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The development of agrotourism in Cyprus The challenges facing the tourism industry in Cyprus have not gone unrecognised by the authorities In mid-1980s when it became evident that the development of tourism was becoming in a sense too successful measures were introduced to re-focus the direction and scale of tourism development away from the burgeoning coastal resorts In particular policies were introduced which aimed to encourage tourism development in the traditional hill resorts backed up by marketing strategies designed to attract more diverse middle to upper income tourists Andronikou 1986 Since then successive plans and policies have sought albeit with limited success to achieve a more balanced approach to tourism implicit objectives being to slow the growth in tourism to improve and diversify the tourism product to attract higher-spending tourists to reduce the impacts of seasonality and to spread the benefits of tourism around the island Over the last decade the principal vehicle for achieving these objectives has been the development of agrotourism The agrotourism programme in Cyprus launched by the CTO in 1991 is designed primarily to facilitate the socio-economic regeneration of rural areas in Cyprus More specifically the programme seeks to revitalise rural communities in order to counter out-migration channel a more significant proportion of tourism income directly to rural communities diversify the Cypriot tourism product by providing an alternative to the beach holidays and by attracting new specialised segments of the tourist market develop a uniquely Cypriot product based on traditional rural culture and philoxeniaCypriot hospitality protect and conserve existing natural and built environments and to preserve and strengthen traditional lifestyle and culture PIO 1999 In short agrotourism in Cyprus embraces the typical socio-economic aims of rural tourism development It is not intended as an alternative to traditional rural occupations or lifestyles but rather as a supplementary income enabling everyday practices to continue At the same time however it encompasses the broader objective of repositioning the islands tourism product 5 Agrotourism in
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