Ayia Napa is expecting a record number of Russian tourists this summer, with hotels busy with renovation work as they prepare for a boom year.
Resort mayor Ioannis Karousos said that 2014 was expected to be the best year for the area’s tourism sector in many years.
“From the information that we have so far, we expect a record number of Russian tourists this summer,” he said.
In the light of the positive news, even hotels and tourist complexes that have been closed in recent years were undergoing renovation in anticipation of Russian tourists as from March.
Other hotels are expanding capacity, while a tourist complex that has reached an agreement with a Russian tour agent is understood to have rented a nearby restaurant which it is renovating for its clients.
A coastal hotel that has been closed for the past four years is being renovated with financing from Russia.
“We are in the happy position to say that this summer’s tourism season, because of the mass influx of Russian tourists will begin in March and end in November, which means that it will be two months longer than other years.
“Ayia Napa has about 24,000 beds available, perhaps even more,” the mayor added.
For its part the municipality has speeded up its own work so that pavements, roads, parks and other infrastructure is completely ready by February.
Karousos attributed the good news to the liberalisation of flights from Russia which he said played a significant role in generating business, particularly for March and November which traditionally have been difficult months in the free Famagusta area.
A recent conference organised by tourism giant Tui, heard that bookings for Ayia Napa and Protaras from Britain were up 20%.
The introduction of direct flights from Oslo to Larnaca is another shot in the arm for the area’s tourism sector.