Chairman of Larnaka Tourism Board (LTB), Mr Dinos Lefkaritis, recently highlighted the ‘new way of thinking’ that places the environment and people at the heart of LTB’s projects – creating more sustainable experiences in combination with up-to-date digital practices for the new, eco-conscious, tech-savvy traveller.
LTB have pioneered a series of virtual experiences – such as online maps and tours – thus eliminating the requirement for printing consumables, and simultaneously creating a modern, sustainable way of enjoying the region’s culture, history and arts.
Many projects have won awards including three at the Cyprus Tourism Awards 2021 for its virtual experiences; a Gold for the ‘Larnaka Storytelling Statues’; Bronze for the ‘Ancient Port of Kition Virtual Reconstruction’ video, and Silver for the ‘Larnaka Virtual Museums’ platform, plus Larnaka was included as one of three candidate cities for the ‘European Destination of Excellence 2023’ title.
Plans for 2023 will build on these foundations. Projects include the ‘Enriching & Greening Larnaka’s Beaches’ – a programme that upgrades the coastal areas; improvement of the nature trails at Larnaka Salt Lake and in Choirokoitia; the creation of bee parks at the ‘Rural Larnaka Honey Villages’; further enrichment of the artificial reef; new Larnaka Virtual Museums and virtual reconstructions of archaeological sites; museum upgrades, and self-guided cultural tours.
“The prospects for tourism in Larnaka region are very encouraging for 2023,” said Mr Lefkaritis. “The new initiatives in the action plan show how LTB is adapting and moving with the times, and that locals, visitors and investors are all responding positively to this way of ‘rethinking’ tourism.”
New hotels in Larnaka for 2023
The range of accommodation options continues to expand in 2023, from niche boutique hotels to globally branded resorts. At the end of 2022 the Radisson Beach Resort Larnaca opened, a swish luxury resort set on an exclusive beach complete with spa which welcomed the Manchester United football team among its first guests during their visit to Cyprus for a Europa League match.
Up the mountains in Lefkara village the boutique Agora Hotel opened its doors at the end of the year too, offering guests a unique blend of old-world glamour with contemporary design. The hotel is on the site of the village’s old market (‘agora’) and retains the original gate of the market.
In April, the Mercure Beach Hotel Larnaka is expected to open as the island’s first Mercure hotel. Set on an exclusive part of the beach along the Voroklini coastline the resort will feature the closest beach rooms on the island, rooftop bar and a spa. A second globally branded hotel is also planned for Voroklini coastline by Yiannades (Goldfish) Beach.
The island’s first Holiday Inn Express will open in Larnaka in 2023, doubling as the island’s first robotic hotel with digitalised services, such as automated check-in and check-out. Also, the new Pallas Hotel in a historic 1953 building in the commercial centre will open to travellers who want a city setting, smart technology suites amongst its rooms, as well as a roof garden and sky bar.
The hotel is a minute away from the Foinikoudes (Palm Tree promenade), close to all the leisure facilities and bars/restaurants. In the city centre, the Saint Lazaros Church is also earmarked for a new boutique hotel overlooking the landmark’s charming square.
Visitors are encouraged to share holiday snaps of spectacular views in 2023
The ‘benches for views’ initiative is a series of photo benches located at some of the most picturesque spots across Larnaka to enable people to sit, take in the stunning views and perhaps share a snap or two on social media. LTB has been sponsoring the benches at key viewpoints and there are currently three benches in Lefkara, Pervolia and Choirokoitia, with a fourth scheduled at the Rizoelia National Forest Park of Aradippou in 2023.
Rizoelia is popular for walking and jogging, offering a natural haven above the city. The bench will sit atop an elevation in the park with panoramic views of the area bridging Aradippou and Larnaka municipalities. Lefkara’s bench overlooks beautiful mountainous scenery in the village; the bench in Choirokoitia offers countryside views across the village and at Pervolia, visitors can capture sweeping views of the pristine beach and Mediterranean waters.
For tourist information from the Larnaka Tourism Board, visit www.larnakaregion.com