DESPITE rumours circulating the industry, the new licence holder of the A Place in the Sun Live exhibition, APITS Ltd, has told Overseas Property Professional (OPP) that Northern Cypriot exhibitors would remain banned from exhibiting at the show.
“We have a duty of care to our visitors and until there is some clarification in this part of the world, Northern Cypriot exhibitors will not be permitted to attend,” said APITS MD Andy Bridge. “We are taking this view at an informed level from the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP) and there will be no further decision made from APITS until the outcome of the Orams case and even then it will only be inline with the wider legal view.”
Southern Cypriot developer and APITSL exhibitor Aristo welcomed APITS decision and said it would only boycott the event if a decision to allow North Cypriot exhibitors in the future wasn’t properly communicated.
“If we were to book in any APITSL show knowing that there would be no company from the Northern occupied area of Cyprus taking part, and then we saw companies from the occupied area at the show, we would express our displeasure to the organizers and inform them that this would be the last time that we would take part in their shows,” said Antonis Pisharas, overseas marketing manager for Aristo. “Since 82% of land in Northern Cyprus belongs to Greek-Cypriots, it is obvious that these so called estate agents and property developers from the North will try to sell properties which are build illegally on Greek-Cypriot land. For this reason we believe that the expo organizers should not allow these people to participate at their shows.”
Nowhere to exhibit
Since the short-term departure from the UK exhibition scene of the Property Investor Show, Northern Cypriot property professionals have been left with no major show to exhibit at in the UK until its Autumn expo in September – which is believed to be going ahead.
“This is compounded further at the moment as the poor Pound – Euro exchange rate is keeping Northern Cyprus attractive over other destinations in Europe at the moment,” said Jamie Lester, MD of agency North Cyprus International. “APITS are not giving the public what it wants. Homebuyer said that it was a commercial entity and did not involve itself in the politics of the exhibitors. Also, the hall at APITSL is definitely not squeaky clean. There are many companies from other destinations in the wider industry that have been involved in scandals, yet North Cyprus continues to be excluded. This is a big blow for the TRNC.”
Bridge added that the general point of view in the industry was against allowing TRNC exhibitors and reaffirmed that it would not be seeking to make a commercial gain from the temporary withdrawal of Homebuyer Events.
“There will be an impact on Northern Cypriot companies, but nothing has changed,” he said. “The general industry perspective is that there is some liability and we would be lacking in our duty of care to our visitors if we accepted TRNC companies. It is true that you can’t vet everyone in an exhibition hall, and clearly we are a commercial operation which wants to make as much money as it can, but APITSL is a high-profile consumer brand and we would not want to jeopardise this, or ignore the responsibility that comes with this association.”
The next APITSL event will be held at Earls Court Exhibition Centre and will run from April 3rd – 5th 2009, and the autumn 2009 event will be at NEC Birmingham from October 2nd – 4th 2009.