Around 60 tourist boat owners in Paphos were protesting outside the town hall on Thursday, blaming the municipality for a 70 per cent drop in business.
The problem, according to the deputy chairman of the association of owners of tourist boats Andreas Masouras started after their ticket stalls at the port had to be relocated from Posidonas Avenue to the pier between the restaurants.
“For 25 years we proceeded, following the recommendation of the Paphos Municipality, setting up counters and we adopted the conditions for tickets sales but all of a sudden the new municipal authority said we are illegal.”
Association members had recommended the port authority build them an extension into the sea, essentially a small jetty so they could set up ticket offices but the local authority chose to build special stalls instead costing €18,000,that the business owners say they have to pay for.
Their initial recommendation for a jetty had been passed on to the mayor who rejected the notion, Masouras said.
He said the past month has seen the new system fail miserably with ticket sales reduced by 70 per cent as the stalls are removed from the pier.
The problem is also affecting weddings as the new stalls prevent the cars from getting too close to the boat to take the bride the boat owners say.
Masouras said it was important to uphold the standard of tourism to Cyprus by supporting all related services.