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Pagina 12                                                                                               Diasabra 25 Juni 2016

           The curse of all inclusive

the Agrotourist aspect of the regions, the          entertainment projects and exploit natural          Cyprus has lost all respect as a quality
                                                    resources to attract Russian tourists. Biblio       destination. No longer does Cyprus attract
hoteliers in the mid 90's made the decision to      Globus plans to bring 350,000 Russian               the hardy country lover, who Facebook social
attract lower class all-inclusive tourism. The      tourists to Cyprus in 2013, operating 75 flights    plugin You created this PDF from an application
last twenty years has seen a slow rise in all-      a week, shared equally with Paphos and              that is not licensed to print to novaPDF printer
inclusive hotel packages in Cyprus, resulting                                                           ( came to Cyprus for
in a downfall in quality tourism. All-inclusive     Larnaca.                                            the spring and autumn hiking, bird watching
deals were popularised by the rise of the                                                               and the adventures to see the natural beauty
package holiday in the 1970’s. The                  Russians are attracted to Cyprus by the             of the protected Akamas. Where are the folk
                                                    amazing nature, olive and orange groves,            that got excited about visiting the mosaics and
demand of all-inclusive has seen an overall         beautiful landscape and sea.                        ancient monuments?
32 per cent increase over five years, with
most Tour                                           Generally, all-inclusive is not their priority,     n the 80’s and 90’s you would meet all sorts
                                                    although value for money is. Even the Troika        of interesting travellers, supporting local
Operators selling 65 per cent as all-inclusive.     refers to tourism as a significant export sector    businesses and restaurants and venturing out of
                                                    of the highest importance for the additional        their way to visit local village tavernas, serving
In May 2012, ‘First Choice holidays’ introduced     domestic value and the creation of new jobs,        authentic Cypriot food. They were genuinely
all holidays booked to the island will include      with positive spin-off activities.                  interested in the charm and natural delights
flights, transfers, hotel accommodation and                                                             of Cyprus. “All inclusive is simply no good for
three meals a day, plus unlimited local drinks      Ghost Towns                                         Cyprus rural tourism” says Sofonios Potamitis,
for a single one-off fee. The decision of Tour                                                          Managing Director of Cyprus Villages. “We do
                                                    All-inclusive holiday makers do not tend to         get support from the CTO – Cyprus
Operators to axe traditional package holidays       wander from their hotels and discover the real
to sell all-inclusive vacations to Cyprus has       Cyprus, which is not encouraging for the local      Tourism Organisation as we host journalists,
resulted in wide-ranging implications for local     economy.                                            travel agents and educational groups in an effort
traders.                                                                                                to promote ‘Cyprus Villages’. He concludes by
                                                    To support local dying trade, Tour Operators        saying that “the CTO must change direction,
Lakis Avraamides, Director of the Regional          should take some responsibility to encourage        as far as promoting Cyprus as an all inclusive
Tourism Board was reported to say that all-         all-inclusive tourists to go on local excursions    destination and revert back to promoting Cyprus,
inclusive was not a good                            to experience thetraditions and authentic           as a rural destination.” “To my knowledge,
                                                    cuisine of a country. Local business owners         all-inclusive was originally introduced for
You created this PDF from an application that                                                           destinations that visitors were not allowed to
is not licensed to print to novaPDF printer         claim that such deals kill their trade because      leave the resort, mainly due to health and safety
( 1decision. It is           all-inclusive tourists rarely venture out of their  reasons,” says restaurant and hotel owner
a trend, which people seem to want, but it          hotel complexes. Restaurant and bar owners          Stavros Pantelides. “The large travel agents
will definitely affect the market and will be a     in Paphos, Protaras and Ayia Napa have              decided to exploit the concept of all-inclusive
setback for                                         continuously complained that all-inclusive          to maximise on their profits. Travel agents have
                                                    tourists add absolutely nothing to the local        the travellers’ money at least six weeks prior to
all destinations. The British in particular,        economy. Tourism officials across Europe            the holiday. Previously the policy was for the
are more price conscious and all-inclusive          have complained that all-inclusive deals have       travel agents and hoteliers to have the share
provides economic security to visitors,             resulted in local bars, restaurants and shops       of the flight and accommodation and for the
especially families.                                closing. Lakis Georgiou owner of Moonlight          local restaurants, bars and shops to have the
                                                    Restaurant in Ayia Napa says, “All-inclusive        spending money from visitors. With all-inclusive,
Julia Osovskaya, resident in Russia who             is seriously affecting our trade.” He further       the travel agent receives all.” “Travel agents
travels to Cyprus regularly says, “Cyprus is        stated that he was very concerned about the         paying hotels on average two months after the
fast becoming an even more popular holiday          future economy for local trade.                     visitor departs has caused a further blow to
destination for Russian tourists and demand                                                             the industry’s survival. Often too, travel agents
for all-inclusive is on the rise. She adds to this  Elena Savvides-Doghman of Orexi Catering            register complaints to delay payment and some
                                                    Services says, “An attempt to become a              have been known to close their company and
statement by further saying that, “it’s possible    world leader in mass tourism by encouraging         open another one leaving a substantial debt to
that Russians who travel to Egypt and Turkey,       all-inclusive in Cyprus, has resulted in            hotel owners who are obligated to pay
being the most popular destinations from            this beautiful island becoming a byword
Russia due to good value for money, are             for a shabby ghetto of neon and peeling             the costs and taxes.”
searching for new affordable destinations, like     concrete with local restaurants, tavernas and
                                                    shops closing.” The average all-inclusive           “Unfortunetely, Cyprus now attracts an all-
Cyprus. Russians who travel to Egypt and            holidaymaker prefers to stay in the hotel           inclusive tourist who are interested in a cheap
Turkey are familiar with the all-inclusive          exploiting the concept of drinking and eating       deal. The little shops,
system and it is what they will expect to see       all day, rather than venture out to experience
when they travel to Cyprus.’                        authentic Cyprus.All-inclusive appeals to           tavernas, restaurants and all the other attractions
                                                    families, who can exploit the constant flow of      Cyprus created to attract quality and cultural
Osovskaya believes that “Cyprus is becoming         food, drink and snacks all day long, with the       tourism, are Iclosing due to all-inclusive. So who
more popular to Russian visitors due to the                                                             is loosing? First of all the all-inclusive visitors as
ease of formalities with visas, which are free      comfort of knowing there will be no extra           they get cheap food and
to Russians and easy to obtain. Coupled             charge at the end of their stay.The question
with affordable all-inclusive, Russians are         is, is the idea of eat and drink all you like for   drink and poor service and do not experience real
attracted to Cyprus as an alternative holiday       one price exploited? “What began as a way of        Cyprus. Then the owners of small businesses
destination.”                                       attracting more tourists to an island which was     who serve the
                                                    packed to the hilt every summer with holiday
Commercial Director Julia Tugolukova of             makers, mainly from Britain, has resulted           tourist trade and on a corporate level, the hotel
Biblio Globus, one of Russia’s three main tour      in a bacchanalian orgy of disrespect,” says         owners who suffer from a cash flow crisis due to
operators, conveyed a message at the 35th           Savvides-Doghman.                                   travel agents not paying promptly, if at all.”
CHA – Cyprus Hotel Association conference
in Nicosia, that Cyprus must develop major          Quality Destination Destroyed.
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