Paphos regional board of tourism (ETAP) has announced that it will be promoting the region as a year-round tourist destination for locals, following the success of its summer campaign to attract domestic tourism.

“The promotion includes a targeted social media campaign supported by hoteliers and Paphos municipality to promote our region as a primary choice for Cypriot travellers and permanent residents,” said Nasos Hadjigeorgiou, head of the Paphos regional board of tourism.

Starting this week, the town of Paphos will undergo a festive makeover with lights popping up along main streets, and Christmas markets blossom. “Paphos is dedicated to celebrating the most wonderful time of the year,” Hadjigeorgiou told the Cyprus Mail. “Apart from the numerous events planned for Christmas and New Year’s, this time of year is great for families, couples, and guests to enjoy a mini-getaway in the region.”

Meanwhile, Paphos municipality has announced the annual switching on of the town’s Christmas lights at a celebratory ceremony to take place on Friday December 10 in Kennedy Square at 6pm. “The tree will be illuminated by the mayor of Paphos, Phedonas Phedonos, and the festive programme will include musical offerings by Cypriot singer Dimos Mpeke, Paphos philharmonic orchestra and Paphos conservatory among others,” a spokesman told the Cyprus Mail.

Various artistic and entertainment events have been planned until the end of the season.

On December 12, the “Santa Run” will take place at Kennedy Square at 10.30 am and will include a march with participants of all age groups, topped off with entertainment, activities for children, and a charity bazaar featuring a variety of stalls.

The Cyprus police force band and Paphos philharmonic orchestra will sing carols on Makarios Avenue on Saturday 18 at 11am. The event will coincide with the official inauguration of the new building that will house the Paphos philharmonic orchestra, attended by Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou and the mayor of Paphos.

A Christmas concert will take place on the same day at Hani of Ibrahim in the old town at 12pm, which will include a performance by the mixed choir of the Paphos Music School.

On Sunday 19, Christmas in the square gets underway at 11am with a lively entertainment event and various children’s activities in aid of charity foundation “Rainbow in Cyprus.”

The annual Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve celebrations of the municipality of Paphos will take place in the commercial centre, old town, and Kennedy Square at 11am. The rich cultural programme for both events will include various musical offerings, traditional stalls, including festive crafts and activities for children.