Brief History of ACTA
The Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (ACTA) is predominantly the non-governmental organization that monitors all local and international developments concerning the issues of tourism and travel and performs responsible policy to rationalize these forward.
ACTA incorporates the majority of Cyprus Travel Agents and Tour Operators, who represent nearly all foreign tourism companies and organizations cooperating with our country.
Official recognition and affirmation of the responsible position of ACTA and its important role, is the fact that it has been designated, by legislation, as the License Authority for Cypriot Tour Operators.
ACTA completed 60 years since its founding in 1954 and has emerged throughout this period as the organization which establish the solid foundations of the Cyprus Tourism and travel with its vision, planning and responsible behavior.
From its first days ACTA insisted on an orderly development and upgrading of the tourism industry and had been pressing for the establishment of a regulatory body for the tourist trade. It is clearly recorded in the minutes of ACTA Special General Meeting of September 1960, less than a month after the official Act of Independence of the Cyprus Republic, that the Association presented to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry the need for an Advisory Committee to the Tourist Development Office of the Government and for proper re-classification of existing hotels and regular inspection of all places of tourist interest and use. ACTA also emphasized the need for appropriate tourist legislation, providing, inter alia, for conditions and prerequisites under which a Travel Agent may be considered and officially registered as an approved Licensed Agent.
- For Better planning and management the need for a tourism regulating body was highlighted and the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) was eventually formed in 1973 by Government legislation.
- In 1974 immediately after the catastrophe of the Turkish invasion and the occupation of a large part of Cyprus, ACTA joined the membership of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) which offered to ACTA full secretariat facilities in the Chamber offices. Capitalizing on CCCI membership, ACTA achieved upgraded recognition both at national and international field. In the same year The Association was fully established as a legal body and in the organizational structure level, the statutes were amended and a new memorandum was adopted incorporating a code of ethics covering relations of members with customers and between them.
- A legal advisor has been engaged since 1981 in order to counsel the Association and its members on legal matters.
- The publication of ACTAS’ own Directory made its first appearance in 1985.
- From 1987, ACTA took a new step in promoting its international image and its members, by participating in international tourist fairs.
- In 1997, the Association organized its first educational trip abroad for its members to Thessaloniki.
- In 1998 ACTA became an affiliate member of the European Community Travel Agents Association (ECTAA). This followed the start of accession negotiations between the European Commission and Cyprus for full membership.
- Since 1998 The Association is organizing the tourism exhibition “TAXIDI” targeted to Cypriot travelers. During the same year ACTA was included in the Board of Directors for the Tourist Guides School.
- Since 1999 ACTA is by Law the approved Licensing Body for Cypriot Tour Operators.
- A prominent activity underlying the international dimension of ACTA was the organization during December 2000 in Cyprus of the 82nd biannual meeting of ECTAA.
- In the European field, ACTA had been assigned the Presidency of the ECTAA’s Working Group on Incoming Tourism (2002 – 2004), a recognition reflecting not only on ACTA, but also on the whole of Cyprus.
- During 2004 ACTA celebrated with special events its 50th anniversary and continued its efforts to upgrade the profession of Travel and Tourism Agents.
- 2008 was another landmark year for ACTA. From 27 May 2008 and for a period of two years, ACTA took over with its president Akis Kelepeshis the Presidency of the European Travel Agent’s and Tour Operators’ Association (ECTAA). This development bestows a great honor and high recognition to ACTA and its professional potential in tourism and travel.
Being at the top of the European travel agents organizations, ACTA acquired increased potential for promoting tourism affairs not only at the national but also at European level. The Association always keeps a close watch on developments and is proposing to the competent authorities’ relevant effective measures.