New study on Cyprus tourism

The Travel Foundation has worked with TUI Group and PwC to pilot a ground- breaking impact assessment that quantifies and values the economic, tax, environmental and social impacts of tourism.

The Travel Foundation was commissioned by PwC to apply its Total Impact Measurement & Management (TIMM) methodology to TUI Group’s operations, focusing on eight hotels accommodating 60,000 TUI customers in Cyprus in 2013. Cyprus is an important destination for the UK travel industry. One million British tourists visit each year, accounting for 45% of all visitors.

The study measured and valued a wide range of economic, fiscal, social and environmental impacts. This is the first time the methodology has been applied to tourism, and is thought to be the most comprehensive impact assessment ever undertaken for tourism operation within a holiday destination.

The positive economic and tax benefits were by far the greatest impact – amounting to €84 per guest per night – far exceeding the negative environmental (-€4) and social (-€0.2) costs. However, this is a one-year (2013) snapshot and does not take account of the construction of the hotels.

The Travel Foundation was founded in 2003 as a UK registered charity. It supports destination stakeholders – including tour operators from the relevant source markets, destination authorities, local tourism businesses and local communities – to develop and deliver a programme of activities that optimises the overall benefits of tourism.

All destinations want tourism that provides maximum value for minimum cost (environmentally, socially, culturally, economically). But at the moment they have to rely far too much on guesswork and assumptions when considering what kind of tourism they want.

Ideally the value that tourism brings should reflect the priorities of a destination. Some types of tourism will be better at generating employment; other types might be better at raising tax revenue, while some might contribute more to the local economy. A mix of segments will probably provide the optimal result for a destination.

It is beneficial to understand what benefits and disadvantages tourism has in a destination, but just what sort of tourists could provide the highest benefits?

In a target-market world, it will be beneficial for a destination to understand which specific tourism market could provide their own gold mine of quality tourists.

So, this year the Travel Foundation is to measure and compare the positive and negative impacts (costs and benefits) of different tourism market segments/types on a destination, and to explore what an optimal mix might look like.

The hope is to do this across two different destinations. The destinations have not, as yet been confirmed – and the Travel Foundation is currently assessing potential destination partners.

If this methodology works then it could be a great new tool for countries considering whether or not to spend money to promote and encourage medical tourism.