The superpower of Mediterranean Island of Cyprus and Tourism industry

Courtesy of Four Seasons hotel Limassol

 

Just a small but important extension of the article!

I have been actively talking with a lot of different people from different background and one is my prime feeling! Cyprus has a bright future!

Because of its people! And I mean it!

It will be explained in the next few parts and hopefully you will start loving this island and whole of its people! 

 

In last  two parts philosophy of good news exploited just a small, tiny, "mikroutsiko" (in Greek) part of Cypriot way of looking at the world around and applying ideas which suits the Island development as,  not only a tourist destination,  but, something we could call Cyprus way, exploiting geography together with various educational advancements of eager to learn population.

 

For that development each country, Cyprus not being exception,  has people we could call visionaries. 

Those that lead, those that are taking calculated risks enlightening the path for others to follow.

 

There is a saying 

 

" Either lead, follow or get out of the way"

 

 

 One is for certain! 

 

 

People in Cyprus are not going out of the way as they are, and you can trust the opinion born in practice, natural leaders and followers, in a word or two, human, common sense, practical yet dream full, highly emotional  entrepreneurs. 

 

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How emotional and determined, resolute they were and still are, you can understand from a story narrated to me by a person who, like many others, lost belongings during a conflicts in sixties and seventies.

 

Namely he convey to me that his father, immediately after settling in Limassol from Famagusta found a place to open a shop and organise sales. His friends being still afraid and not knowing how and when this terrible situation will finish shared their concerns with him asking what he would do if Limassol became under attack and lost. He calmly replied: "I will then open a shop in Trodos(Mountain with the highest point Olympus nearly 2000 metres above the sea level!)!" 

 

It reminded me of one of the great military commanders in the First World War ( you can learn a lot from the military situations as they  reflect  civilian society in many ways) who said when asked by his subordinates if they should proceed further without thinking about their non-protected flanks : "Anything, just do not stand still !" His command not to stand still, but restlessly to go forward no matter what, had crucial result in deciding the fate of the war.

 

And this is another respectful trait of all of Cypriots. Could be expressed with the word τριβιτζιασμός [drivijasmos] - unrestful, fidgety...

 

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When I came to Cyprus for the first time in 1989 the island was known, apart from beautiful, unique tourist places and very hospitable people, nice quality food, developing offshore industry,  and for CMT business ( C=cut,M=make and T=trim) sewing clothes for a very well-known fashion houses. 

Especially UK based as great number of Cypriots took refuge in UK and after getting experience started their own businesses and connected it with the island. 

Some came as head on profit oriented business and some returned full of emotions inside, with tough approach on the surface to, instinctively protect from unwanted circumstances. 

This was one of the export branches together with Halloumi cheese,  wine and some agricultural products, mattresses, different chemicals, not to mention furniture, shoes etc...

 

For all of above and the some I forgot to mention Cyprus needed to educate different types of work force. From curtain makers to certified accountants.

 

Here I quote a part of previous article to emphasise again  how practical and determined people in the island are

 

I wrote 

 

"If, let’s say, Cyprus is in need to have more astrophysicist, Cypriots will organise themselves and in a due time Cyprus will have ready new scientists to practically offer their knowledge where is needed. The same goes also for plumbers, car mechanics, hairdressers, accountants, football coaches  etc.. "

 

 

 

Interesting to know is that before coming to Cyprus I read an article of then Yugoslavian well known journalist Miroslav Lazanski "Cipar otok spijuna" "Cyprus the island of spies" where Mr. Lazanski, if I remember well , informed then Yugoslavian audience how Cyprus became an oasis where different secret agents had an opportunity to rest and communicate without being concern of any harm that could happen as long as they were peaceful in the island. Climate was set! It shows how the people of the island can be friendly, trustworthy and at the same time firm and serious. That is respected, I am sure, and today by everybody.

With all due respect to all industries in Cyprus, tourism was, is and will be main driving force of Cypriot economy.

 

All the other activities are connected practically or emotionally to tourism.

 

Even that there is a strong tendency of cold, straight approach in doing business, emotions are still involved and are connected with surroundings as well. It gives boost to the positive atmosphere making cooperation to be achieved  easier Hope that this can be the case for Cypriots as well.

