Sports seen as way to boost tourism
SPORTS tourism is a one of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation?s (CTO) most valuable assets when it comes to alternative forms of tourism, its general manager Marios Hannides said yesterday.
?This is why we are determined to work harder to strengthen sports tourism. We need to coordinate our efforts so we can take advantage of the good weather conditions, the sun, services, hospitality and our professionalism to take sports tourism even higher,? he said at a conference to present the organisation?s initiatives for sports tourism.
He added that developing alternative forms of tourism can give visitors a richer experience, contributing to forming a picture of Cyprus as a complete tourist package.
It can also contribute to battling seasonality and increasing arrivals during quieter periods.
Head of the department of tourism strategy and research at the CTO Annita Demetriadou said sports tourism is a priority of the organisation?s Tourism Strategy 2011-2015 programme as it can play an important role.
?It contributes to the development of winter tourism and extending the tourism period. It enriches tourism as a product and helps attract customers who spend more than the average tourist and improves Cyprus? competitiveness in the market,? she said.
Demetriadou said that sports tourism would look to attract teams and people from professional and amateur sports.
?The advantages Cyprus has for developing sports tourism are the very good climate all year round, the modern sporting infrastructure in combination with a wide ranging choice of quality hotels and the well organised telecommunications infrastructure and other services,? she said.
The sports which have been given priority are football, cycling ? both competitive and recreational ? swimming and athletics with an emphasis on marathons and triathlons.
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