PAPHOS, as the mythical birthplace of the goddess of love, is increasingly becoming a popular destination for civil weddings, municipalities and tourist agencies said on Wednesday.
Due to the increased interest, all municipalities and other stakeholders set as their priority to promote this alternative form of tourism.
According to data provided to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) last year, 1,240 civil marriages were carried out by the Paphos municipality. Most couples married were from Britain, Israel, Russia, Ukraine and Romania, while revenues amounted to €630,000.
So far, in 2016 the municipality had officiated 130 civil marriages. Among the chosen venues are the Paphos castle, Ivi Maliotou’s park and the Ottoman Baths.
The civil weddings officer of the municipality Charoula Pistenti told the CNA that the municipality began cooperation with tour operators from Lebanon, who arrange civil weddings, but that they also participate in wedding exhibitions abroad.
Peyia municipality said that it officiated around 600 civil weddings in 2015, while revenues totaled €240,000. The municipality said that there had been a 10 per cent increase this year in civil marriage in Peyia.
Couples, the municipality’s civil marriage officer Maria Yiangou said, choose as venues the Fountain of Peyiotisses, villas, hotels, the sea caves, and Coral Bay beach.
Yeroskipou is also a popular destination among couples, as last year 800 civil weddings were carried out, with revenue reaching half a million euros. In 2016, so far, 125 civil weddings took place at the municipality, and the number is expected to reach 920 by the end of the year.
The majority of couples come from Britain and Russia, but many Cypriots too chose to have their civil wedding officiated by the municipality, officer Marina Polyviou told CNA.
The preferred venues include the Ierokipio park, Kato Vrysi area, beaches, and hotels.
Polis Chrysochous lags behind as regards civil weddings compared to the rest of the Paphos district municipalities, as last year it only officiated 60 civil weddings, while things don’t look good for this year either. The municipality said there has been a decrease in demand. Last year the municipality earned a mere €24,000 from civil weddings.
All municipalities and stakeholders in Paphos said they would continue efforts for further growth of this type of tourism as it boosts local economy.