Cyprus Mail

Nicosia losing out in tourism stakes

ayios kassianos church
Ayios Kassianos

Nicosia has been treated unfairly in terms of tourism for years, according to Deputy Tourism Minister Costas Koumis, who stressed the need to better promote the capital, despite the task “not being an easy one.”

Koumis met the representatives of the Nicosia Tourism Board (ETAP) on Friday at city hall, with whom he discussed the challenges faced by the capital.

“My view is that Nicosia is not properly connected to Cyprus’ coastal areas, which are the most visited in the country,” he said.

“It is our duty to support our capital and to make it more appealing to tourists, even though the task is a difficult one.”

Koumis said that, in order to better promote the city, the deputy ministry along with stakeholders will have to develop Nicosia’s unique features.

“The capital will attract a different kind of tourism and strategies need to be discussed with the relevant bodies, as well as with people working in the industry.”

The deputy minister said that central Nicosia was once a hot spot for visitors, but the Turkish invasion of 1974 and the consequent tourism shift to coastal areas left the capital in the dark for a long period of time.

“This needs to change,” he said. “I don’t yet know how, we have just taken over after all. But I know for sure that we will look into that.

“We need to find what would make our capital stand out and attract visitors from other countries.

“I have some strategies in mind, but I will have to first run them by the people who will be directly involved to make sure that we can actually start turning ideas into action.”

Etap head Theodoros Kringos thanked Koumis for his intervention and vowed to extend the cooperation with the deputy ministry.

“Today was good start of the difficult work that awaits us and that we need to carry out, not just for Nicosia, but for the entire island,” he said.

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