Cyprus Mail

Big bucks being mulled at Peyia beaches

The bills effectively allow the privatisation of beaches

By Bejay Browne

PEYIA beaches committee is due to take a decision on whether it will take over the operation of popular beaches in the area, which could earn close to a million euros a year in total.

According to the head of the Peyia beaches committee Nikkos Konnikos, a decision will be taken at a meeting scheduled for Tuesday, where he will recommend that the municipality take over the operation of two of the area’s most popular beaches.

Until now, they have been rented to local families and private business for decades.

Konnikos said: “The minister of the interior informed all municipalities that they have one month to decide if they will open the beach operations to tenders or not; or if they will keep areas for themselves.”

Last year, Peyia municipality operated the beach and facilities at Coral Bay and due to a late start to the season, racked up only around €270,000. This year saw a considerable increase.

“The beach has been very good this year and we have had around €350,000 in turnover. When you take into account the low expenses, this means a profit of around €300,000, three times what we received when we rented it out,” said Konnikos.

Konnikos noted that previous income through renting was around €100,000 maximum. He added that expenses were minimal, as staff at the beach are already employed by the municipality, and costs including purchasing umbrellas and sunbeds were small.

The councilor said that operating the popular tourist attractions, which sees thousands of visitors flock there every year, is a serious source of income, which could bring in around one million euros for the municipality every year.

Konnikos said for the future, the operation of Coral Bay would remain the responsibility of the municipality, but decisions regarding Corallia beach and the adjacent beach found in front of the Coral Beach Hotel, would be made on Tuesday.

“Corallia has been rented by the same family for decades and the beach further along has been rented by Leptos for a considerable amount of time,” he said.

The councilor said that he put forward a number of ideas to the committee last week, which are yet to be discussed, but which would see the municipality operating the entire area and the  facilities, with the exception of the water sports.

“We don’t have the expertise to do that,” he said. The two so- called beach bars at Coral bay- they are actually licensed as kiosks according to Konnikos- will most probably be run by the municipality. They are known as Number 1 and Number 2. Number 1 was taken back by the municipality two years ago and the contract for kiosk Number 1 is due to run out, he added.

“These two kiosks will bring in around €200,000 a year for the municipality, and with Coral Bay, close to half a million. If we take the whole area-including Corallia- it will be close to a million,” he said.

Konnikos also said that he was pushing to extend lifeguards’ working times to run from April until the end of December.
“We need lifeguards on the beaches for longer periods of time, possibly with the exception of January and February when the sea is generally too rough to swim.”



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