 

Before settling in Cyprus for various reasons great majority of the foreigners are first declared tourists !

 

 

Astonishing ten fold increase of number of visitors from 353000 in 1980 to 3652000 in 2017 shows that tourism is a driving force of the economy of Cyprus.

 

In such an important hospitality industry, like in any other human activity you have people that were taking risks in order to upgrade offer, attracting high budget tourists. That increases  revenues definitely but more importantly, even not immediately visible, increases influence of the name Cyprus has in different decision making places around the globe.

This is how those visionaries accompanied with their wisely chosen assistants actually build the trade mark just simply called CYPRUS !

 

And they come from every part of the island! Visionaries are behind the success story of Cypriot trade mark! Being an Architects, Interior designers,  business people, right and left hands of the inspirational,  wise owners etc... 

 

Like they were following Chinese proverb which says, in spontaneous translation:

“ The only path to the bright future is the one where from your fear grows!”

 

COME TO CYPRUS AND LIVE THE LIFE! 

 

But it was not always like that. One of the hotel apartments owner in Protaras area said to me over late afternoon conversation showing the sea in front of us combined with the presence of traditional Cypriot donkey he always treated so gently,that when he got married, many years ago, his father in law apologise to him saying : "My son I do not have anything to leave to  you and my daughter except the sea "! 

In those days agricultural land was life! 

How things have changed! 

 

Just recently I had a conversation with a men I know for nearly ten years and he is in charge of one of the beautiful places near the sea at Larnaca.

He greeted me with the question “ how it was your winter?”. I said, talkative as always, that it was usual with ups and downs but always with the smile, not to forget that we are alive! And he replied “ You know I see for so many years tourist coming here to LIVE! And we are living in a paradise without realising it! We are running here and there, forgetting to actually live the life, enjoying moments, taking advantage of the place we live in. And that place we call it Cyprus and it is a paradise!”

 

 

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I remember in early 1990s in Limassol,  deluxe hotel named Four Seasons was build with nearly 300 rooms that together with Amathus beach hotel ( Build 1971!) upgraded the offer for high income tourist, giving the light to the other hoteliers in making,  to follow by developing more and more luxury hotels and apartments as number of tourists increased every year.

 

Today you can also see a newly refurbished  town hotel in Limassol. Visit the history of Limassol by staying at unique Curium Palace Hotel where walls have stories to tell. 

 

Another visionary development was Aldiana hotel build in George Muskis Avenue of Alaminos village between Larnaca and Limassol  in cooperation with German investors.

 

It is a show case how European business can cooperate with Cypriot visionaries for the good of the people living in the island.

 

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One should not forget Ayia Napa which went through such swift immediate development in the last 30 years.

Today, Ayia Napa managed to upgrade as each and every hotel owner improves the offer attracting more and more higher income tourists but never forgetting golden middle class! Even town hotel like Napa Plaza are offering a Hollywood style swimming pool and surroundings that makes visitor to forget any issues he left at home and enjoy to the full the vacations in Cyprus! Or new development Nissiblu Beach Resort which will definitely attract upper market tourist. Or beautiful Sun Rise Hotel in nearby Protaras! And many more. 

 

And Paphos, ancient capital of Cyprus and place with huge potential which is being promoted by very important expansion of Paphos International airport. That is followed in the last couple of years with building of new beautiful hotels and hotel complexes and improving existing one like beautiful Cynthiana Hotel situated in quiet surroundings as well as Aqua Mare and Avanti Hotel being near the famous Paphos Castle with traditional summer opera nights.  

 

To emphasise how important and how professional people became in tourism industry in Cyprus here is one little detail happened to me recently. 

 

I visited a hotel and had beautiful four night vacation. When going, a manager asked me how did I found the service, facilities, staff of the hotel. As Hotel was just refurbished with new extension of some 70 rooms he was curious what would I say. Well I said, all great except just one small detail! "What it is"  he asked. Chunky cut tomatoes! I replied. With surprise in his eyes and smile he said : "This is what I just said to the cook!" No need to mention that emotions are starting with the eye contact being checked and rechecked with other senses as well!  

