New sustainability measures tick boxes for event managersCyprus has a star-rating system for visitor establishments on the island, but feels that this does not do justice to the quality of its facilities and services. The Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), which has the responsibility of classifying and licensing, has seen that accommodation providers go further than the legal requirements and has therefore set up a system to recognise their efforts.
This is the Cyprus Tourism Quality Label. It applies not only to health and safety and level of hospitality, but also to additional areas such as environmental sustainability and the support of local communities.
Application for this kind of assessment is made voluntarily and is open to the 75% of accommodation providers in Cyprus currently rated at 3 stars and above. (More details can be seen at www.cyprustourismquality.com.)
It is not surprising, with this determination to achieve the best possible quality, that Cyprus can report an overall growth of 2% in its tourism business in 2014. The UK continues to be its main source of visitors, but its reputation is also bringing in growing numbers of visitors from all parts of the world. Event organisers in particular welcome its almost guaranteed sunshine, its very special cuisine, its remarkably varied scenery in such a small island and the attraction of its clean, warm Mediterranean beaches. They also like the choice of beaches, mountains and village experiences, as well as ancient culture, when creating an incentive or leisure programme to please a variety of delegates.
Cyprus is centrally located with good airline connections for international gatherings. The island also ticks boxes relating to sustainability, which is becoming more of a feature for event planners. Cyprus hotels are now being required to sign up to new pioneering sustainability standards. Cypriot hotels have to meet minimum standards for waste production; for energy, water and chemical saving; for training staff and having a team responsible for sustainability. Judgement will also be made on the sourcing of local goods and services, promotion of Cypriot food and entertainment, and support of local charities and community initiatives.