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27 May, 2024
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Famagusta's tourism success, development struggles

Tourism boom, infrastructure bust: Famagusta's dilemma unveiled


Famagusta Province in Cyprus boasts the highest tourism revenue contribution nationwide, but falls short in infrastructure development and enhancement projects. According to the Statistical Service, Famagusta significantly leads in national income generated from tourism. Specifically, in 2022, Paralimni and Ayia Napa recorded an average tourist expenditure of €1,663 over 8.7 days, while Limassol saw €786 over 11.7 days and Paphos €720 over 8.6 days.

Despite its substantial contribution to the country's tourism industry, the promotion of development projects to bolster its infrastructure lags behind. This deficiency hampers the growth of its communities and the quality of life for its citizens, ultimately jeopardizing the long-term sustainability of its tourism product. Recent statements from Famagusta Province legislators highlight that crucial development projects remain stalled, undermining the region's natural potential.

Primarily viewed as agricultural rather than tourist-oriented, the province faces reduced development rates compared to urban areas. Consequently, local plans suffer from significantly lower growth rates, discouraging the expansion of other economic sectors beyond agriculture.

Pending development projects

Progress on ongoing projects faces consistent delays. The vital Potamos Liopetriou redevelopment, slated for completion in March 2023, now stands at 55% completion, with the contractor requesting another extension until July. However, completion remains uncertain, with the project's costs included in annual state budgets for over a decade.

Similarly, the beautification of the coastal area in Sotira Municipality, linking Potamos Liopetriou to Ayia Napa Marina, faces prolonged deliberation despite its potential to boost tourism. Despite numerous meetings and discussions, progress on this project remains stagnant.

Significant delays also plague the commencement of crucial projects aimed at overall provincial improvement, such as necessary road network enhancements. For instance, the renovation of the road connecting Sotira to Deryneia, initiated in October last year, faces a projected two-and-a-half-year timeline, despite being budgeted since 2022.

In Frenaros, the €1.2 million traditional core revitalization remains unresolved despite long-standing budget allocations. Concerns mount over the potential abandonment of the historic Frenaros core revitalization plans. The same holds for the €3.4 million renovation of Sotira's central square.

Lack of local planning

Tourism-centric municipalities like Paralimni, Ayia Napa, and Deryneia have awaited local planning publication since 2014, critical for their spatial, environmental, and urban development. Recent parliamentary discussions signify progress toward drafting such plans. The imminent merger of Sotira with Ayia Napa post-local elections presents new prospects for the coastal front west of Ayia Napa but faces constraints from existing local plans.

Development challenges extend to infrastructure deficiencies, notably water supply, due to unimplemented water projects, resulting in periodic shortages even during peak tourist seasons.

Cyprus  |  tourism  |  Famagusta

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