Feature – Tourists wanted: 9th European Tourism Forum
25.10.2012, 08:54 (CET)
Since its inception in 2002, the annual European Tourism Forum undoubtedly constitutes an essential feature for issues relating to tourism at a European level. The forum hosts leading figures and representatives of the tourism industry, the public tourism sector, academics and researchers as well as representatives of regional and local authorities and civil society. Its central target is, through a thorough exchange of views and experiences, to discuss the tourism sector’s challenges and potential.

According to Mr. Ploutarchos Pantelides, Tourism Officer at the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), the promotion of Europe as a single tourist destination, as well as the facilitation of the movement of tourists to the European Union will constitute the two most important issues to be discussed at this year’s European Tourism Forum. The Forum, which will be hosted at the ‘Filoxenia’ Conference Centre in Lefkosia (Nicosia), today and tomorrow,  October 25 and 26, will be attended by representatives of relevant stakeholders from all EU Member States, as well as Croatia.

An alternative tourist suggestion from Cyprus

A relatively small island in the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus is mostly known for its sunshine and sandy beaches. While one could also suggest that the island is renowned for its archaeological sites and landmarks, which tell the story of its turbulent past, the modern tourist product of the island of Aphrodite is not limited to just this. The island now constitutes a destination where visitors can choose from a wide range of cultural activities, enjoy strolls in its varied natural scenery and experience undoubtedly unique moments of agrotourism.

Cultural bloom

Hardly a month goes by without some sort of cultural event or festival taking place on the island.

From theatre and dance, to music, cinema and street art, all facets of culture have domestic ‘agents’ and their own, considerable ‘audience’. Visitors on the island can enjoy a plethora of different cultural events, not only due to the series of International Festivals that have become standard features of Cyprus’ annual cultural calendar, but also because of the vibrant creativity and innovative spirit that characterises the island’s artists.

The main exponent of the state’s cultural policy are the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture. Apart from state-promoted events, visitors also have a plethora of initiatives by citizens groups to choose from, especially in the island’s largest cities, which cover all tastes. It would not be an exaggeration, to describe Cyprus as a destination for ‘cultural’ tourism.

Diverse nature

While Cyprus has a typical Mediterranean scenery, since it is swamped with ‘lemon and olive trees’, as a popular folk songs testifies, the diverse morphology of the island’s terrain and flora would perhaps come as a surprise to many. According to the Republic of Cyprus’ Department of Forests, some 1908 different species, subspecies, varieties and hybrid of plants are found in the country today. The scenery along Troodos, the largest mountainous region on the island, changes continuously and offers a vast array of different visual experiences. The Troodos mountain region, which covers two-thirds of the island’s total area and whose peaks reach some 1951 metres, is home to great forests and to rich flora and fauna.

Several churches and monasteries, constituting landmarks of byzantine art, are located all across the Troodos region. Ten churches have also been included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list, mainly due their interior frescos, which signify exquisite examples of byzantine and post-byzantine monument painting.

Nature strolls and bike excursions are possible throughout the year, while ‘extreme sports’, such as mountaineering, hang gliding and kayaking have recently become popular across the island. Cyprus also constitutes an ideal destination for watersports enthusiasts, as windsurfing, kite-surfing, wakeboarding, sailing and scuba diving are on offer.  


The beautiful, picturesque and traditional villages that can be found scattered all over the entire island have contributed to both the state and the interested individual placing particular emphasis on the ever-developing sector of agrotourism in the past few years.

On behalf of the Cyprus Agrotourism Company, Mrs. Evi Panayiotou informs us that there are more than 100 agrotourism lodgings in 46 different Cypriot villages. Some of them can be found close to the coast, while others are located along the Troodos mountain range.

“All the available lodgings can be used as a very good base for exploring the island. These carefully restored buildings combine the island’s traditional character with modern comforts. They are ideal for plant biologists, bird watchers, mountaineers, cyclists and all nature lovers in general,” she says.

An experience of agrotourism, concludes Mrs. Panayiotou, offers the opportunity to immerse oneself in traditional activities, dining out at authentic Cypriot tavernas and enjoying the genuine Cypriot hospitality.



25.10.2012 - 26.10.2012