The construction of hotels and the completion of other projects, including the redevelopment of the former oil refinery area in Larnaca, will put the area on the country’s tourist map, Mayor Andreas Vyras said on Monday.
The mayor, who is also vice-president of the Larnaca Tourism Promotion and Development Corporation (ETAP), was speaking at a press conference on World Tourism Day.
“Tourism in Larnaca this year was mediocre, but better than last year,” said Larnaca Tourism Board President Dinos Lefkaritis.
The neighborhood has attracted visitors from major traditional markets, such as Russia, the UK and Germany, but in smaller numbers than in previous years “due to the limitations of the coronavirus pandemic,” Lefkaritis said.
But visitors also came from countries like Poland, Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic, Israel, Lebanon and France.
The various European and international sporting events, which took place or are planned until November, also contributed to the reservations of Larnaca, added the president of Etap. Events include Beach Sambo, shooting, archery, swimming and tennis, among others.
A Cypriot Archery Federation and Pyla Community Council stadium is expected to open by the end of September, which will also attract sports tourism, Lefkaritis said.
However, according to Etap, winter is expected to be “difficult” and hoteliers believe state incentives for residents must continue as most hotels plan to remain open during the winter season.
Referring to the various actions carried out as part of this year’s Larnaca Tourism Board action plan, Lefkaritis said they were in collaboration with local authorities and other bodies and had the support of the sub -minister of tourism.
These include the renovation of the facades of the buildings in Piale Pasia, the planting of trees along the beaches and the installation of play equipment in linear parks as part of the enrichment and greening. from the beaches of Larnaca, he said.
The natural trail along the Aliki Salt Lake has also been improved while the tourist infrastructure of various communities has been improved, including the promotion of alternative forms of tourism such as cycle paths, sports tourism and the creation of three themed beekeeping trails in the villages of Odou. , Vavlas and Vavatsinias.
The technology has also been used to promote tourism in the district.
“We have recently introduced innovations in the way the city is planned to modernize the way of providing information to tourists, including the narrative statues of Larnaca, the virtual museums of Larnaca and the virtual restoration of the port of ancient Kiti “said Lefkaritis.
Commenting on the plans, the mayor of Larnaca said that they “will open wide the doors for Larnaca to be included in the tourist map”.
“Despite the adverse effects of the pandemic, investor interest remains,” he said.
The Radisson Larnaca Beach Resort which is under construction on the Larnaca – Dhekelia road in the Voroklini region will open during the 2022 tourist season “if the situation permits”, the mayor said, while the luxury hotel in Voroklini Solaar Boutique Hotel, which was built on the site of the former Michael’s Hotel, is ready and will be operational in April 2022.
Meanwhile, the district refinery area is being cleared for use as urban space, while oil refineries will be relocated to the Vasiliko area.
Some of the tanks have already been demolished and the demolition of the others will start next month, Lefkaritis said. The facilities will operate in Vasiliko from February or March 2022.
“The process of cleaning the [contaminated] the soil of the area will start soon and it is estimated that within 12 to 14 months 99% of the area occupied by Petrolina will be clean, ”the president said.
The relocation of oil storage facilities is expected to free up two to three kilometers of coastline.
Part of the new multi-million dollar reclamation project includes the creation of an urban plaza along the Larnaca-Dhekelia road, an embankment in the form of a large public linear park spanning the waterfront, an environmental axis multifunctional on Psiloritis Street, the remodeling of the Archangelos Kamitsis river, the creation of family quarters, a garden city (Arkoleivada) and the completion of the road network.