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Ambitious plans to change the face of Larnaca

The Larnaca town tourism board has announced plans to attract more visitors through a number of significant development projects over the next five years.

MULTI-MILLION plans involving 15 ambitious development projects, which promise to change the face of Larnaca are in the works over the next five years, the town’s tourism board announced yesterday.

“Over the next five years Larnaca will acquire a new upscale image, making it as a very significant tourist destination with excellent infrastructure, superstructure and quality services with facilities for locals and tourists,” said Larnaca Tourism Board chief Dinos Lefkaritis, who is also president of the Larnaca Chamber of Commerce.

“These projects are expected to create a new dynamic,” Lefkaritis however stressed the need for project deadlines to be kept for the huge five-year undertaking to be achieved.

Larnaca has for years been in many respects ‘tourism‘s underdog’ as most tourists saw it simply as the town where the airport was located rather than a tourist destination in its own right.

But the tourism board which is made up of interested parties such as the Chamber of Commerce, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, the Cyprus Hotels Association and the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents among others, yesterday launched a the new brochure setting out 15 new projects that will be implemented over the next five years.

“Although Larnaca has always offered plenty to both its residents and visitors, this is being further enhanced with a host of changes the town has recently undergone and will undergo,” the board said in its announcement.

“Big investments such as the new international airport and the creation of three town squares – amongst others – have been a welcome addition, but Larnaca has even bigger plans. Thanks to these changes, Larnaca’s future has never looked brighter.”

The projects include such well-known developments as the new marina with some lesser known projects such as the revamp of Piale Pashia, a walkway between Pyla and Voroklini and an environmental centre at the Salt Lake,

A spokesman at the board was yesterday reluctant to put a figure on the total cost of the 15 developments. “Some are just approximate budgets and for others the budget has not been worked out yet,” the spokesman said. However it is known that the marina project alone could come in at over €80 million.

The Larnaca Tourism Board was established in 2008 to promote Larnaca as a tourist destination and to offer new initiatives to attract visitors. “The Larnaca Tourism Board has been working tirelessly to upgrade Larnaca and its services since its inception, and with so many positive changes on the way, it won’t be long before this already-popular destination becomes a firm favourite for all,” the board said.

The 15 projects are:

Marina: Expansion to accommodate up to 900 berths, luxury villas, a 5-star hotel and commercial and recreation areas with plazas, shops, dining, promenades and parks.
Completion Phase 1– 2015, Full – 2020

Piale Pasha:  The coastal road from the Medieval Castle towards McKenzie), will become more pedestrian friendly and attractive with a cycle lane, walkways, new lighting and a green area.
Completion 2013

Olympic shooting range in Klavdia village: Four combined Olympic trap-skeet-double trap, one separate skeet, one separate trapdoubletrap layout and 10 – 12 layouts for sporting and kompak shooting, hosting  major competitions  and European training.
Completion 2011

Golf course at Tersefanou: International standard, 18-hole par 71 golf course will have water features and will boast Cyprus’ only PGA. The Academy will provide state-of-the-art technologies and instruction. It will also boast an elevated clubhouse, spa and banqueting and conference facilities.
Completion 2014

Removal of Oil Refineries: The road from Larnaca city centre to the tourist region of the Larnaca-Dhekeleia Road will undergo regeneration with the removal of the oil refineries and new area upgrades that will provide an extra 3km of beach.
Completion 2014

Completion of Larnaca-Dekeleia Road: Phases C and D of roadworks along the Larnaca-Dekeleia Road will see the roads in the areas of Voroklini and Pyla completed. The road will be modernised with the creation of walkways, cycle paths and green spaces.
Completion 2014

Excavations at ancient Kition: The tennis courts will be relocated so that further excavations can commence and the site will become an archaeological park along with the archaeological museum.
Completion 2013

McKenzie Sports Complex: An attractive and convenient place for training sessions and matches for both local teams/athletes and those from abroad. Facilities will include a football and track field, three football pitches, 10 tennis courts, a café and changing rooms with showers and toilets.
Completion Phase 1– 2012, Full 2015

