It’s traditionally the time of year when we think about our Summer holidays and the tourism Ministry are upping their game in a bid to attract more British nationals to the island. Attractive currency rates for tourists, great value for money, captivating history, interesting cultural roots, the island’s natural beauty and a mild, sunny climate are already large sources of attraction.
Many of our Tourists are from the UK and a new campaign in now underway to promote North Cyprus with advertising in train stations, airports, on buses and taxis following a previous advertising ban that was lifted.
"Over 100 posters will be displayed on iconic “red” London Buses with a further 25 adverts planned for the capital’s underground stations. Kadir Doruhan – British tourism and promotion coordinator said that the campaign aimed to bring positive results and the Ministry very much hoped to see an increase in British holidaymakers visiting the island over the course of 2019. Furthermore North Cyprus promotional stands and stalls have already been successfully displayed at a large tourism fair in Manchester, where many package holidays were sold. Further exhibitions are planned UK wide". (Robbie Mackay).
North Cyprus offers a wide range of accommodation from 5 star luxury hotels (currently 18 five star hotels) to holiday villages and private holiday rentals with a number of agents promoting holidays specifically to North Cyprus.
Hotel occupancy rates for August 2015 in the TRNC were reported at 75.3% which was announced by the Ministry of Tourism. According to the statistics this increases every year. There are plans in place for further development in the tourism sector in North Cyprus.
Currently there are 140 tourist establishments with 20,000 bed capacity and this will increase to 25,000 by the end 2016 and to 50,000 by the end of 2020. The Tourism Minister Sucuoğlu speaking at the Hoteliers Association General Assembly recently said the target is 50,000 bed capacity and 3 million tourist and the island is open to investors in the tourism sector. It was also announced that there was an increase of 10.1% between January and August 2015 in air and sea travel compared to the previous year. Charter flights are now attracting visitors from Poland, Slovenia, UK, Iran, France, Italy, Denmark, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Recent figures for 2019 have show a slight decrease in tourist figures but the market on the whole is healthy and developing.
In part the tourism in the North is also dictated by the activity in the South of the island. The North is somewhat reliant on the South for those tourists who prefer to fly to the South and cross over via the many crossing points to the North. There are no direct flights to the North of Cyprus only via Turkey. However, the South of the island was faced with nothing less than economic collapse 3 years ago due to its connections with Greece. There have been some development since then and according to the President of the South of Cyprus their economic reform strategies have provided a solid ground for medium and long term growth and the two presidents from both sides are tirelessly working to achieve a viable and functional Cyprus solution. Tourists to the South reached 2.65 million which was a spike of 8.9% from 2.44 million arrivals in 2014. The best ever year for the South was 2001 with 2.69 million visitors. There was also an increase in winter travellers 78,000 in December compared with 57,000 in 2014. Britain is the largest tourist market for the South, however they have visitors from Isreal , Greece, Germany, Russia, France, Netherlands, Austria, Poland and the Ukraine. They are also trying to facilitate visas for visitors from China. This increase in travellers to the South is always a good sign for the North because it sparks a curiosity for the North and in deed some of these tourists are flying in from the South and crossing over to the North for their holidays just to get a flavour for how the two sides are very different. Indeed it is now perfectly possible to have a two-centre holiday one week in the South and one week in the North.
There is certainly underlying economic rationale for reunification and it could boost tourism. According to some estimates, reunification could boost the island’s GDP by 5bn Euros within five years and could also have global and political consequences.
North Cyprus is a vibrant, historically rich part of the world, there are many unexplored parts just waiting to be explored and is slowly becoming a robust favourite with holiday makers, retirees and expatriates seeking a destination that is just off the beat track.
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