 

The details are not only important, they define everything! And people in the Cyprus tourist industry are very much aware of it. 

 

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Would like to inform the readers that we are continuing our Cyprus series articles with more stories to come soon.

 

 

 

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The superpower of Mediterranean Island of Cyprus

Dear readers, 

Cyprus, Presidential elections finished yesterday 4th of February with "teneka" ( ballot box) giving the winer.

Cypriots have shown to the world that Democracy is alive and that it works! 

That togetherness,respect and common sense have future. 

For that reason I join part one and two of this article presenting it for reading. Hope that it contributes to the better understanding of Cyprus and it's people.

Part three will come towards the opening of tourist season.

 

Expression from the title, as far as I remember, has been used to attract attention of important person some years ago, and off course to extend time of first,  brief, courtesy meeting between two personalities. It stayed in my mind as an example of beautiful way to make your interlocutor to, at least, remember you and what you represent.

 

It is showcase of a beautiful, sharp, practical mind which is characteristic of the people of Cyprus confirming the quote “little things are not critical, they define everything”. Even if it is nicely hidden, it is there on alert to be revealed till intention of other is presumed. I will not analyze why it is hidden. There are always reasons, like lessons learned from the past.

 

I would like to help the readers to reason why island of Cyprus could be called “The super power of Mediterranean”. To share my deep impression that, even as geographical position is very important, without its people with curius, adoptable, practical , fast learning mind, Cyprus would be just one deserted, forgotten appellation.   

 

Always hospitable, ready to listen, to help with genuine interest if you share burden, people of Cyprus are the real power of this beautiful Island.

With still strong family values and by investing in education, mostly abroad, Cypriots are at the same time acknowledging their roots and widening their perception of the world.

 

If they come back to the island after finishing studies, they are ready to commence work, as experience acquired abroad is the source of high confidence and awareness.

At the same time the field of education shows that the people of the island are fast learners and great implementers of both, human and profitable business ideas. Namely, there has been huge increase of foreign students attending Cypriot Universities with numerous success stories reported, as graduates go back to their countries applying successfully vast knowledge they got. 

 

There are places in the world that are known as “never sleeps” due to a great night life. As you definitely can find amazing places to visit in Cyprus and have an amusing night, Cyprus is going for a sleep.

 

However something never sleeps! 

 

And that is Cypriot entrepreneurship!

It is on alert 24/7. 

 

Maybe you will have an impression that I am exaggerating but it is real.

That I could call an intuition combined with entrepreneurship!

If, let’s say, Cyprus is in need to have more astrophysicist, Cypriots will organise themselves and in a due time Cyprus will have ready new scientists to practically offer their knowledge where is needed. The same goes also for plumbers, car mechanics, hairdressers, accountants, football coaches  etc….

 

Cyprus is a small Island but variety of different services on offer and competition in the market place is so strong, explaining, why business organizer mind is always on alert giving tremendous, sometimes not recognisable, but definitely very real, advance to Cypriot economy and at the end to its hard working people.  

 

All above and many more to be presented in the next two parts would not be workable if it wasn’t combined, entangled with still strong family values. 

I will finish this part with a story of Father and son talk occurred some thirty years ago.

Father and son, than 8 years old, were talking in the car about education! Just a small digression, but an important one! I need to emphasise the word Education! 

 

Talk was about words, about vocabulary. Father suggested to his son to learn four new words every day, explaining that by doing so, in some years, he will enrich his vocabulary and widen the way of thinking.

 

There was a short silence before son asked :" Wouldn't words drain after some time Dad? 

 

“No not at all, as we learn every day something new. It will generally help you in all of your life " father replied.

 

After some moments passed son said: “Dad do you know what the last word the man learns is?

” No”, father replied continuing to drive the car.

“What it is?” father asked.

 

“Death” son replied.

 

This conversation passed to me by a beautiful mind person, who happened to be the father in the above story affirms another important characteristics of people of Cyprus. Genuine, highly human, common sense thoughts about meaning and purpose of existence starting from the early life and continuing till the last word the man learns!  

