Sunday, December 4, 2011

European Tourism Year 1990

1990 was designated European Year of Tourism (EYT) by the European Community. The six member countries of EFTA have also accepted the Community's invitation to take an active part.
Tourism occupies a dominant position in the economy of Cyprus. According to the World Economic Forum's 2011 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, Cyprus' tourism industry ranks 24th in the world in terms of overall competitiveness. In terms of Tourism Infrastructure, in relation to the tourism industry) Cyprus ranks 1st in the world.
In December 1988 the EC Council of Ministers adopted the European Parliament’s recommendation for the designation of 1990 as European Tourism Year. The recognition of the increasing importance of tourism, not only as a source of revenue and employment for all European states but also as an important means through which a United Europe could be created, in view of the abolition of borders in 1992, was the main reason which led to the aforementioned decision. Thus the main aim of the European Tourism Year was defined by the European Community, as the promotion of the idea of a United Europe and the underlining of the huge economic and social importance of Tourism in this New Europe. With this aim in mind, both the member-states of the Community as well as the other countries of Europe, would honour the European Tourism Year with the staging of various events and programmes.
Cyprus would also honour the European Tourism Year being itself a predominantly tourist country, which indeed depends to a large extend on Europe, since more than 60% of the tourist arrivals hail from the EC area. Tourism for Cyprus constitutes today one of the most important factors of economic, social and cultural developments.
The Department of Postal services of Cyprus issued a commemorative series consisting of 4 stamps in order to honour European Tourism Year. The 5-cent stamp is dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Hotel and Catering Institute (HCI). This Institute was and is the basic factor for success in the development of this sector in Cyprus. For the development of this sector, HCI trains expertly qualified personnel, extending its work to students from overseas, a fact that has earned international recognition for the quality and importance of its contribution. The 7-cent stamps is dedicated to the completion of 11 centuries since the founding of the Saint Lazarus Church. Saint Lazarus took refuge to Kition after the beginning of persecutions against Christians, and was according to legend the first Bishop of the city, in which he was buried after he died for the second time. In 8980 A.D. Emperor Leon VI, the Wise, transferred his body to Constantinople and as a compensation he build the elegant Byzantine Church that stands over his tomb. It possesses a wood-engraved iconostatis of exceptional craftsmanship and a priceless old icon of the Bishop of Kition. The church has played an important role in the history of the city and constituted for centuries the necessary compliment to the pilgrimage to the holy Land. The 15 & 18 cent stamps are dedicated to the natural environment.

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