Officer, Larnaka Tourism Board, Nana Asmeni updates TTG on Larnaca’s very latest industry news, while also outlining the Cypriot town’s huge appeal to Middle Eastern travellers.
TTG: What news can you report regarding Larnaca’s tourism industry?
A number of new projects are starting or continuing in 2019 in the Larnaca region that will bring exciting upgrades to some of Larnaca’s most popular rural and coastal communities. The Larnaca Municipality is creating unique spots for visitors to enjoy, including the ambitious new Municipal Market project; the restoration of the Zuchouri area and the Larnaca Club listed house that will host local artists; a new Municipal Community Centre and Sports Hall; as well as works to make the town centre more wheelchair and pushchair accessible. There are also numerous new plans in the villages or Larnaca region, such as new squares, museums, cultural centres and seaside pedestrian walkways.
One of this year’s highlights is the creation of the new artificial reef in the Voroklini area of Larnaca, where two vessels, Elpida and LEF1, will be sunk. Thereafter, it will not take long until a thriving reef is established, with a two-fold aim of enriching marine life and also offering divers increased options and experiences. In tandem with the famous Zenobia wreck dive site, which ranks as one of the top five worldwide, the new reef will serve to make Larnaca an internationally recognised diving destination.
TTG: What major travel trends have you picked up on over the last year?
We have noticed an increase in sports tourism and business travel lately, a higher demand for sea sports and also an increasing need from our visitors to taste the traditional gastronomy of the island. Travellers nowadays want safety, convenience and authentic experiences, and we believe that Larnaca fully meets these requirements.
TTG: Why is Larnaca perfect for Middle Eastern travellers?
Larnaca is ideal for Middle Eastern travellers throughout the year and especially for short breaks, due to the proximity to Cyprus and the available flight frequencies. Larnaca is actually the closest EU-member destination to the Middle East.
Here, Middle Eastern travellers can find a peaceful and safe destination with friendly locals, and can engage in various activities as well as shopping and sightseeing, all within a close distance. One of the holiest places of the Muslim world, the Hala Sultan Mosque, is also located in Larnaca and this makes Arab visitors feel closer to home. This connection can also be felt through the Cypriot cuisine, which is an exceptional blend of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean influences.