‘Larnaca’s character must be preserved at all costs’
President of the Larnaca Chamber of Commerce (Evel) Stavros Stavrou on Tuesday expressed optimism that the various innovative actions, combined with the development and infrastructure projects that are already underway, will boost Larnaca’s prospects by improving it in a qualitative manner.
“Despite the shocks caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, price increase and soaring inflation, the city and district of Larnaca are on a dynamic path of recovery,” Stavrou said.
“Larnaca is carrying on with tangible results, with the construction of projects that will bring economic benefits and jobs, but also projects that will upgrade its quality and improve the image of the city,” he added.
Stavrou explained that after a long period of stagnation, which, according to him, lasted for decades, the implementation of Larnaca’s three biggest projects has finally begun, referencing the removal of oil tanks from the city’s coast, the development of the port and the marina, as well as the construction of the Larnaca-Dekelia road.
“The relocation of the oil facilities from the coastal front has been successfully completed, while the dismantling of the LPG facilities has also begun, so now what is needed is to proceed with private developments, as well as public projects, in 20 per cent of the freed space, with the projects being estimated to exceed €100 million in valuation,” Stavrou said.
Regarding the integrated development of Larnaca’s port and marina area, the Evel president welcomed the start of the project’s first phase of construction, during which the development of the sea area and part of the land developments that recently started from the historic dock will take place.
“We are also satisfied with the fact that, according to the Kition Ocean Holdings consortium, the progress of the work is within the framework of the schedule and applications for planning and building permits have already been submitted, which we call on the relevant departments to consider and process without delay,” he stated.
Regarding the third phase of construction of the Larnaca-Dekelia road, which is estimated to cost a total of €17.6 million, Stavrou said that the project, which has been in the works for more than 30 years, will improve both the primary and secondary road network, 3.5 kilometres and 4.5 kilometres long respectively, while it will also include a range of other infrastructure and services additions or improvements.
“In recent years, the Municipality of Larnaca has been utilising structural funds which, for the programming period 2021-27, exceed €15 million euros,” Stavrou said.
“Among the projects that will be implemented is the upgrading of the facades in Piale Pasha, the regeneration of the Acropolis and Alki squares, the total remodelling of Patticheio park, as well as other parks, the shaping of sidewalks and the paving of the shopping centre,” he added.
Stavrou went on to say that with all of these projects, “Larnaka will be ready to show its new face by 2030 and claim the title of European Capital of Culture”.
He noted, however, that the main issue is to preserve the character of Larnaca at all costs, so that we highlight the city and district’s own, unique identity, something which will provide the city with a comparative advantage.
When asked about the tourism industry of Larnaca, Stavrou said that the hotel portfolio of the city and the district is growing and becoming better, while the necessary diversity of choice is also being realised.
“The developments that are either under construction or planned for the next three years exceed 3,000 beds, while several of the new units will carry the brand of well-known international hotel giants,” he said.
“The Larnaca Chamber of Commerce and Industry collectively implements, through the Larnaca regional tourism board (ETAP), which it chairs, a remarkable action plan in the field of tourism, with a number of innovative actions,” he added.
Moreover, Stavrou said that combined with the aforementioned development and infrastructure projects that are underway, the chamber is optimistic that Larnaca has very encouraging prospects as a destination.
“All of Larnaca’s agencies and associations must work together for the successful coexistence of businesses of all kinds and sizes, in both the city and district of Larnaca,” he concluded.