Monday, 3 April 2023
Members of the tourism sector are up in arms, saying that nothing has been done to reduce the price of air fares, despite government promises, Yeniduzen reports.
They say that summer is just around the corner, yet most tourists coming to Cyprus use airports in south Cyprus not Ercan airport, thus seriously impacting the tourist trade in the North Cyprus.
Representatives of the tourism sector say that the government needs to have a plan to develop tourism in the country. They say, however, that tourism is not on the government’s agenda.
Meanwhile, this year, the government only allocated one percent of the annual budget for tourism.
President of the Cyprus Turkish Travel Agencies Association Orhan Tolun, stated that 80 percent of the income from the Ministry of Tourism fund is transferred to the current budget of the Ministry of Finance, the government does not have a policy on tourism, air fares have increased and advertising is done by Turkey, “How will tourism be in such an environment?” he asked.
Tolun pointed out that in Turkey and south Cyprus, studies on tourism are being carried out, however, nothing is being done in North Cyprus to promote tourism.
“We are not doing anything. We are just waiting. When the wind blows, we accept as many tourists as it brings”, he said.
“We cannot bring tourists to the country anyway. For domestic tourism, the purchasing power of people has decreased and they have no financial power. Big hotels raise prices. Even non-luxury Aqua hotels, which families with children can choose, are expensive. As a result, people cannot go. Most of the small accommodation facilities are currently closed… Couldn’t open after the pandemic. How is tourism possible in such an environment? Currently, 100 of 160 agencies are half closed. The guide is unemployed, the development in the country is a distorted construction… There is serious unplanned construction, especially in the Iskele area. A significant part of tourism shifts there and the informal economy emerges. We work with the Ministry of Tourism, but what to do in a country that has no money? Eighty percent of the Ministry of Tourism’s funding goes to the current budget. In this case, we have no expectations… We have a sustainable income that leaves more, stays longer”.