The association of Cyprus tourist enterprises (Stek) that represents four and five-star hotels on Thursday bemoaned the state of the island’s road signs either because of graffiti or because they are often obscured by trees.

“Stek expresses its strong discomfort with the growing phenomenon of road sign vandalism using spray paint and the lack of proper maintenance, especially in relation to the insufficient cleaning of road signs from tree branches,” the association said in a statement.

“Clear and well-maintained road markings help improve the travel experience and ensure the safety of both residents and visitors,” it added.

It said the whole phenomenon negatively affects the overall image of the island as a welcoming destination and is a bad example of the culture.

“Such acts of vandalism send a special message to tourists, undermining the efforts of countless individuals and organisations who are constantly working to promote Cyprus as a quality tourist destination,” Stek added.

In addition, it said the lack of maintenance by local authorities and by the government, made things worse “especially those obscured by branches of trees, and also by the plants that do not receive the necessary care”.

It called on all those responsible to take swift and decisive action to address the issues, suggesting increased surveillance and patrols in vandal-prone areas and the imposition of tougher penalties for those found vandalising public property.

Stek also called for immediate cleaning and maintenance on a regular basis to ensure signs remained free from obstruction.