The Deputy Minister of Tourism Kostas Koumis recently emphasised the “historic, enduring, and significant” contribution of the Famagusta district to Cyprus’ tourism sector.

The deputy minister’s praise for the Famagusta district’s value to the local tourism sector was conveyed in statements made following a meeting held last week in Protaras with the board of directors of the regional chapter of the Cyprus Hotels Association (Pasyxe).

According to a press release issued by the Deputy Ministry of Tourism, the meeting addressed issues concerning the hotel industry in Famagusta District.

Specifically, discussions revolved around extending the tourist season, addressing the shortage of human resources, increasing the region’s international tourism promotion, rising operational costs for hotel establishments, and improving connectivity with Larnaca and Paphos airports.

Furthermore, concerns were raised regarding the long-standing issue of noise pollution and deviant behaviour, primarily related to quad bikes, which have plagued the Famagusta district in recent years.

The meeting between the minister and Pasyxe also tackled the need for new infrastructure projects that would enrich the region’s tourist product, making the district more competitive, as well as allowing for a more prolonged tourist season, a well-established objective for both the government and the private sector.

“This is a region with a historic, enduring, and significant contribution to our country’s tourism,” Deputy Minister Kostas Koumis stated.

“We will be allies in Famagusta District’s efforts to remain highly competitive in the tourism sector,” he added.

What is more, the minister stressed that a comprehensive approach is needed to address the issue of extending the tourist season.

Panagiotis Konstantinou, President of the Famagusta Hoteliers Association, welcomed the Deputy Minister of Tourism’s visit and noted that the meeting took place in a constructive atmosphere and was highly productive.

Moreover, he mentioned that discussions encompassed various topics related to tourism and, specifically, the hotel industry in Famagusta District.

In terms of the aforementioned issue of noise pollution, Cypriot police in July of this year released a statement noting that they have issued hundreds of fines since the beginning of the year to businesses found to be contributing to this problem. They also issued fines to businesses for operating without the appropriate licenses.

According to that July report, 1,900 checks were carried out on businesses since the beginning of the year, and out of those 720 were fined for either operating without a proper licence or for causing noise pollution.

Also during July, the Ayia Napa municipal council called on the government to ban four-wheeled and three-wheeled bikes during night hours from July 19 to August 20.

They also sought a ban on these vehicles all day from main roads with heavy traffic.

Ayia Napa’s mayor, Christos Zannettou, indicated unanimous support for the proposal and has requested the ban from relevant authorities.

What is more, he said that rental companies are collaborating with the council to enforce the ban by conducting more checks on users of these vehicles.

Finally, to address increased traffic, the mayor said that Ayia Napa municipal employees were working extra shifts for enhanced traffic control.