The aim of the project was to create an implementation strategy for the product development and marketing of environmentally and culturally sensitive village tourism in Cyprus; to raise rural incomes and stimulate sustainable development in the Karpaz peninsula in the north of the island; and to foster collaborative links between tourism actors in the north and south in support of economic convergence and progress towards political agreement on the island.
UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and Management Centre for the Mediterranean, Cyprus
Working with stakeholders in the village of Büyükkonuk, which already had an active core of support for developing the village as an ecotourism destination, we established relations with tour operators in Cyprus, and formalized a product development and marketing strategy, for implementation by local working groups.
Although the project had hoped to generate cooperation between agro-tourism villages and organic farming initiatives in the north and south of Cyprus, building on the relaxation of the Green Line restrictions in Cyprus following the entry into EU membership of the Republic of Cyprus in 2004, political conditions at the time did not prove favourable to this aim, and the project opted instead for an incremental approach, building on the willingness of individuals to collaborate at an informal level. The draft implementation strategy was put out to consultation, and finally presented to and adopted by a meeting of stakeholders in Büyükkonuk in February 2006, who formed seven working groups, in line with the priority actions outlined in the implementation strategy, to take responsibility for its implementation.