New tourist identity for Larnaca
A new wind is blowing in the tourism industry of Larnaca, which is seeing its hotel portfolio grow, with interest in luxury units and tourist accommodation being very high lately. In fact, in the next three years, it is expected that tourist beds will increase by 50% in the Larnaca region, where there are currently 6,337 licensed beds.
The spearhead of the Larnaca tourism industry is the coastal areas of Oroklini and Pyla, with the movement of the oil tank facilities from the Larnaca - Dhekelia road, giving huge prospects to the area to which a 3 km long coastal front will be added.
The luxurious "Radisson Beach Resort Larnaca" has been operating in the touristic Oroklini since last October, while right next to it, the "Mercure Beach Resort Larnaca" of the French hotel giant Accor Group will open in the coming weeks. A great boost to the area will be given by the construction of a luxurious hotel, in an area of 15,000 sq.m., next to the restaurant "Golden Fish", which is expected to start before the summer and will bear the name of a very large and successful foreign chain.
By the end of the year, all three major investments by NCH Capital Inc. will begin in Pyla, including the "Troy Resort & Spa", the four-star "Beau Rivage Hotel & Residences" and the five-star "Floating Scapes". In addition, in the same area, two hotels, until recently abandoned, will operate as licensed A' class apartments by the Quality group of companies.
However, there is also great interest in tourist units in the center of Larnaca, where 25 hotels, most of them boutique type, have operated in recent years. In Pallas Square, near Finikoudes, the "Pallas Hotel" will soon open, while on Makarios Avenue the first robotic hotel in Cyprus will be created, bearing the stamp of the "Holiday Inn Express" chain. In St. Lazarus Square, the "St. Lazarus Hotel" will also operate.
As far as the province is concerned, the luxurious "Agora" has already begun its operation in Lefkara, while the construction of the first hotel within the boundaries of the Municipality of Dromolaxia - Meneou, adjacent to the Larnaca airport, is planned.
Getting ready for the new "era"
Wanting to be ready for the new "era" of tourism, the actors of the province, began to "build" the new tourist identity of Larnaca, with the Tourism Development Company having assumed a coordinating role.
"With the development of the new hotel units, very favorable prospects are created for tourism, in particular in categories that are intended for tourist Larnaca, such as resort hotels and boutique hotels," ETAP officer Nana Asmeni Pavlou told "F", noting that much will be done this year for the qualitative upgrade and enrichment of the tourist product of the Larnaca region, as well as promotional campaigns, in targeted markets.
"Within the year, the new branding of Larnaca tourism will be prepared for renewal of the campaign, in order to be in line with the modern trends of the target markets. The campaign that is now "running" has been in force since 2016 and has been characterized by foreign bodies as very successful. It is customary for a campaign for a tourist destination to remain for several years, in order to consolidate the message in the public. We think it's time to review it."
In the last six years, the slogan "they always come back" has been used. "They always come back"), which was associated with the beautiful flamingos that always return to Larnaca. "In this way, we emphasized the comparative advantage of Larnaca, which has the first place in repeat tourists, since 60% of them return to our destination. There are comparative advantages that make the visitor want to come to Larnaca again and again and these are what we want to highlight".
At the same time, the rest of the social media campaigns will be intensified, while the hosting of foreign journalists, bloggers, as well as tour operators will continue.
Invest in the environment and innovation
The actions of the ETAP that will be implemented in 2023, with the aim of upgrading the tourist product of Larnaca, are very varied. Most of them concern the enrichment of the environment and the development of innovative programs, which will highlight the comparative advantages of the region.
Great importance will be given this year to the strengthening of the brand of the nine bee villages of mountainous Larnaca. In Odou, Ora and Melini, three bee parks will be created, while the thematic beekeeping path in Vavatsinia is almost ready. Also, there will be an upgrade of the nature trail at the Larnaca salt lake and the infrastructure on the nature trail in Choirokoitia.
The enrichment of the marine protected area of Larnaca will also continue, with the aim of increasing diving tourism, in which the city's stakeholders invest a lot. This year the hold of the shipwreck "Elpida" will be enriched.
In addition, new palm trees will be planted on beaches, beach soccer and beach volleyball courts will be created on the beaches of Oroklini and Pyla, while new outdoor fitness equipment will be installed in Oroklini and Livadia.
A large part of the efforts to upgrade the tourist product will focus on highlighting the rich culture of Larnaca. The ETAP will undertake the creation of sculptures in the Park Mesogeios in the Neighborhood of the Artists and will contribute to the enrichment of museums, such as the Museum of Fisheries in Zygi and the Kallinikeio Museum in Athienou.
The digitization of the points of interest of tourist Larnaca will also continue with the use of innovative technologies. "The Larnaka Storytelling Statues program will continue, with new statues speaking, a treasure hunting map will be created for the talking statues and a three-dimensional virtual restoration of a new archaeological site will take place. Recently, the virtual restoration of the archaeological settlement of Kalavasos was implemented and will be presented very soon. Larnaka Virtual Museums is also expanding and will be added, among others, the ecclesiastical museum of Tochni, the sculpture museum of Kostas Argyros in Mazotos, which is expected to open this year, and the folklore museum in Kato Drys.