 

Part two

Cypriots abroad

 

Many years ago I had encounter in small, cozy, very well-known tavern in London. Famous for traditional Cypriot food, including original Cyprus snails (transported secretly in those late seventies), halloumi cheese etc..it was , and hope still is, the place where most of Cypriots and their guests, like me, have been. The owner, now deceased, was long time London resident, but his English was not enough to comprehend, sometimes, what native English were saying. And that night he told us a story while serving, tasty traditional Cypriot meze.  

You know, he started, when my wife gave birth to my second child I went to the hospital to see her and child and to enjoy the moments with the family. As I wanted to smoke I went out to light a cigarette. While smoking and organizing my thoughts about the future of the new born child, the nurse I saw in the ward passed by and smiling said to me “Congratulations, 5 pounds 10 ounces!” (2.551 kg – Big baby it was!). I heard it and immediately forgot what I was thinking before! I looked at her thinking that for the first child no one asked for extra payment. I put a hand in my pocket, and fortunately I had 20 pounds note. I gave it to the nurse with a smile of proud father and said, please keep the change! After that I learned what Ounce is as I knew very well what Pound was!

 

You can find Cypriots everywhere in the world!

 

From NASA, London School of Economics, Amazon jungle from all sides, Chiapas in Mexico, Petroleum platforms in Alaska, Restaurant in Shanghai, to Sakhalin, Moscow, Krasnodar, whole Australia , Cape town , Yaoundé, Accra, Istanbul, Kirkuk, Dakar, Tangier, and all of Europe and everywhere else! 

 

Not to forget that there is a Nobel Prize laureate who is Cypriot.

 

Or that there was a Cypriot who as FIFA International Chief Instructor in Football Management and Development was in the team which helped Iceland organising their football with the result being their first time ever participation in UEFA Euro 2016 and in the FIFA World Cup in Russia this year!

 

Where ever they are they stay original, devoted to their native, superpower of Mediterranean Island of Cyprus! And they all are proud of that!

 

They visit one another, form relationships which due to circumstances would not be possible in Cyprus, marry between themselves. Share good and not so good moments, helping each other no matter from which part of Cyprus they are. 

They work hard having a dream to go back and spend at least retirement years, or follow their children to Cyprus. You can meet many of those during summer holydays and, over traditional hospitality combined with master chef souvla, exchange views about Cyprus and how it changed from the last time they visited.   

 

A story, just a brief one but subtle, told to me by a son in law living in Xanthi while mother and father in law moved from Cyprus to Izmir(Smyrna). Whatever food mother in law was preparing was a traditional Cypriot food only! Whatever food they were eating and was not Cypriot, she repeated all the time, if the food is good, that “you know son we have this in Cyprus” and if it was not tasteful, “they should learn from us how to make this food”!

 

I remember that I had a continuous debate with sharp mind, strong common sensed Cypriot man about the origins of different things. Sometimes serious, sometimes just teasing and being teased by me he was saying “We have that in Tremithousa (village in Paphos district) or “Origin of this is from 

Tremithousa”. There was, and still it is, a kind of competition between different parts of Cyprus claiming origin to different things. These arguments are continuing worldwide, wherever Cypriots live!  

 

First what they ask each other when introducing themselves is “Where do you come from? “Then it continues to Father, Mother surname and then there is a try to find common denominator in order to connect more to one another. 

And the dream? As I said, dream is to go back to Cyprus! 

 

As one lady with more than forty years experience of living outside Cyprus said when we fortuitously met and started conversation: “We came back to Cyprus after forty years in England. We decided to sell our house and my husband’s business, to follow our son to Cyprus as he found his lady here. They got married, started their family! We wanted to be near them and to help. We did the right thing? Even that a lot has changed in Cyprus in last forty years and it is difficult for us to adapt in an age we are, I can say that it was a good decision! We are in our country! Our Island, we love as we love our son! But what we love more is our grandson! You will understand when you become grandfather” she said finishing her story and as a sign of friendship giving me as a present a holy water from Saint Andreas Monastery to sanctify my heart! 

This is what you can expect when in Cyprus or when meeting Cypriots everywhere in the world!

 

 

Part three to follow...

As they say "stay tuned"

 

Philosophy of good news 

 

Darko Krstic 

 

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