By Bejay Browne
A HUGE push is underway to beautify Paphos and upgrade and enhance the tourist product offered, according to officials that attended a meeting on the subject at Paphos town hall.
The meeting was attended by the chairman of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), members of Paphos Municipality tourism committee, Paphos tourism operators, the chairman of the organising committee of the European Capital of Culture -Paphos 2017, and other officials.
It was chaired by Paphos mayor Phedonas Phedonos, who is determined to turn around the town’s shabby image, he said.
CTO chairman Angelos Loizou told the Cyprus Mail: “We discussed a number of main issues which included the general overall untidiness of Paphos and areas which are not clean. This has been a problem for the last 30 years. Concerted efforts will be made to change this.”
He noted that all of the participants also requested that the CTO provide guidance and co-ordination to ensure the aims are met, which they have promised to do, he said.
“Paphos will also capitalise on its culture and archaeology and we discussed how to make Paphos an attractive place and how to beautify the town.”
The meeting was also to ensure that all of the parties involved are working towards a common goal and in the same direction, said the CTO chairman. “They have the best drive and reason as Paphos 2017 is coming up.”
In the meantime, a spokesman for the CTO said that participants discussed the need for Paphos to do much more in terms of upgrading and enhancing what is offered. Paphos municipality would like to explore the possibility of upgrading infrastructure and enhancing the town in general; they also want a better quality of services offered, he said.
Enhancement of the building environment was a main point discussed, an umbrella title, which covers everything from abandoned buildings, bus shelters and green areas.
“The removal of advertising billboards and signage was discussed, as well as refining pavements. And, depending on each case, the municipality will put into force the current regulations concerning maintaining the appearance of buildings.”
The spokesman said that where possible, owners will be asked to repaint shabby buildings, such as those structures in the heart of the tourist area, which are run down. Alternatively, the municipality will do the maintenance and invoice the owner, depending on the case, he said.
“The co-ordination of the winter tourist season was also discussed and the CTO agreed to play a leading role in co-ordinating all of the government ministries involved – such as communications and works, energy and also labour, to solve related problems and to implement specific actions, to enable better operation all year round.”
The spokesman added that the meeting was a positive one with common views and targets shared by those involved.
“The mayor and municipality have already got underway with the ‘beautifying and building environment’ campaign,” he said.