Online Theme Issue Launch Event and Discussion at City Unity College, Nicosia, Cyprus

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes (WHATT) v13 n6 2021

Theme Editors: Zanete Garanti and Galina Berjozkina
Online Theme Issue Launch Event and Discussion at City Unity College, Nicosia, Cyprus
Friday 28 January 2022


What are the challenges and opportunities for tourism sustainability in Cyprus?

Collaborative planning and discussion between academics, industry leaders, local and national government representatives, civic leaders and environmental and policy specialists.

City Unity College, Nicosia, kindly hosted the event and Chris Constantinou, Director General of the College, welcomed participants to the event and profiled the work of the college. Richard Teare thanked Chris, theme editors Zanete Garanti and Galina Berjozkina, their team of contributors and the panel of participants. Richard then spoke about Emerald and the work of Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes (WHATT) and the role of theme issue launches in fostering wider stakeholder collaboration. After this, Galina provided a summary of the topics addressed by each of the articles in the theme issue and the main outcomes in order to inform the discussion.


Discussion points arising:


John Violaris: Sustainable development has been a topic of discussion now for many years and yet there is little evidence of wider adoption of sustainable practices and so perhaps our island mindset needs to change. Philippos Drousiotis: In this context, education is important and at the Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative (CSTI) we have ongoing projects that aim to explore ways in which Cyprus can differentiate itself from other destinations in the region. This is important because Cyprus cannot compete simply on price attractiveness. For example, we encourage food waste mapping and reduction and we continually review ways of maintaining and improving greener beaches and shorelines. Chris Constantinou: Added to this, there are barriers to sustainable tourism development, not least that tourism and hospitality operators need to focus on securing their profitability and this can be an impediment to change.



Rasoul Karami: Technology does have a role to play in facilitating a transition in thinking and 3D printing is established in support of building restoration, yet it has much wider potential in support of tourism, especially perhaps in the replication of cultural artifacts as souvenirs. Sotiroula Liasidou: If Cyprus is to attract more visitors throughout the year, we need to think about what tourists might be interested in experiencing during the winter months. Elias Elia: The fact that Cyprus is developing its portfolio of casino resorts (including a new venture in Limassol) offers one option for reducing the problem of tourism seasonality. Iordanis Katemliadis: It is my view that Cyprus needs to focus more attention on the attractiveness of its history, culture and cuisine. Arguably the solution isn’t to bring in more tourists but to attract a consistent flow of higher-spending tourists throughout the year. It is evident that some tourist resorts have reached saturation point and we need to encourage community-led solutions rather than developer-led expansion. Similar points were made by Constantinos Charalambous and Stathis Kolongou who felt that sustainable development cannot be a certificate-driven exercise but rather, based on creative engagement with a wider group of stakeholders.


Next steps

Reflecting on the theme issue launch discussion, Zanete Garanti and Galina Berjozkina feel that tourism stakeholders in Cyprus are well aware of the challenges that they face and to move forward, they want to focus on ways of broadening the year-round appeal of tourism. With this in mind, Zanete and Galina have framed the following theme issue question for WHATT v14 n6 2022: How could the Republic of Cyprus reduce the impact of seasonal tourism on long term sustainable development?

Zanete adds: I am convinced that launching WHATT theme issues is helpful. Many industry professionals have no idea how to access articles and so they would not come across the ideas generated in academia unless they are offered via a launch event format. This is an ideal forum to discuss and share ideas and it brings out the points that are important to everyone. 


A message from the Government of the Republic of Cyprus

Zanete and Galina write: After the theme issue launch event this morning, Government representatives contacted City Unity College to ask for further information about the research on which WHATT v13 n6 2021 is based and they said that they were very impressed with the contents of the issue. They also said that they would like to participate in the research that we will undertake for WHATT v14 n6 2022. Additionally, they said that they would like our assistance with several European Union funded projects and so we are pleased and encouraged by these outcomes. We would like to thank Emerald for providing limited time free access to our theme issue as this is going to make a real difference in terms of the Government’s engagement with and response to the Island’s sustainable tourism development.

WHATT Managing Editor Richard Teare thanked City Unity College, Nicosia for hosting the event and Zanete and Galina, theme issue editors, for their outstanding academic and professional leadership, organisation and oversight of the writing team from academia and industry. The launch event discussion was enriched by the presence of an array of stakeholders and we are most grateful to them for their thoughtful and constructive inputs. In so doing, they have helped to frame some next steps for sustainable tourism development in the Republic of Cyprus, with wider application to other small island developing states.


Zanete Garanti, Galina Berjozkina and Richard Teare

January 2022