Despite the recent surge in Greek Cypriot and Turkish visitors to northern Cyprus, fewer foreign tourists are choosing the north as a holiday destination, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi reported on Monday.
Turkish Cypriot ‘minister of tourism’, Fikri Ataoglu, claimed that the reason behind the declining numbers of foreign tourists coming is that they do not want to travel through Turkey.
According to Ataoglu, while in 2017 hotel occupancy reached 72 per cent for the summer months of June, July and August, the corresponding months in 2018 recorded only 63 per cent hotel occupancy.
In an attempt to fill this gap, Ataoglu said that he will tour Scandinavian countries next month. Ataoglu added that it is estimated that the occupancy rate could rise to above 80 per cent as a result of these efforts.
Ataoglu added that further efforts to stimulate tourism to the north include turning the village of Vokolida into an amusement centre, while there are also plans for the creation of an underwater museum in northern Famagusta.
Referring to the difficulties faced by tourists who do choose to visit the north, Ataoglu said that ferry services will start between Vokolida and Famagusta in order to make some hotels located in remote areas more accessible.