Larnaca is taking bold steps to tap the tourist market not only from Russia but other destinations being opened up with the launch of new flights.
The focus is on highlighting the special characteristics which make it an ideal destination for holidaymakers, said Dinos Lefkaritis, chairman of the Larnaca Tourism Development Company.
He said the tourism development company welcomed the launch to Larnaca of FlyNiki from Vienna, easyJet from Basel, Qatar Air from Doha as well as flights from Newcastle, Belgrade, Donetsk and Kiev.
The addition of all-year flights from Stockholm have revived hopes for more winter tourists, while the new markets will be a priority as Larnaca looks to absorb its share of the market.
Scandinavia will be high up on the list of priorities, with the development company due to participate with hoteliers from the area in a large tourist fair taking place in Stockholm from February 14 to 16.
As regards the Russian market, the company is preparing a hospitality programme for tour operators, including some representing the largest tourism organisations of Russia.
Russian tourists have shown a particular interest in visiting the Byzantine church of Saint Lazaros and the tourism promotion company aimed to further build bridges with the Russian market and promote the church as part of religious tours, he added.
Larnaca has also developed into a popular mini-cruise destination for Israelis, with 45,000 Israeli tourists having come to Cyprus on the Haifa-Larnaca line.
Lefkaritis said this was an important boost for the tourism sector, particularly Larnaca and said the cruises will continue in 2014.
Saying Larnaca boasts a large number of attractions, Lefkaritis listed nine reasons why visitors should make it their choice destination:
1. It is the main entry point to Cyprus, with an airport, port and marina.
2. It is conveniently compact because of its small size, combined with a large number of interesting sights.
3. A rich history, as it is one of the oldest towns in Europe
4. Safe, clean sandy beaches of some 75 km.
5. It has managed to combine tradition and growth, allowing it to grow without losing its identity.
6. It has plurality, ranging from the bustling Phinikoudes to the calm of traditional Lefkara.
7. It is surrounded by picturesque villages many of which offer agritourism facilities and as a district leads in terms of agrotourism infrastructure.
8. It stands out as a diving destination because of the famous Zenobia wreck, which is included in the 10 most notable worldwide.
9. It is an all-year tourist destination. Hotels are open and there is a range of cultural and other events throughout.