we maintain a well-managed calendar of inhouse international events and missions to present the sector-specific investment opportunities and provide valuable information about the economic outlook of Cyprus. We also participate in targeted events with focus on the tourism and hospitality sector with the objective to promote Cyprus and to achieve effective lead generation.

In addition, we have proceeded with the creation of a new website dedicated to tourism and hospitality sector opportunities, and have incorporated a specific section dedicated on available projects linked to the unit’ s Project Bank (www.tourinvestcyprus.org.cy) with the available and reliable support materials. Due to the impact of Covid-19 on travelling, we have adopted the right technological tools to facilitate us to reach out to our foreign investor network, maintain the communication and monitor investment community appetite.

The COVID-19 outbreak has been devastating for the tourism sector globally. How can TourInvest help Cyprus tourism get back on its feet?

Undeniably, international tourism faces its worst crisis with the predictions showing a huge decline in international arrivals for this year. Despite the tourism uncertainty prevailing globally, TourInvest unit’s efforts are currently focusing on supporting the sector through adjusting the right measures and facilitating regulations under the objective to lay the foundations for investment and to regenerate the sector.
Cyprus is an established tourism destination with a long history and experience in the tourism and hospitality sector, and we have seen a number of international hotel chain groups investing in the island and expanding their brand name. I am confident that we will manage to emerge from this crisis into a more resilient future and that there will always be the right opportunities that will lead to the mobilisation of the economy again. Given our role as the investment authority of the Government, with the mandate to identify and attract the right investors, we have placed great emphasis on targeting the goals set by the National Tourism Strategy which make our offering even more attractive and aim to achieve a differentiated and diversified tourism model.

In addition, we have been focusing on improving and achieving sufficient air connectivity between Cyprus and the rest of the world in the post Covid-19 era, which is considered as a key priority and a critical factor for the sector. Furthermore, the TourInvest unit has identified the increasing potential of sustainable tourism, establishing as key strategic priorities the promotion of sustainable tourism investment projects targeting the revitalisation of rural areas, sports tourism growth, health tourism enrichment and conference tourism exploitation. Investing in sustainable tourism is decidedly important to make a positive contribution to the sector, to attract multi-million investment into large-scale infrastructure projects and to offer an exceptional tourism experience and service to those visiting Cyprus.

Interview of Invest Cyprus CEO, George Campanellas published on Country Profiler 
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