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Invest Cyprus welcomes Radisson Hotel Group’s ambitious expansion plans for the island as a “major vote of confidence”.

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Radisson Hotel Group VP describes plans to “triple” its serviced apartments portfolio in EMEA to address new demand for “safe” holidays and to build on the resilient extended stay hospitality model.

While many hotel groups have put their development plans on hold, Radisson Hotel Group has announced it is forging ahead with an ambitious five-year plan that includes opening a second property in Larnaca by the summer of 2021, and breaking ground in the next few months to build the island’s first branded serviced apartments, also in Larnaca. Another flagship property is planned in Nicosia, to be operated by Sunnyseeker Hotels under a franchise agreement.  

Elie Milky, Vice President of Development for Radisson Hotel Group for the Middle East, Pakistan, Cyprus and Greece, described a global trend towards the use of serviced apartments and said the group was responding to new demand from guests “who are looking to travel again, but in a safe and physically distanced manner” in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.  

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George Campanellas, Chief Executive of Invest Cyprus, the national investment promotion agency, which is working on a national strategy to turn Cyprus into a leading tourism and hospitality investment destination, said:  

“We are delighted that leading hotel brands such as Radisson Hotels has chosen Cyprus to expand, adding over 500 new rooms and apartments. This shows a major vote of confidence in the tourism and hospitality sector in Cyprus during a hugely challenging time for the global economy. It is also a great example of how major companies are working with Cyprus to find innovative ways to address challenges brought on by the pandemic and to support local businesses and generate jobs.” 

Radisson Hotel Group already has five hotels, resorts, and serviced apartments with over 800 keys in operation and under development across Cyprus, making it the largest international hotel group on the island. The planned Radisson Beach Resort Larnaca (pictured) will offer an additional 202 keys and will be the city’s first internationally branded resort when it opens this summer. Construction is also starting “in the coming months” on the island’s first branded serviced apartments product, also under the Radisson Blu brand. In addition, the recently signed strategic partnership with Sunnyseeker Hotels and Quality Group will mark the group’s entry into Nicosia with a 271-key property that “will change the skyline of the city” when it opens in 2024, said Mr Milky. 

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Setting out why Radisson had selected Cyprus for expansion, Mr Milky said: 

Elie Milky, Vice President of Development for Radisson Hotel Group for the Middle East, Pakistan, Cyprus and Greece

Elie Milky, Vice President of Development for Radisson Hotel Group for the Middle East, Pakistan, Cyprus and Greece

“With only 1% of the 500 hotels on the island under an international brand, we identified this as an opening to penetrate the market with the right partners. The pandemic and resulting economic climate have also made independent hotel owners more open to branding opportunities given the strict cleaning and prevention standards that guests are looking for, and the opportunity to access more markets and international guests.” 

He added: “What sets Cyprus apart as a successful tourism destination is stability, opportunity, and location. The Cypriot government also strongly supported the process of developing the post-2015 sustainable development agenda and has repeatedly expressed its commitment to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which makes the island an even more attractive destination for tourism and investment.” 

Mr Milky said that the pandemic had boosted the trend towards serviced apartments. “Even before the pandemic, serviced apartments made up 10% of our EMEA portfolio with 45 properties and more than 5,400 keys in operation and under development. This has been further strengthened with additional announcements for new serviced apartments properties in Amsterdam, Paris, Larnaca, Nicosia and elsewhere. Our group plans to almost triple our serviced apartments portfolio within the next five years.” 

Looking ahead, he said: “Guests are looking to travel again, but in a safe physically distanced manner. There will be more focus on cleanliness and there will also be more demand for resorts, serviced apartments, and branded hospitality real estate due to their element of trust, standards, and the diversified distribution channels that come with it. We will start seeing more conversion and branding opportunities as a result.

“We will also see much more reliance on technology as it will be a key tool in the revival of our sector. Almost every aspect of the hospitality experience will have a digital component. There will always be a need for physical meetings and interactions, but business meetings will likely move to a more hybrid set-up, with smaller teams getting together in one location and connecting with others via videoconference, and this will be a huge opportunity for the hospitality industry.” 

Invest Cyprus has launched several new initiatives to attract investment in the tourism and hospitality sector, part of which is a dedicated project bank called TourInvest Cyprus, which lists all investment opportunities available in the sector. Its focus is on promoting the island as a year-round destination and to boost thematic tourism such as wellness, health and sports rehabilitation. 

About Invest Cyprus 

Invest Cyprus (Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency) is the investment promotion agency of the Government of Cyprus, dedicated to attracting and facilitating foreign direct investment into the country. In close collaboration with all governmental authorities and public institutions, as well as the private sector, Invest Cyprus is the country’s lead agent in establishing Cyprus as a world-class investment destination. For more details, please visit www.investcyprus.org.cy

Radisson Hotel Group 

Radisson Hotel Group is one of the world's largest hotel groups with nine distinctive hotel brands, and more than 1,500 hotels in operation and under development in 120 countries. The Group’s overarching brand promise is Every Moment Matters with a signature Yes I Can! service ethos.

