Turkish Cypriot tour operators have been turning to Larnaca Airport to bring tourists over to the north, after a protocol implemented on 1st January, 2017 failed to provide sufficient incentives to the tourism sector in North Cyprus.
According to Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Star Kibris’ tour operators in the north are using Larnaca because the ticket prices are cheaper and more airlines fly there.
The papers writes that tour operators are using Larnaca to bring tourists into the TRNC in order to avoid bankruptcy. It is said that over the past seven months, Ercan Airport has lost three million euros and the state 4-5 million euros in revenues.
Former Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism Sahap Asikoglu, said that with the change in the incentives, the tour operators have started bringing tourists through Larnaca Airport and that the TRNC gives incentives for each tourist brought across to North Cyprus. Pointing out that during the past seven months the state and the airport have lost millions of euros, Asikoglu said: “We are giving the money to the Greek Cypriot side. Larnaca is continuously strengthened and Ercan is weakening”.