By Peter Stevenson
THERE HAS been a drop in the number of clubs and bars in the Paphos district since last year due to the financial crisis according to the head of SYKAP, the association for clubs and bars in Paphos.
According Fytos Thrasyvoulou, due to the large number of permits given out to clubs and bars in the area many have been unable to sustain themselves.
A total of 650 bars and clubs are currently operating in the area, a decrease from 2012 when 680 operated.
“Most places close in December and open up again in May while some that operate in tourist areas will be opening up again this month,” he said.
Around 350 bars and clubs operate all-year-round in Paphos with some of them only opening on Saturdays and Sundays.
According to the association, measures need to be taken to professionalise the industry to prevent just anyone from opening a bar or club which in turn would help restart the local economy with long-term planning and sustainability.
“It has been proven that a lack of strict operating criteria has brought about the current situation, where there are far too many places operating compared to the amount of business,” he added.
Thrasyvoulou said he believed the fact that bars and clubs operate on a seasonal basis was also a problem for their sustainability.
“Paphos’ tourist period used to be between March and the end of November but now we are only operating five months a year despite owners having to pay licences, taxes and phone and water charges all year round,” he said.
He added that businessmen have been suffering the consequences of the economic crisis since 2008 when Paphos was the first district hit. “We hope that Labour Minister, Zeta Emilianidou will contribute to solving our problems as she knows our situation from the previous positions she held within the government,” he concluded.