World-first as Cyprus's hotels take on new sustainability standards
For the first time in any destination, mandatory sustainability standards for hotel establishments have been approved by the CTO (11th April). This means every hotel operating in Cyprus must now take action to protect the environment and support their local community.
The new minimum standards are part of a wider programme of reforms from the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), the Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative (CSTI) and the Travel Foundation to: make Cyprus a leading destination for sustainable tourism. Because of the scheme, hotels in Cyprus will now be required to demonstrate sustainable business practices that will ultimately lead to cost savings and a more authentic Cypriot offering for their guests.
The standards cover a range of criteria including:
- Reducing energy, water and chemical use, and the amount of waste generated.
- Training staff and having a "green team" responsible for sustainability issues.
- Sourcing local goods and services where possible.
- Promoting authentic Cypriot food and entertainment.
- Supporting local charities and community initiatives.
The CTO's inspectors will check compliance as part of their general assessment of quality standards. As hotels sustainability performance improves over time, the standards will be reviewed and revised in order to move the Cypriot hotel sector towards best practice in the long term.
Lefkos Phylactides, Director of Tourism from the CTO said: "We are delighted that the hotel industry is working with us to make Cyprus a world leader in sustainable tourism. These minimum standards are not just good business sense; they will help us protect the very things that draw people to Cyprus: our landscapes, our culture and heritage, and our welcoming people. Visitors to Cyprus can be assured that we will offer a great quality, authentic product both now and for future generations."
Salli Felton, Acting Chief Executive of the Travel Foundation, said: "It's been fantastic to support Cyprus with this world-first. Their commitment to implementing minimum sustainability standards has created a national framework that will ensure sustainability is business as usual rather than an optional extra. This step change will see Cyprus leading the way where other destinations are sure to follow."
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Notes to editors
New sustainability standards:
- The sustainability criteria will form part of the CTO's general assessment. However, hotels that have met equivalent/more stringent criteria as part of certain approved sustainability certification schemes will not need to undergo a separate assessment.
- Assessments for the new criteria will begin in 12 months time, to allow hotels time to carry out all the necessary work in order to comply.
- For more information on the new minimum standards for sustainability, see the guidelines for hotels and inspectors:
Cyprus Destination Partnership:
In 2010 The Travel Foundation, Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative (CSTI) and the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) enteredCyprus Destination Partnership:
into a partnership agreement to establish a programme of initiatives to support the destination in becoming a leader in sustainable tourism, ensuring maximum economic benefits to local people, conserving and enhancing the natural environment and promoting local culture and heritage.
The Travel Foundation: Founded in 2003, the Travel Foundation is an independent charity working with the travel industry towards a sustainable future.
Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative (CSTI): CSTI is a Cypriot charity which aims to resources to develop a sustainable approach to tourism in Cyprus.
Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO): CTO is the official tourism body in Cyprus.
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