President Mustafa Akıncı attended the Kyrenia Tourism Festival on Sunday. Addressing the crowds, he said that similar events were held in April 1999 when he was Minister of Tourism.
He noted that the TRNC has distinctive appeal every month of the year; he was pleased that winter occupancy rates were good, however, tourism must be sustainable.
The old harbour, town and historical culture and heritage needed protecting. The country had a very nice climate, beautiful Mediterranean cuisine and very hospitable people, such values needed preserving, the president said.
Akıncı said that it was pleasing that there was a development plan for Kyrenia, after which, planned development can be achieved. “We should be able to protect our historic cultural heritage and achieve historical and cultural harmonisation”, he said.
Commenting on complaints from tourists who visit the country and local people regarding pollution, he said, “Pollution should concern us and make us worry. We must all struggle to increase this awareness in civil society organisations and the people of the ministry,” he said.
Tourism and Environmental Minister Fikri Ataoğlu said that 1.5 billion tourists have made the 4-5 hour flight to the TRNC and the goal was to increase occupancy rates to 90% throughout the year by developing mass tourism, health, sports, eco and other alternative types of tourism. All these and higher education would contribute to employment and the economic development of the TRNC.
His ministry is working in cooperation with all stakeholders in the sector, Ataoğlu said.
During the tourism festival, Kyrenia Kordonboyu was promoted with a stand and also with the sale of food and beverages specific to Turkish Cypriot culture and cuisine.
During the festival, there were many concerts, folk dances and modern dance shows, activities for children, various treats, prize draws and tours of Kyrenia harbor and castle.
Kibris News Agency