Tourism as a passport to development in small states: reflections on Cyprus
Cyprus is now an important destination for international tourism and in the last 20 years there has been a remarkable growth in tourist arrivals. Initially it was thought to offer an easy option for economic progress and this was supported by the direct and indirect impact of tourism on job creation, foreign exchange earning and economic growth. However, as tourism has grown the enthusiasm for it as a costless means to development has given way to doubt and uncertainty about the scope and desirability of further tourist growth. There is apprehension over growing problems of dependency and concern for the social, cultural and environmental costs imposed by tourism. If sustainable tourism is to be achieved it will be necessary to limit its future rate and form of expansion. Tourism will remain an important sector of activity in Cyprus but there is uncertainty over what are likely to be the main growth segments of the market and it will require continued investment to raise and maintain the quality of the product and the service provided. The industry must be prepared to be flexible, innovative and responsive to emerging market trends.
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