New areas, new prospects for Cyprus
Cyprus has long been a popular location, both with holidaymakers and property investors keen to make the most of the island's tourist attractions. Like many locations in the Mediterranean, the island has not just sun, sand and sea, but also a highly developed tourist infrastructure and a large British expat community.
This last factor owes much to the historical links between Cyprus and Britain, with the legacy of empire being evident as Cyprus is a member of the Commonwealth, drives on the right and still hosts British military bases. English is widely spoken there.
Yet for Cypriot tourism chiefs, this is not enough. The Cyprus Tourism Association has launched its Regional Tourism Development Plan, half the budget for which has come from the European Regional Development fund. Its aim is to promote more than just the coastal attractions of the island, instead plugging the parts which many tourists do not reach, reports the Financial Mirror.
As a result, the rural charms of inland Cyprus, with its wineries, food, cultural heritage and hospitality are to be highlighted in a series of events held both inside and outside Cyprus, beginning at Paphos on September 8th. Cyprus certainly has plenty of potential attractions away from the coast. The location of the island close to the European mainland, Africa and Asia has seen its history flavoured by the appearance of many peoples, not least the Roman, Byzantine and British empires. As the Visit Cyprus website points out, everyone from Alexander the Great to Cleopatra has staked a claim to the island.
As a consequence, Cyprus oozes history, with a wide range of historic ruins and archaeological sites, all of which may attract a different kind of tourist. The Viniculture of the island is another element which may bring its own market, perhaps attracting those who would otherwise head for Bordeaux or Tuscany. Add to that the ski resorts of the Troodos Mountains and the country might fairly be said to have a wide variety of attractions.