Larnaca tourism in full swing this Summer
With summer in full swing, The Cyprus Weekly spoke to Nana Asmeni-Pavlou, Tourism Officer at the Larnaka Tourism Board (LTB), about the board’s work and news this summer
Cyprus Weekly: Summer is a very busy time for the Larnaka Tourism Board; what are you currently working on?
Nana Asmeni-Pavlou: Actually, the LTB works hard all-year-round, because Larnaca is a destination for all seasons, which is something we actively promote.
This has been recently recognised with the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for our Complimentary Winter Experiences programme, which offers off-peak season visitors to the Larnaca region a schedule of activities to enjoy free of charge. This initiative has been very successful, and shows that our efforts to establish the Larnaca region as a destination for all seasons is working.
Although we are constantly trying to increase occupancies during the winter season and shoulder months, summer is indeed the busiest time of the year for visitor arrivals. The Larnaca region has 75km of coastline with shallow and safe beaches and offers plenty of sea activities, some of which are unique on the island.
For the summer season of 2017, our focus is on keeping our beautiful beaches clean, and that is why we have introduced eco-ashtrays that smokers can use on 10 beaches. The collected cigarette ends will be counted at the end of the season – for monitoring purposes – and the results will be announced.
We are also currently working on the creation of an artificial reef in the area of Oroklini, in close cooperation with the Department of Fisheries. This is an ambitious plan aimed at increasing diving options in Larnaca for both divers and snorkelers, and also to improve marine biodiversity. It will hopefully be implemented by the beginning of next year.
CW: What about sporting events this summer?
NAP: The LTB works in cooperation with the Larnaca Municipality and local authorities of the region to encourage major sporting events. This strategy is also working very well as Larnaca has established itself as a prime destination for international championships throughout the year. Through the great organisation of these tournaments, Larnaca receives very good feedback from athletes and spectators, and as such, certain events are becoming a regular fixture in our area.
The main aim is to increase the infrastructure for specific sports and improve the existing facilities. With regards to summer sports, we have prioritised them in order to be focused and targeted. For example, due to the excellent wind-water conditions, our region excels in sports such as kitesurfing, sailing and windsurfing. Furthermore, Larnaca’s long sandy beaches are ideal for sand sports i.e. beach-volleyball and beach-tennis. And, because of the Zenobia wreck, which is considered to be the world’s best wreck dive site, diving is a priority sports activity for Larnaca.
CW: What is the projection for tourist numbers to Larnaca region this summer?
NAP: This is Larnaca’s best year by far in regards to tourism. Arrivals are at their peak, and bookings started early this year. As per information from hoteliers of the region, the situation is looking very positive until at least October.
However, the industry needs to focus on not only maintaining, but also increasing these numbers, extending the tourist season and attracting a higher spending clientele.
There are numerous ways on how this can be achieved by all stakeholders. But, as regions, we need to focus on the improvement of the tourism product in general – battle the problem of visual pollution, and create infrastructure that can attract visitors during the low season.
CW: How is the new marketing campaign faring?
NAP: We are at full speed with our campaign since its launch last year. The slogan ‘They always come back’ visually shows the flamingo – which visits Larnaca year after year – but, of course, we imply the foreign visitor, who always returns to Larnaca. This is because Larnaca is number one on the island for repeaters with 60%.
We have started to gradually unfold the slogan within the same context of ‘Larnaka. Once there, always there’. Again, we emphasise the fact that a very large percentage of tourists return annually to our region.
We also have supportive electronic and printed material to explain why this is the case i.e. what competitive advantages Larnaca offers as a tourist destination, that make visitors want to come back.
Source : News in Cyprus