Ayia Napa Mayor Yiannis Karousos has been voicing concerns about Cyprus’ tourism industry since 2015, arguing that it was primarily external factors and particularly the situation in the Middle East that has fuelled the recent boom.
He maintained the same position even when tourist arrivals to the island skyrocketed in 2016 and 2017.
The mayor of this popular resort had further warnings in January, telling Phileleftheros that this season would not be as easy as some people believed. He now says that May and June so far appear to bear out his concerns.
“Cyprus tourism cannot simply rely on problems in neighbouring countries,” he said.
Additionally, he said it was unacceptable for Cyprus, a country which is considered among the strongest emerging tourist markets internationally with a tourism revenue of €2.5 billion, not to have a ministry or deputy tourism ministry to properly promote Cyprus as an attractive tourist destination.
And he stressed that the real problem facing stakeholders is how to develop an island image based not only on the sea & sun, but also the local history and rich culture.