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Part of the problem, part of the solution

Pafos is motivated by a vision of being a quality destination where tourists may enjoy a diverse range of experiences while also contributing to sustainable tourism growth while respecting the natural environment and cultural heritage.

Pafos has evolved from a classic mass-tourist sun-and-sea hotspot to a sophisticated and innovative tourism destination. After over 15 years of evolution, the destination is now successfully incorporating sustainability themes into its comprehensive smart tourism strategy and operations.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Pafos adopted the UN Sustainable Development Goals as they pertain to tourism sustainability, namely six of the thirteen SDGs:


  • Affordable and clean energy
  • Industry innovation and infrastructure
  • Sustainable cities and communities
  • Responsible consumption and production
  • Climate action
  • Partnership for the goals

EU Mission: Adaptation to Climate Change

The Municipality of Pafos is one of the mission’s signatories. The Mission on Climate Change Adaptation focuses on assisting EU regions, cities, and local governments in their efforts to create resilience against the effects of climate change. The Mission’s goal is to assist at least 150 European regions and communities in achieving climate resilience by 2030. The Mission contributes to the implementation of the EU’s adaptation plan by assisting regions in:

a better understanding of existing climate threats and those that will be encountered in the future
creating strategies to better prepare for and manage with climate change
testing and deploying innovative resilience-building solutions on the ground

The Mission’s objective is to assist at least 150 European regions and communities in achieving climate resilience by 2030.

Blue flag beaches / quality coast awards

Since the inception of the Blue Flag initiative, the entire region of Pafos has been awarded Blue Flag status for multiple beaches.


For the year 2022, 17 Blue Flag beaches have complied with a set of standards concerning water quality, information availability, environmental education, safety, and environmental management. Furthermore, Pafos has received the Gold Quality Coast Award since 2013 and is a member of the EU Green Destinations network since 2014.


The pleasant weather of Cyprus allows for year-round exploration of the region’s breath-taking terrain, giving it an unforgettable sporting experience for both professional and recreation mountain bikers.

Pafos is the ideal destination for cyclists of all levels. There is a large selection of bicycles for rent, as well as organised and tailor-made bike rides for people of all ages and abilities. A variety of local bike shops provide rental services, route information, guide help, and support for organised groups.

Among the measures taken as part of this experience are the provision of bicycle amenities for visitors, such as signage, as well as the creation and promotion of cycling tourism as a low-carbon, sustainable tourism mobility product and service. In addition, social media ads and other initiatives encourage tourists to cycle and/or walk rather than drive.

In 2022, the cycling network was expanded with three additional routes totalling nine routes of more than 600 kilometres. Furthermore, the introduction of smart signs (QR codes) has drawn attention to the campaign by providing efficient, comprehensive, complete, and dynamic information on the cycling experience and specific routes.

Walking – Nature Trails

The Pafos Region is an inspiring location that provides a superb opportunity to admire the picturesque countryside on offer. Pafos invites you to become one with its gorgeous, untamed nature, from the abundant plant life to the amazing animal life that coexists with it.

Walking holidays in Cyprus are becoming increasingly popular among vacationers seeking an outdoor adventure rather than the more traditional holiday pursuits of sun, sea, and beach.  The Pafos Region has a wide range of guided and self-guided treks for hikers, particularly those who want to discover historic attractions on foot or wander through the main cities and villages. The possibilities are unlimited, whether it’s a quick stroll or an exhilarating walk.

The island is a sanctuary for locals and tourist trekkers, with stunning vistas of the Troodos Mountains and the rugged beauty of the Akamas Peninsula. The many mountain routes, which are clearly marked, introduce adventure seekers to the island’s flora and fauna, taking them through deep pine forests, across natural springs, and leading them to charming villages with traditional stone houses and historic churches.

Over ten nature trails have recently been revalued and upgraded, and they are now all promoted through unique portals such as Komoot, Alltrails, and others.

