By Andria Kades
LARNACA will have six new hotels within a few months, combating a problem the city has with limited bed capacity for tourists, the Larnaca Tourism Development and Promotion magazine said.
“Additionally, hotels that were closed for years have been renewed and will reopen,” it specified, adding that the town accounted for only 7 per cent of the nationwide resources for available beds. The new move, expected to boost the odds and allow the tourism industry to grow in Larnaca, would offer over 200 beds.
“In order to be considered as a destination with adequate options, it (Larnaca) should have a sufficient number of beds”.
Town leaders have hailed the measure a success saying “it is positive, that several hotel units are often renewed” citing Palm Beach as an example that has reportedly spent €2m over the past three years and Alexia Hotel Apartments in the city centre that was recently renovated and opened for business.
“The private sector in the tourism industry is making huge efforts, investing and aiming for quality. Tourism is a multi faceted industry and it is only if everyone realises this that Larnaca can become the prime destination that it aims to be,” the tourism board said.
Recently, the St. Helena Hotel in Chrysopolitisas area began operating, offering 21 bedrooms, a spa and an indoor and outdoor swimming pool in their renovated building and new additional wing.
Additionally, Mikes Kanarium hotel in Ayiou Lazarou is expected to open its doors at the end of this month with 26 rooms, while Lokal Hotel in the same area and the Ciao Stelio in Mackenzie, will open in May offering 17 and 52 rooms, respectively.
In July, the Josephine Hotel that boasts a rooftop swimming pool will begin operating at Zinonos Kitieos street with 30 bedrooms and Palatakia hotel will start working in Kato Dhry with four bedrooms.
Easy Hotel, as it was previously branded as part of Stelios Hadji-Ioannou’s Easy chain, has now been bought by a foreign investor and has been renewed with 55 available rooms on Grigori Afxentiou. Along the Dhekelia road, two hotels are planning to revamp their building and expect to open in the near future.
Recently, the chairman of the Cyprus tourism board Angelos Loizou said that the local tourist industry may have to seek funds from the European Investment Initiative to expand bed capacity in the hotel industry and upgrade existing ones.
He stressed the necessity for this move as over the past few years, numbers show the island’s bed capacity has been shrinking from its peak of 96,535 in 2004 to 87,102 in 2013, an almost 10 per cent decrease.
About a quarter of the island’s economy is directly or indirectly tied to tourism, according to the London-based World Travel and Tourism Council.