The Ministry of Tourism has taken another step in advertising North Cyprus as a tourist destination for English holidaymakers. 125 London buses are now carrying large banner posters advertising the TRNC. This campaign will last some two years.
These double decker buses primarily travel around London city centre, including Oxford Circus, Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus.
The Tourism Minister, Unal Ustel was in London yesterday to give a press briefing and start the campaign. He said that the objective was to increase the number of English tourists coming to North Cyprus, as the numbers had dipped slightly in 2012. Mr Ustel explained that the factors behind the drop were the London Olympics, the general economic climate and the lack of a national airline. However there was a 15% increase in UK Cypriots visiting North Cyprus last year. Overall in 2011 there was a 45% increase in tourists, in 2012 this fell to 15% but the target for 2013 was a 30% increase.
Mr Ustel said that the next phase of the campaign would be to have 125 black taxis carry TRNC advertising and that this was now ready. After that there would be an internet campaign, using social media.
At the end of the briefing, Mr Ustel was asked if there was a prospect of a new national airline for North Cyprus but he said that this was not likely. This was followed with a photo shoot in front of poster covered buses and taxis. Mr Ustel returns to North Cyprus on Sunday.