Wednesday, March 14, 2012

EU promotes sustainable tourism in Cyprus

The villages of Kalopanagiotis, Kato Pyrgos, Agros and the region of Troodos Mountain have in recent years been selected by the European commission as European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) in an effort to boost sustainable tourism. According to a European Commission press release issued here today, about half of Europeans (51%) choose to enjoy their holidays at home rather than abroad. In Cyprus, 37% of Cypriots were planning to enjoy their holidays in Cyprus in 2011. This tendency is expected to continue and grow. Through the selection of destinations, EDEN aims to draw attention to the values, diversity and common features of European tourist destinations. It enhances the visibility of emerging European destinations, creates a platform for sharing good practices across Europe and promotes networking between awarded destinations. The key feature of the selected destinations is their commitment to social, cultural and environmental sustainability. The recipients of the award are emerging, little known European destinations located in the 27 Member States and candidate countries. Accoding to EU Commissioner for Industry and Enterpreunership Antonia Tajani “EDEN points out sustainable holiday destinations, where tourism coexists in harmony with the local community and its environment”. Within a fast changing global economy, EDEN continues to promote the most inventive and creative tourism spots, he says, adding that at the same time, the local economy and particularly small enterprises will benefit. Therefore, he concludes, EDEN may contribute in the efforts to overcome the current economic crisis. The mountainous village of Kalopanagiotis with its traditional architecture, its spas and its green valley’s was the winner of the 2011 EDEN competition. In previous years the seaside village of Kato Pyrgos with its clean beaches, the mountainous village of Vouni with its rich history, the village of Agros with its roses and the entire region of the Troodos Mountain with its historic churches and great variety of local dishes were also awarded the title of European Destination of Excellence.

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