Ayia Napa Municipality reissued a call for a law amendment to tighten up existing noise pollution legislation through the introduction of clear-cut decibel standards.
Speaking to The Cyprus Daily, Ayia Napa Mayor Yiannis Karousos described noise pollution on the holiday resort as a serious problem that is driving tourists away.
“At a time when Cyprus is facing severe economic hardships we must do everything possible to ensure tourists keep returning to the island.”
The mayor confirmed that Ayia Napa has launched an anti-noise campaign targeting bars in the town’s centre and illegal beach parties which are considered to be at the root of the problem.
“In cooperation with the police we are introducing a zero tolerance policy towards noise pollution which disrupts the lives of our residents and ruins the peaceful holidays that many of our tourists have planned.”
Karousos, however, explained that while the campaign will target obvious offenders there is currently no legal means for measuring noise.
“At the moment when a police officer investigates a noise complaint they are required to estimate noise levels by ear and take action accordingly. This creates serious obstacles in enforcing the law which we want the authorities to address immediately.”
According to the mayor, the anti-noise campaign was launched after dozens tourists posted negative comments about noise pollution in Ayia Napa on international travel website TripAdvisor.
“Many families in particular have complained that they were unable to enjoy their holiday because of the extreme levels of noise and some posts even suggest that tourists take ear plugs with them when visiting Ayia Napa.”
According to the mayor, the authorities will show leniency over noise levels in Ayia Napa depending on what area the offence is committed.
“We understand that in some areas loud music should be tolerated more than in others. The main problem is that there is no uniform definition of what legally constitutes a noise violation.”
The municipality is calling on the Ministry of Justice to push forward a law amendment that will entitle police to use specialised equipment allowing them to accurately measure noise levels.
“We consider that this will solve the dispute over noise levels once and for all.”
The anti-noise campaign will also be targeting the illegal distribution of flyers promoting clubs as well as street hawkers in Ayia Napa.
“Following a recent law change our municipality workers have the authority to fine those caught illegally handing out flyers or harassing tourists on the street,” added Karousos.