The island country of Cyprus appointed its first-ever Minister for Tourism on Wednesday in an effort to continue to grow tourism in the Meditteranean island nation.
The new deputy minister is Savvas Perdios, a former hotel executive. He will be the new head of the Cyprus Tourism Organization (CTO), whose board will be disbanded after almost fifty years of overseeing the country’s tourism sector.
There has been some skepticism that the new ministry will be able to facilitate faster and more flexible legislative power than that of its predecessor.
An editorial in the local Cyprus Mail newspaper questioned the power of the new ministry, saying, “it is rather difficult to believe the deputy ministry will be much faster in taking decisions, implementing policies and responding promptly to changing conditions in the tourism market.”
President Nicos Anastasiades spoke at the handover ceremony on Wednesday, declaring that he felt the creation of the new ministry is an important milestone for the sector. He believes that it will pave the way for a new era of modernization, which is vital because tourism continues to increase annually on the island.
Cyprus depends heavily on tourism as a vital component of its GDP, as it accounts for over 13% of the island’s economy. From January to November 2018, approximately 3.8 million travelers visited Cyprus, setting a new record high for tourism on the divided Mediterranean island.