President Nikos Anastasiades has announced development projects with a total value of 60 million euros, focussing on improvements in Paphos town centre. The announcement was made during the president’s recent visit to the town, during which, he held a series of meetings with figures from the Paphos district tourism industry, local authorities, community leaders and other citizens.
Works include the upgrading of two squares close to the town hall, namely Kostis Palamas Square, Dionysios Solomos Square and the nearby 28th October Street and its square. Improvements to the old commercial centre and the well-known Kennedy Square are also planned, as well as renovation of the municipal market. Other projects earmarked are the improvement of the Paphos promenade, the building of coastal hotels, and measures addressing staff shortages at Paphos airport which have led to delays. The town’s only theatre, The Markideio Theatre, will also receive funding of 3.6 million euros for general enhancement and upgrading. The scope of the development projects is wide ranging with the inclusion of restoration work on archaeological sites in the area, extension of the Paphos District Court and the District Police Station as well as other infrastructure improvements of benefit to the indigenous population and visitors to the town. The president further announced that additional government funding would be made available for the promotion of Paphos as Cultural Capital of Europe 2017.
The Cultural Capital Initiative is intended to draw attention to the richness and diversity of European cultures, to celebrate the shared features of our cultures and to foster an increased sense of belonging to the greater European community, as well as to one’s own local community. Experience shows that it gives a great opportunity to increase the town or city’s international profile thus opening up multiple opportunities. As well as the increase in tourism, the initiative leads to regeneration within the cities and towns, such as have been outlined in President Anastasiades announcement, including boosting the town’s image in the minds of the local people. The plethora of cultural activities being planned to take place during Cultural Capital of Europe 2017 are sure to have a rejuvenating effect on the cultural life of Paphos if not the whole of Cyprus.
The resulting upsurge of tourism in the wake of the awarding of Cultural Capital of Europe 2017 to Paphos is likely to be considerable with both hotels and rental properties in demand as visitors from across Europe and beyond converge on Cyprus. The experience of other towns and cities who have previously been recipients of the award bear this out, with the additional benefit of this greater interest continuing far beyond the specific year itself.
Sources: www.cyprusweekly.com, www.in-cyprus.com, http://ec.europa.eu, www.goldnews.com.cy.
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