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Tourism in Danger?

10 September 2017

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Petra tou Romiou in Pafos

Those who are in control of matters must bear some sort of responsibility for subjects which they should know and do nothing about it and it is with surprise that we have heard the Chairman of some sort of association from Pafos claiming that Pafos has a problem with the villa to let competition. Surprise?

It will never cease to amaze us the indifference of associations, professional bodies, Government and others, regarding crucial aspects of the building industry.

We report on a weekly basis on various subjects including the above, we make a point to inform the Minister of Interior at the time and apply to the various professional bodies for support. Out of these efforts the results are limited be it that we are listened to from time to time.

Recently the Hoteliers Association has raised two major issues.

The Certificate of Final Approval
It is a fact that most of the hotels (may be as much as 90%) do not have this certificate (C.F.A.) and this is due to the constant changes and alterations that take place in a hotel. Minor or not, the time that it takes to get such altered permits, is so long (and not only for hoteliers) that the applicants at the end do not bother. The lack of the C.F.A. is that “no building can be occupied unless the C.F.A. is secured”.

We warned the last 3 ministers on the subject warning them on the dangers and add that even if we, as Cyprus, do not pay much attention, the foreign investors and especially tourist operators will not play along.

After reminding everybody for the last 4 years and at the time and now, we suggest that the occupation should not be related with the C.F.A., but with a “certificate of safety” issued by the project architect and not to the C.F.A. Recently tour operators are raising this question and claim that their own insurance Cos will not cover their clients if no C.F.A.

The argument is valid and one wonders if other insurance covers such as third party insurances etc are valid for a claim.

The disaster of this wrong measure is that any interested party can claim that a “X” hotel has no C.F.A. and it is occupied, the Courts have no alternative other than issue a demolition order!!

What is shocking is that the Hotel Association has just woken up on the subject and we hope that it is not too late. For those who might not agree with our idea of a safety certificate (which is to be issued by the architect) let’s adopt this until some other ideas are found. The safety certificate will relate to the structural stability of the building, the electrical and mechanical installation and the fire regulations.

Just imagine if one of our competitors from abroad (or locally say T.C. side) report this to the tour operators, where will have a leg to stand on?

Villas to let
On another note and 4 years ago (and every year), we published a warning letter regarding the unfair competition that villas to let have against the hotels and licensed establishments. We must have written to several letters to the Ministers of Interior, Hotel Association, C.T.O. officers etc explaining to them that the villas to let is illegal (must be more than 30 days to one tenant based on the prevailing laws) the income is not declared, thus the Government losing millions in taxes. We provided a comprehensive idea how this could work, with the agents/owners/ local authorities getting involved. This is a serious problem since recent reports suggest that approximately 300.000 foreign visitors do not stay in hotel establishments. We have reported this over the last 4 years by publications and interviews and this has taken such a long time for those in control of things to wake up. Again the hotel association has now just waken up!!

Those who are in control of matters must bear some sort of responsibility for subjects which they should know and do nothing about it and it is with surprise that we have heard the Chairman of some sort of association from Pafos claiming that Pafos has a problem with the villa to let competition. Surprise?

Villas to let is a much cheaper option than the hotel cost with its pluses and minuses. We do not suggest that this alternative form of tourism should shut down (it has negative side effects for investors), but it should be controlled keeping a fair competition and encourage further tourism development, which we need (now not being able to meet demand). If need be we will repeat our analytical idea on how this villa to let could work.

The whole situation on these two subjects reminds us of the Oscar winning film “Good morning Vietnam” which woke up the US public when they realized that many marines were killed.

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