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, taxis and at local and international tourism fairs following a previous advertising ban that was lifted.
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.
In a written statement, KTOB said that the occupancy of hotels for April 2019 was 51%, a decrease of 20%, compared with April 2018. It added that the occupancy rate at five-star hotels for the same period was 60%. The statement added that the occupancy rate for small the smaller hotels was 42%, showing an increase of 7% if compared with March 2019 and a 14% decrease compared with April 2018.
There are plans in place for further development in the tourism sector in North Cyprus. As of 2014 there were140 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.
Charter flights are now attracting visitors from Poland, Slovenia, UK, Iran, France, Italy, Denmark, Germany, 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. Since the South's financial collapse five years ago there have been some development 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. Latest statistic for South's tourism sector can be found here.
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.
The two presidents from both sides have been tirelessly working to achieve a viable and functional Cyprus solution however, due to recent developmenta in the gas exploration by both sides, this now looks a little less likely. 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 visited and is slowly becoming a robust favourite with holiday makers, retirees and expatriates seeking a destination that is just off the beat track, with authenic cultural and historical features and less commercialism than other European destinations.
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