The plunge in tourist arrivals this year in Ayia Napa and Protaras has offered just one bright spark out of all the doom and gloom: a steep decline in crime and disorderly conduct.
The travel restrictions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic has effectively destroyed this year’s tourism with a 98.2 per cent decrease in arrivals in June.
What’s terrible news for hotels, restaurants and bars has been good news for the police.
“If there is no tourism, there are far fewer offences,” a police source told the Cyprus Mail on Saturday.
He said that each year, police officers have to deal with break-ins, attacks, injuries, scuffles, drugs, traffic accidents and drunk and disorderly cases on a daily basis.
Of the around one million tourists usually visiting the Famagusta district resorts, the source said, this year, there have been around 10,000 so far.
According to the latest CyStat data, tourist arrivals reached 9,119 in June 2020, compared to last June’s 509,662 arrivals, recording a 98.2 per cent decrease,
From January to June 2020, arrivals totalled 255,675, while last year arrivals totalled 1,631,023, a drop of 84.3 per cent.
“It goes without saying that these problems would reduce,” the source said.
But he insisted it is not all plain sailing for the police. There may be far fewer drunken tourists to deal with, but the influx of Cypriots eager to enjoy Ayia Napa without crowds of tourists comes with its own issues.
But they do not rush to call it their easiest summer ever.
“On weekends there is four times more traffic than usual due to the descent of Cypriots,” the source said.
“There are road accidents all the time, luckily not serious ones,” he said.
Between July 20 and the end of August the Famagusta beach resorts are brimming with Cypriot holiday makers, he said, adding that police have to deal “with other kinds of issues.”