The Association of Cyprus Tourist Enterprises (Acte) urged authorities on Thursday to fill the gap in legislation regulating noise pollution that allows club owners to blast music as loud as they want, which disturbs hotel guests.
In announcement, Acte said although the record tourist arrivals of last year are continuing instead of taking responsible action “to maintain this positive momentum, the tourist industry is required to operate in an environment with significant legislative gaps that undermine the tourist product”.
It also apologised “to the tens of thousands of tourists that visit our country each month”.
“All these tourists choose Cyprus for safe and quality holidays, but they face instead the negative phenomena of increased noise pollution, gaudiness, lack of control and inadequate policing,” it said.
According to Acte’s general manager Chrisemily Psilogeni, the group’s members receive daily complaints from customers about noise pollution.
The law, she said, allows bar owners to blast music as loud as they like as it provides for no maximum sound levels.
“If we can’t address these simple things, how are we to upgrade our tourist product?” Psilogeni asked.
But hoteliers and owners of businesses active in the tourism sector are not the only ones to complain.
Ayia Napa mayor Yiannis Karousos said in May he had asked authorities to postpone implementing the law until next year to avoid negative consequences on tourism.
According to Karousos, the law in question, which came to force on January 1 this year, seeks to have cities divided into different zones with each having rules on how loud music can be played and until what time. The law also allows clubs or bars to have speakers outside. A study was to be undertaken by the agriculture ministry to set these zones, which has not been completed.
As a result, he said, police can’t fine or stop anyone for playing music too loudly due to this gap in the law. He added that some hotels are forced to rent out the place next to theirs just to ensure there won’t be loud music blasting there.
In Paphos too, locals and visitors have been filing complaints over karaoke and loud music in certain areas. The Paphos district administration however, following the complaints, said that it decided to issue only temporary licences valid for two weeks to a month in certain areas as to extensions to permitted operational hours. Venues are then being monitored to see that they are complying, before a yearlong permit could be issued.