Alethriko Tennis & Sports Centre: New sports village whose focal point will be a 5,000-seater professional tennis court – as approved by the International Tennis Federation for world-class tennis tournaments like the ATP 500 and the WTA. There will also be a tennis academy and facilities for hockey, basketball, mini football, volleyball, boxing, Olympic standard gymnastics and ice-skating.
Completion 2014

Pedestrian walkway Pyla-Voroklini. The two tourist areas will be seamlessly joined with a single 5.5 km seafront walkway for pedestrians to enjoy a scenic stroll right alongside the sea, spanning the distance from Mer Bleu to Larnaca city limits.
Completion 2013

Voroklini open-air amphitheatre: A traditional open-air amphitheatre to host all types of events and entertainment. Built at the foot of the mountain, it will seat 1,100 spectators.
Completion 2014

Lefkara conference centre:  To be built in the traditional architectural style of the village, the centre will serve as a multi-purpose venue with the capacity for 300 people.
Completion 2012

Environmental centre, Salt Lake: The new information centre will provide visitors with information on the different types of flora and fauna that live in the salt marshes and wetlands, and will help to preserve the importance of this natural treasure.
Completion 2013

Skarinou environmental education centre: Based in the hillside village, the centre will educate and inform visitors about Larnaca district’s mountainous villages and their natural beauty. It will also promote visits to these areas and ensure their protection by making people aware of their significance.
Completion 2013

Larnaca Cultural Walk: Larnaca will offer tourists three new walks that take in the town’s various attractions, all with comprehensive signage.
Completion 2011

Postscript

The PGA terminated its relationship with MedGolf Properties in January 2014.

Readers' comments

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  • k says:

    At least now they have put completion dates. This will give some people hope and something to look forward to. Elections were yesterday and the results are out – meaning we will have new completion dates in 5 years time!!!

  • hector says:

    Desperate times need desperate measures…

  • Alan Waring says:

    Interesting. I note the Voroklini amphitheatre to be built at the foot of the ‘mountain’ (sic). I think they mean hill but no matter. I do hope that the capital cost of this will not be taxed on (V)Oriklini residents, as the Community Council has just done with the new cemetery!

    Each household is being required (no prior consultation; explanation and demand notice were in Greek only) to pay in the first year 80euros. The number of years for defraying the capital cost is 15. The annual charge may increase but is unlikely to decrease.

    Questions are already being raised about the legality and probity of this charge. For instance, foreign holiday home owners who have appealed on the grounds that they have no intention of dying and being buried in Cyprus have had their appeals turned down flat and second demand notices have already been issued. A 20% surcharge applies for bills not paid by a certain date. Moreover, there is a rumour that the land purchased for this project may have belonged to a senior Council person or his relatives, thus raising the question of corruption. What audited evidence is there that the price paid was a fair commercial price?

    The whole village (pop aprox 7,000) is in uproar and legal opinion is being sought regarding the legality. Please can we have an assurance from Mr Lefkaritis and the Voroklini mukhtar Mr Elenodorou that they will not try a similar scam over the amphitheatre. They can’t afford another ‘own goal’ that persuades current residents to vote with their feet and wallets and potential new residents to choose somewhere else.

  • Fred says:

    Tremendous! TWO golf courses at Tersefanou! I’d better buy all the unsold properties before they double in value again……. or maybe not.

  • Ken of Kiti says:

    I wonder how many of the 15 projects will even be started 2015, let alone completed.

  • @Richard – I believe the oil terminal is being built at Vassiliko in Limassol District.

  • Hilda Nixon says:

    What about some form of reliable and efficient public transport to get around the island particularly Nicosia to Larnaca/Limassol/Paphos.

  • Richard says:

    Does anyone know where the oil storage terminal is being re-located to?

  • Martin says:

    Seeing is believing…..

  • Peter says:

    The cost of the Marina is estimated in excess of €80m and the cost of the other 14 projects has not yet been settled. Not bad for a country that will need IMF support in two years time. Still at least we will have full employment, with swarms of tourists…dream on.

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