Cyprus ascends in global sports tourism arena

Cyprus is rapidly emerging as a key player in sports tourism, leveraging its favourable weather and strategic location to host major events like L’Étape by Tour de France, boosting local tourism significantly.

Sports tourism in Cyprus is experiencing rapid growth, positioning itself as a key sector within the tourism industry. This growth is fueled by various factors including Cyprus’ advantageous weather conditions, its ability to host major sporting events, and its strategic location offering easy access from different parts of the world.

One of the notable events contributing to this surge is the L’Étape Cyprus by Tour de France. This event, part of the global L’Étape series by Tour de France, attracts a significant number of participants. For instance, the event in 2023 attracted over 500 international arrivals, contributing to approximately 2,100 overnight stays in hotels in the Paphos and Limassol regions. The event includes two races, “The Race” and “The Ride”, featuring challenging courses that offer athletes a taste of the Tour de France experience. The top performers in these races are even given the opportunity to participate in the L’Étape du Tour race held during the Tour de France.

The Cyprus government is actively promoting sports tourism through various initiatives. For example, they have reduced VAT rates for tourism accommodation and catering sector services, and are increasing air and sea connectivity resources, which in turn supports events like L’Étape Cyprus by Tour de France. The Deputy Ministry of Tourism has been a staunch supporter of such events, recognizing their importance in enhancing Cyprus’s tourism sector.

Commenting on the current interest in sports tourism in general in our country, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Kostas Koumis, referred to the economic benefits that arise, noting its importance in extending the tourist season. “Empirically, I would say that it also creates significant benefits, as it is known that a significant percentage of athletes who arrive in our country, either to participate in sports events or for preparation purposes, return to our country as tourists,” said Koumis, stating that from the first moment he assumed his duties, emphasis was placed on this specific form of tourism.

“I had mentioned from the first moment of assuming my duties that sports tourism is a form that deserves more importance and visibility. Therefore, as a deputy ministry, we are making a targeted effort with incentive plans and continuous promotion for even better results,” he said specifically, revealing that in 2024 a historic cycling event is returning to our country, while efforts are being made to bring back an international cycling event as well.

Moreover, Cyprus has a diverse offering in tourism, extending beyond sports. The island is known for its ideal weather, with 340 days of sunshine, pristine Blue Flag beaches, and unique archaeological sites. Cyprus is also a popular destination for winter training for international sports groups and athletes, offering facilities for various sports events ranging from cycling to sailing. The government is drafting new incentive schemes to attract more events, teams, and athletes to the island, indicating a strong commitment to further developing this sector.

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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