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Cyprus

Larnaka town aims to attract diving tourism

Zenobia divers expolring the wreck

The coastal town of Larnaca aims to attract diving tourism and for this reason, it will soon host its own artificial reef. Larnaka Tourist Board has already purchased a 63m long commercial boat from Greece.

The boat arrives in Cyprus next week and will be thoroughly cleaned and be ready to float between January and February in the tourist area of Voroklini.

During a meeting with reporters on the occasion of World Tourism Day, Larnaka Tourist Board President Dinos Lefkaritis talked about the artificial reef which will be constructed by the Fisheries Department.

The aim, he said, is the long-term improvement of the town’s fishing product and the development of diving tourism. Already, Larnaka has the Zenobia wreck, a Swedish roll-on-roll-off ferry, that was fully loaded with 104 trailers and trucks when she sunk off Larnaka’s fishing harbour in June 1980. Today, she ranks as one of the top 10 wreck dives in the world.

As far as hotels in Larnaca are concerned, Lefkaritis said that “they are going through one of the best years in terms of overnight stays which are up between 3-8% and hotel reservations are up between 10-12%”.

Most hotel units are fully booked until the end of October with tourist arrivals mainly from Russia, the UK and Germany, followed by tourists from Israel, Poland, Romania and Lebanon, Lefkaritis said.

He urged the government to review the relevant law, allowing for city & boutique hotels to open.

Lefkaritis also said that three new small hotel units are operating in Larnaka and in early 2018, luxury hotels such as Radisson Blu near the port and Lebay in Voroklini will open their doors. In 2019, the Radisson Blu Conference and Airport Hotel near Larnaka International Airport will operate as well as Solaar hotel in Voroklini.

CNA



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