Deputy Minister of Tourism of Cyprus Kostas Koumis said that the visit of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to Cyprus receives significant interest, and reflects the development of bilateral relations.

In remarks to Qatar News Agency (QNA), the Deputy Minister of Tourism said that the Amir's visit receives substantial media attention and coverage; which can promote tourism in Cyprus through showcasing Cyprus's attractions, culture and landmarks for tourists. It is also an occasion to demonstrate hospitality to the Qatari people, and develop awareness of Cyprus in the Qatari tourism market.

He revealed that the governments of Cyprus and Qatar are jointly working on signing a memorandum of understanding aiming to co-operate in various fields and activities related to tourism and business events of common interest.

The Ministry of Tourism of Cyprus maintains incentives schemes for tour operators to promote Cyprus in the Qatari market, using various marketing tools. It also offers airlines encouraging incentives, in addition to other incentives for the purpose of attracting conferences in Cyprus, hold sporting events, and hosting training camps for sports teams, he said.

He also pointed out that ministry focuses on the tourism investment sector in order to promote Cyprus as a destination for tourism investments, as well as highlighting its investment opportunities to potential international investors by participating in hospitality investment forums and other promotional events.

The ministry is working closely with InvestCyprus, the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency, in an effort to attract foreign direct investment in strategic investment projects, as the investment opportunities offered in the InvestCyprus Project Bank are promoted to international investor funds, including funds from Qatar Investment Authority, he said.

Koumis added that strategic investment projects in the tourism sector include hospitality, marinas, golf resorts, sports, adventure theme parks, and healthcare medical tourism projects. He welcomed discussion opportunities of investment projects with Qatari investors in the tourism sector, especially in the field of hospitality, stressing that Cyprus is a thriving hub in the Eastern Mediterranean with a favourable business environment for all sectors of the economy, including investments in tourism, which serves as an incentive and an attractive ecosystem for foreign investors.

In this context, he reviewed some numbers and reports that enhance the business environment in his country, including that Cyprus has one of the fastest growth rates in the European Union (EU) with an attractive tax system that does not exceed 12.5%, with more than 40 trade agreements with the EU, and more than 65 double tax treaties. In addition to reliable business support services, low cost of doing business, and other incentives.

Furthermore, he revealed some of the financial incentive schemes aimed at boosting the tourism sector in Cyprus, which are co-financed by the EU Recovery and Resilience Fund, two of which are designed to upgrade existing hotels, and may be of interest to potential hotel investors. The financial scheme in this context includes upgrading hotels and tourist accommodation establishments in the countryside, mountainous and remote areas to modernize and improve tourist product competitiveness, in addition to another financial scheme to create and enrich tourism facilities and services for health, wellness, rehabilitation, accessibility and independent assistance in hotels and tourist accommodation establishments with the aim of attracting health and wellness tourism, he said.
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