Date: Mon, 23 Oct 2017 05:15:16 +0200
By Paul Raymond and Emily Irving-Swift

Ayia Napa, Cyprus, Oct 23, 2017 (AFP) - Tourists on a crowded, sun-drenched beach in the Cypriot resort of Ayia Napa tossed drinks cans into recycling bins as a record-breaking holiday season drew to a close.   With more visitors heading to Cyprus than ever, the Mediterranean island's waste disposal system is under pressure, despite efforts to cut landfill use and encourage recycling, waste management and tourism, experts say.   Panicos Michael, manager of the five-star Alion Beach Hotel in Ayia Napa, said the rising number of visitors raised major issues.   "I think that this will be a big challenge for the island in general to cope with the increased amount of waste that's going to be produced," he said.

Cyprus -- seen as a regional safe spot shielded from the unrest that has hit other popular Mediterranean destinations -- hosted a record 3.2 million visitors last year and looks set to top that by eight percent in 2017, official figures show.   In response, authorities and tourism executives are backing efforts to separate waste and send as much as possible away from landfill sites and towards recycling.

Cyprus landfilled some 79 percent of its municipal waste in 2013, according to the latest figure available on Eurostat, far above the European Union average of just 28 percent.   Michael said his hotel had cut landfill output per guest by half since it introduced waste separation in 2003.   The hotel divides glass, paper, plastic, metal, drinks cartons and other categories for recycling.   The Ayia Napa municipality aims to offer organic waste collection from hotels by spring 2018.    It has also installed recycling bins in visitor hotspots such as the waterfront directly below the Alion Beach Hotel.   Russian holidaymaker Helen Mikhaylenko, who works for an industrial equipment importer in Moscow, praised the scheme.   "People drink a lot of beer and they should divide," the 23-year-old said in English, wearing sunglasses and a black bikini.    "It's a very good idea because rubbish is one of the global problems and it is solved in Ayia Napa."

- 'Reduce, re-use, recycle' -
Tourism and waste management experts say waste output per person in Cyprus is heavily inflated by tourist arrivals.   Kyriakos Parpounas of Green Dot, a waste management firm that deals with the vast majority of recycling in Cyprus, said tourists' waste output was equivalent to adding 300,000 permanent residents to the country's 866,000 population.

Cyprus has much improved its waste management since 2005, when Green Dot was founded in response to a new European Union law demanding better sorting and recycling, he said.   Green Dot has run a series of school and media campaigns encouraging Cypriots to "reduce, re-use and recycle".   But the country still only recycles 19 percent of its waste, far lower than the European average of 44 percent.   "We began from scratch, there was no infrastructure," Parpounas said. "There was no sorting on the island. There was no sorting culture at all."   He was speaking at one of two Green Dot sorting warehouses in Cyprus.   On a bleak industrial estate on the outskirts of Nicosia, it handles around half the island's recycling, some 12 tonnes a day.

A digger shovelled mountains of refuse into a container where a rumbling conveyor belt heaved the waste into a warehouse nextdoor.    Around 15 workers stood at the belt, sorting plastic bottles and drinks cans and cardboard scraps into separate bins.   Warehouse manager Andreas Andreou said a fifth of the supposedly recyclable waste arriving at the plant still had to go to landfill because non-recyclable waste crept in.   The day before, workers had even found a dead dog.   Parpounas said more efforts were needed if the country was to meet the EU target of recycling half of its municipal waste by 2020.   "We are missing a lot of important tools that would actually drive people and create the culture of sorting," he said.

- 'Good business sense' -
Green Dot presented a list of 10 demands to the government when it was set up in 2005.    Some 12 years later, seven have yet to be fulfilled, Parpounas said.   In particular, he urged the government to introduce a "pay as you throw" scheme to encourage sorting, and to introduce a landfill tax.   Environment department director Costas Hadjipanayiotou said the government was working to push people to recycle more but that the proportion of waste going to landfill was still "a huge number".    "Cyprus is landfilling so much waste because... we are still late in establishing the appropriate infrastructure and cultivating the culture, but also the infrastructure is not in place," he said.   Tourism officials say recycling efforts make economic sense.

Philippos Drousiotis, of the Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative, said both hotels and guests had welcomed efforts such as cutting use of plastic bottles.   "The sustainable tourist is good for business," he said. "It's a good opportunity to reduce their costs."   Muscovite holidaymaker Kate Tsurkanova, standing next to a beach near the centre of Ayia Napa, said she was pleased tourists could now separate their rubbish for recycling.   "It's perfect, actually I have just started doing it myself in Russia," she said. "I wish there were more bins like that everywhere."
Friday 29th September 2017

Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Traveler's health
Alert: September 29, 2017  
The United Kingdom has reported three cases of Plasmodium vivax malaria in UK residents who traveled to Esentepe (also known as Agios Amvrosios) in the Kyrenia District in northern Cyprus.
Cyprus was certified as malaria-free in 1967, and since then, there have been no reports of malaria in Cyprus until now.
However, the mosquitoes that spread malaria are found in the area.
What can travelers do to prevent malaria?
At this time, CDC recommends that travelers to Esentepe (Agios Amvrosios) take medicine to prevent malaria.
Effective options include atovaquone-proguanil, chloroquine, doxycycline, mefloquine, and primaquine. 
Source: CDC: Malaria in Cyprus 
Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2017 16:12:44 +0200

Nicosia, Sept 18, 2017 (AFP) - More than half a million tourists visited Cyprus in August, pushing summer arrivals on the Mediterranean island to a new record, authorities said Monday.   "With the completion of the most successful summer season in the history of Cypriot tourism, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation will focus even more on the winter season," the CTO said.

Seen as a regional safe haven, Cyprus boasted a record year for tourism in 2016 with 3.18 million arrivals, generating $2.8 billion (2.36 billion euros) in revenue.   After smashing records for arrivals in June, July and August 2017, officials expect visitor numbers over the whole year to top last year's figure by some eight percent.   Arrivals in the first eight months of the year totalled 2.51 million, against 2.19 million in the same period of 2016.

Cyprus has benefitted from a boom in visitors from its largest market, Britain -- up nearly eight percent in August -- along with a revival in those coming from Germany and Sweden.   Arrivals from nearby Israel shot up by over 95 percent in August against the same month in 2016.   The finance ministry said over 520,000 tourists visited Cyprus in August, up 14 percent from the same period in 2016.   It said August 2017 had the highest volume of tourist arrivals ever recorded in Cyprus during that month.   Cyprus tourist arrivals have been in positive territory for 26 consecutive months since a reverse in June 2015.

The island has seen an uptick in visitors as formerly popular Mediterranean holiday destinations such as Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia were hit by upheaval in recent years.   The surge has helped Cyprus return to growth following a 10-billion-euro package to rescue its crumbling economy and insolvent banks in March 2013.   Income from tourism accounts for about 12 percent of the country's gross domestic product and is credited with underpinning a quick recovery.
Date: Mon 18 Sep 2017
From: Irene Lai <> [edited]

[re: ProMED-mail Malaria, autochthonous - Cyprus: RFI]
On 8 Sep 2017, the United Kingdom reported (through the ECDC Early Warning and Response System) 3 cases of _Plasmodium vivax_ malaria in travellers returning from Esentepe [Agios Amvrosios, Kyrenia], the northern part of Cyprus.

Two of the cases were siblings aged 12 years who travelled independently from the 3rd case. The 3 cases stayed in the northern part of Cyprus for 2 to 3 weeks in August [2017] and developed symptoms on [29 Aug 2017]. They were laboratory confirmed upon returning to the UK.
Dr Irene Lai
International SOS
[ProMED thanks Irene Lai, from SOS International, for the information above. We now know that it was _Plasmodium vivax_ and that the 3 patients were in the same geographical area. - ProMED Mod.EP]

[A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at:
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2017 16:27:13 +0200

Nicosia, Aug 17, 2017 (AFP) - A surge in visitors to Cyprus from Britain, Germany, Sweden and Israel has seen the Mediterranean island record its best ever tourist arrivals for July, official data showed Thursday.   Seen as a regional safe haven, Cyprus boasted a record year for tourism in 2016 with 3.18 million arrivals, generating 2.36 billion euros (then $2.48 billion) in revenues.

Officials expect these records to be broken again this year with an estimated eight percent increase in visitors for 2017.   The finance ministry said the number of tourists visiting the eastern Mediterranean country in July rose 10.1 percent to 531,030 compared with the same period in 2016.   "July 2017 had the highest volume of tourist arrivals ever recorded in Cyprus during the specific month," said a statement from the ministry.   Arrivals in the first seven months of the year was also a record -- improving 14.8 percent from 2016 to reach 1.99 million, it said.

Cyprus has benefitted from a boom in arrivals, especially from its largest markets Britain -- up six percent in July -- along with a revival in those coming from Germany, Sweden and Israel.   The biggest percentage rise in tourist arrivals was from nearby Israel, which spiked 82.6 percent.   This was offset by a 3.6 percent decrease in Russian tourists.   Arrivals have been on a continuous upward curve since June 2015.   The island is seen a safe haven for tourists, with other traditionally popular destinations in the eastern Mediterranean having been hit by upheaval in the past few years.

Britain and Russia constituted the main sources of tourism for Cyprus in July 2017, with a 33.3 percent and 24.3 percent slice respectively.   The upsurge is a boon for Cyprus, which has returned to growth following a 10-billion-euro rescue package to stave its crumbling economy and insolvent banks in March 2013.   Income from tourism accounts for about 12 percent of the eurozone member's gross domestic product and is credited for ensuring a relatively quick recovery.
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