Exploring the Old Town on foot and meet the locals

Another intriguing idea was the introduction of free guided walking tours of Pafos to allow visitors to meet the locals.

Combining public transportation with walking tours in the Old Town: Public buses depart from major tourist areas and transport visitors to the Old Town, where a guide will take the group through the city centre.

This walking tour gives tourists a better sense of local life both then and now, as well as a better understanding of Pafos’ cultural development. Old Town Pafos reflects the continuity in Pafos’ cultural development through historic references, linked with some very important periods in history such as Mediaeval, Ottoman, British, and modern times; one will be transported into the past while also becoming more familiar with Pafos’ commercial centre.

Balanced economic performance
of tourism

Rising, all-inclusive customer expenditure in the Pafos economy.

A partnership formed in 2014 proposed developing and implementing new initiatives to stimulate increased tourist spending within the local economy, increasing customer satisfaction with the holiday experience, encouraging repeat visits, and ensuring the long-term sustainability of Pafos as a holiday destination.

The emphasis was on all-inclusive hotels because they accounted for the majority of bed spaces in Pafos at the time. After 5 years of hard work, we saw tremendous results in 2018-2019, with all-inclusive spending cut and local spending raised. Several developments aided this strategy, including the introduction of free “Meet the Locals” walking tours, the improvement of the Old Town and local transport, the expansion of direct flights and international access, the establishment of local arts and craft workshops and much more.

Overcome seasonality

Over the years, efforts have been made for the region to overcome seasonality issues. Among the many initiatives are investing in infrastructure, which assists the destination in attracting groups or individuals during the off season. Supporting the organisation of international sporting and cultural events such as the Cyprus Gran Fondo road cycling race, and the Cyprus Marathon among others. Increased direct flights to and from Pafos International Airport, investment in digital marketing, and enhancements to the destination’s experiences to make them more FIT friendly.  The region has invested extensively in tourism technologies to improve interpretation of tourist attractions. Public transport has also been improved, and hotels are now offering cheap rates and are open all year round.

The Cyprus government also promotes employment and awards businesses who remain open all year.

Recycling initiatives

Some projects include the recycling of shells and the creation of an ecological artistic installation of fish on public beaches for the collection of tins. These ecological creative pieces serve as a large bin for the disposal and gathering of recyclable items.

In the main town coastal areas, where the majority of visitors congregate, there is a recycling programme for PMD and Paper, which is collected specifically through blue bins for PMD and brown bins for paper. These bins are typically found in large apartment/hotel buildings and commercial establishments where there is a high volume of packaging that is recyclable.

Hotel environmental management systems

Hotel properties that are ISO 14001 certified enable hoteliers to use an environmental management system to enhance their environmental performance.

Smart Water Management

The project’s principal goal is to make the best use of existing water resources by maintaining the quantity and quality of drinking water through the infrastructure of water supply and distribution networks while attaining significantly lower maintenance and operation costs.

The project entails the supply, installation, and operation of equipment, software, and services for the Municipality of Pafos in order to construct a smart and integrated water resources management system. As a result, water losses and unpriced water are predicted to decrease from 33% to 10-15%.


The Municipality of Pafos has implemented and operates an autonomous LoRaWAN network, through which all digital and smart city project sensors will communicate with one another, providing the citizen with valuable and direct information in real time, easing his daily life and improving his quality of life.

Actively providing solutions

Smart Lighting and Smart Poles

The project entails replacing the existing 6795 energy-intensive sodium high-pressure luminaires with “smart luminaires” based on LED technology in order to reduce electrical consumption.

It also includes the installation of 55 “smart poles” at predetermined locations around the municipal area. The smart poles have Wi-Fi, sensors for meteorological data, security cameras, LED screens, and other features that are part of the drive to develop Pafos into a “smart and digital city.” Among other things, the environmental data broadcast by smart poles will help to raise environmental consciousness among citizens.

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