HOTEL owners in mountain resorts voiced disappointment over their occupancy rates and urged the state to seriously consider their problems to prevent the demise of the sector.
The chairman of the district committee, Andres Mandalas, said their occupancy at the moment was around 60 per cent, as he stressed the importance of the “mountain resorts remaining alive because if they close, the heart of Cyprus will go.”
He said the government was under an obligation to consider the serious problems they faced and help them upgrade and attract more visitors.
The mountain villages of Kakopetria, Platres, Agros, Pedoulas and Kalopanayiotis share 18 hotels between them.
“We, in the mountains, are the poor relatives,” Mandalas said. “Unfortunately, we are not even included in tourist packages.”
He said tourists were directed to the coastal areas, while the mountains were left outside.
“It must be imprinted in people’s minds that apart from the sea, there are also the mountains in Cyprus,” he said.
Cypriots too seem to shun the mountain villages, opting for brief one or two-day trips, mainly to visit monasteries.
Mandalas said the hoteliers want a team of technocrats from various ministries to talk to local authorities and other organisations who have things to say about the matter.
He added that there was a need for parking lots, public swimming pools, and subsidies to hoteliers to upgrade their establishments.
Mini casinos in Platres and Kakopertria would also attract a new type of clientele, he said.
The road network, mainly linking Nicosia and Limassol to Troodos, also needed a makeover, while a teleferic from Kakopetria to Troodos would bestow glamour to the area.