The Minister of Tourism Dr Faiz Sucuoglu, who is in London for the 2015 World Travel Market (WTM), said that they are making efforts to keep autumn and spring tourism alive with the creation of more mountain walking trails.
“At the moment the number of tourists visiting the TRNC has reached 3 million and we have 35,000 bed capacity, we will be a self-sufficient state”. He added that the hotels remain open during the winter season and they are expecting 50,000 tourists from Germany and Belgium.
Speaking to administrators and representatives of Turkish Cypriot NGO’s in London, Sucuoglu said that the number of tourists who visited the TRNC in 2015 was 1 million, noting that 650,000 were tourists from Turkey.
Sucuoglu explained that applications have been made for the start of direct flights to the TRNC in 2016. He further noted that their biggest problem is transportation, adding that there have been attempts by private individuals to establish an airline company. He also said that they are discussing this issue with officials from Turkey.
Replying to a question on the tourist numbers from Britain, Sucuoglu said that within the first nine months of 2015, 22,000 tourists came from Britain. However, he added that many British people own houses in the TRNC, therefore many British families are hosted in their friends’ houses or they are renting their house. It is estimated that their number is around to 100,000.
Sucuoglu visited the TRNC stand in the fair and said that the British market is very important for the TRNC, so they will continue their efforts on the promotion of the TRNC in order for this market to expand.
On the same issue, Bayrak television broadcast that Sucuoglu visited the SLR Custom House train station where a 38 metre long billboard poster and 53 smaller promotion posters of North Cyprus have been placed.
Speaking there, he said that the posters were well placed at the entrance of the station where a larger number of people could see them. He added that such advertisements were important for creating awareness of North Cyprus as a tourist destination.
Meanwhile, adverts promoting North Cyprus have been placed on 130 black cabs, one of London’s most famous icons. Brochures promoting North Cyprus are also being distributed to customers in the taxi cabs.