The deputy tourism ministry announced on Wednesday 12 grant schemes that will come into effect this year as part of its national tourism strategy 2030.
“The plans concern the development of special forms of tourism, the enrichment of infrastructure and the encouragement of the use of digital technology in the tourism sector,” the deputy ministry said in a statement.
The main objectives of the plans are the improvement of Cyprus’ tourism product, the extension of the tourist season and the improvement or creation of the necessary infrastructure needed to facilitate certain forms of specialised tourism.
The plans will also aim to promote and showcase Cypriot handicrafts and winemaking.
Businesses involved in these two areas will be supported through the ministry’s plans.
The first grant scheme will apply to visitable handicraft and wine gastronomy workshops and facilities through the de minimis aid programme. The de minimis regulation covers small amounts of aid within a predetermined threshold which do not count as state aid.
The second scheme will provide subsidies to encourage the implementation of projects that will improve the quality and aesthetics of Cypriot beaches. This scheme ends in 2022.
Another grant scheme will provide financial support to local events related to wine gastronomy and other Cypriot products.
The hosting of international sporting events in Cyprus will be supported through another grant scheme.
Also related to sports, the fifth plan will provide subsidies for the hosting of foreign clubs, teams and sporting associations who wish to use Cyprus as a training base, within the relevant framework of the European Union.
The above three initiatives will also utilise the de minimis state aid programme.
Another subsidy scheme will facilitate the certification of recreational diving service providers.
Regarding specialised forms of tourism, the ministry announced two plans.
The first provides grants for planning familiarisation trips for special forms of tourism and the second aims to create or upgrade infrastructure and facilities that concern more niche forms of tourism.
The conference and business tourism sector will also be supported by a dedicated scheme.
The cruise industry will be supported by another subsidy plan, again through the EU’s de minimis aid regulation.
Finally, the twelfth plan involves a grant scheme for the digital transition of all companies providing specialised forms of tourism.
The ministry said each plan will be presented separately in order to provide as much detail as possible.
The plans will be revealed in full detail on Friday, where the ministry will address all relevant stakeholders, including municipalities, communities, travel agencies, tourist accommodation, leisure centres, universities, NGOs, tourism stakeholders, sporting event organisers, representatives of cruise companies in Cyprus, artists and others.