The Radisson Hotel Group portfolio includes Radisson Collection, Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson RED, Radisson Individuals, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson, Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, and prizeotel brought together under one commercial umbrella brand Radisson Hotels.

Radisson Rewards is our global rewards program that delivers unique and personalized ways to create memorable moments that matter to our guests. Radisson Rewards offers exceptional loyalty benefits for our guests, meeting planners, travel agents and business partners.

Radisson Meetings provides tailored solutions for any event or meeting, including hybrid solutions placing guests and their needs at the heart of its offer. Radisson Meetings is built around three strong service commitments: Personal, Professional and Memorable, while delivering on the brilliant basics and being uniquely 100% Carbon Neutral.

More than 100,000 team members work at Radisson Hotel Group and at the hotels licensed to operate in its systems.

For more information, visit:

https://www.radissonhotels.com/corporate 

Or connect with us on:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/radisson-hotel-group/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/radissonhotels/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/radissonhotels

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/radissonhotels

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/radissonhotelgroup

Cyprus

NextGenerationEU: European Commission disburses €157 million in pre-financing to Cyprus

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The European Commission has disbursed €157 million to Cyprus in pre-financing, equivalent to 13% of the country's financial allocation under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The pre-financing payment will help to kick-start the implementation of the crucial investment and reform measures outlined in Cyprus' recovery and resilience plan. The Commission will authorise further disbursements based on the implementation of the investments and reforms outlined in Cyprus' recovery and resilience plan.

The country is set to receive €1.2 billion in total over the lifetime of its plan, with €1 billion provided in grants and €200m in loans. Today's disbursement follows the recent successful implementation of the first borrowing operations under NextGenerationEU. By the end of the year, the Commission intends to raise up to a total of €80bn in long-term funding, to be complemented by short-term EU-Bills, to fund the first planned disbursements to member states under NextGenerationEU. Part of NextGenerationEU, the RRF will provide €723.8bn (in current prices) to support investments and reforms across member states.

The Cypriot plan is part of the unprecedented EU response to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, fostering the green and digital transitions and strengthening resilience and cohesion in our societies. A press release is available online.

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coronavirus

Commission approves €1 billion Cypriot scheme to support enterprises and self-employed individuals in context of coronavirus outbreak

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The European Commission has approved a €1 billion Cypriot scheme to support enterprises and self-employed individuals in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State Aid Temporary Framework. The support will take the form of state guarantees on new loans. The measure will be open to companies active in all sectors (except the financial sector). The aim of the scheme is to provide liquidity for viable companies which experienced business disruption due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Commission found that the Cypriot measure is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the scheme (i) relates to new loans with a minimum maturity of three months and a maximum maturity of six years; (ii) foresees a  coverage of the guarantee limited to 70% of the loan principal; (iii) provides for minimum remuneration of the guarantee; (iv) contains adequate safeguards to ensure that the aid is channelled effectively by the financial intermediaries to the  beneficiaries in need; and (v) ensures that support will be granted no later than 31 December 2021.

The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a member state, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the aid measure under EU state aid rules.

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Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager (pictured), in charge of competition policy, said: “This €1bn scheme will enable Cyprus to support companies and self-employed persons affected by the coronavirus pandemic through the provision of state guarantees on loans. The scheme will help these companies address the liquidity shortages they face due to the ongoing crisis. We will keep working together with member states to find the best solutions to support companies during these difficult times, in line with EU rules.”

A press release is available online.

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Croatia

Commission welcomes next step on the approval of the recovery and resilience plans of Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania and Slovenia

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The European Commission has welcomed the positive exchange of views on the Council implementing decisions on the approval of national recovery and resilience plans for Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania and Slovenia held on 26 July, at the informal videoconference of EU Economy and Finance Ministers (ECOFIN). These plans set out the measures that will be supported by the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The RRF is at the heart of NextGenerationEU, which will provide €800 billion (in current prices) to support investments and reforms across the EU. The Council implementing decisions will be formally adopted by written procedure shortly.

This formal adoption will pave the way for the payment of up to 13% of the total allocated amount for each of these member states in pre-financing. The Commission aims to disburse the first pre-financing as quickly as possible, following the signing of the bilateral financing agreements and, where relevant, loan agreements. The Commission will then authorise further disbursements based on the satisfactory fulfilment of the milestones and targets outlined in each of the Council Implementing Decisions, reflecting progress on the implementation of the investments and reforms covered in the plans.

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