After a record number of tourist arrivals in 2017 in the town and district of Larnaca, the local tourism promotion company is confident 2018 will end with a small increase.
“2017 was a record year for Larnaca as regards tourist arrivals, as the district welcomed 438,258 foreign visitors, which represents 12% of the total for the island,” Dinos Lefkaritis, who chairs the Larnaca Tourism Development and Promotion Company, told a press conference on Friday.
This makes Larnaca the third most popular tourist destination after Paphos and the free Famagusta areas.
Larnaca has seen a steady rise in tourist arrivals since the 223,702 visitors it welcomed in 2013 — representing 9.3% of the total. In four years, numbers have doubled and even though figures for 2018 by district have still not been published, Lefkaritis said that 2018 should also record an increase.
As regards new hotels, he said that 2018 saw the operation of Radisson Blu and LeBay and the renovation and conversion into a hotel of the Frangiorgio.
At least 10 applications to build new hotels have been submitted and these are expected to operate in the next three years.
Next year will see the operation of the Samirana Boutique Hotel in Ermou Square, the Q Boutique Hotel in the Ayios Lazaros area, the Solaar Hotel in Voroklini while the former Princess will be completely renovated and extended and renamed Radisson Beach Resort.
He also referred to a number of projects carried out in cooperation with the CTO and local authorities to upgrade the beaches.
They include the planting of 200 palm trees along the coastal front of Pyla and Voroklini, on the beach of Tasos Mitsopoulos Street, at Pharos, Pervolia and at the Softades kite surfing beach.
Moreover, beach volley and beach tennis facilities have been created at Voroklini beach. Out-door training equipment has been installed at four locations on Voroklini’s coastal pathways, while more will soon be installed at Mackenzie and the CTO beach.
Larnaca will continue its “They Always Come Back” promotion campaign in 2019 which has been enriched with a video. The slogan “They Always Come Back” is always accompanied by the main symbol the flamingo, that always return to Larnaca.
Lefkaritis noted that so do visitors since Larnaca with 60% of return visitors, Larnaca has the highest proportion among the coastal towns.
A large promotion campaign was carried out in the UK in cooperation with ITV and celebrity Peter Andre on Good Morning Britain featuring shots of Larnaca.
The five 4.5 minute clips featured Andre on holiday with his family in Larnaca. Viewership for each clip ranged between 1.3 and 1.5 million during the live broadcasts and was also accessed online.
Asked about Larnaca’s new artificial reef, Lefkaritis said that the Fisheries Department has invited bids to sink the boats Elpida and LEF1 in the sea off Voroklini.
The 63 metre Elpida will be sunk at a depth of 30 metres and the 15 metre LEF1 at a depth of 13 to 15 metres.
“The project will bring multiple benefits to tourism and the local economy and contribute to enriching marine life,” he said.
The artificial reef, together with the famous Zenobia wreck will further entrench Larnaca as leading diving centre in Europe, Lefkaritis added.