On a recent visit to Paphos, there were several signs that the economic situation is slowly turning around.
1. The Pafos 2017 European Capital of Culture is creating significant interest. Booking allocations for 2017 are already being negotiated with foreign tour operators as well as event organisers. Moreover, Pafos Municipality has launched an ambitious renovation programme in the Harbour and City of Paphos, including 28th October Square and Tomb of the Kings Avenue.
2. Paphos is becoming known as a golf destination. Four major golf resorts—Aphrodite Hills, Minthis Hills, Elea Estate and Secret Valley—have all seen record golf rounds played in 2015. The Cyprus Tourism Organisation and the Pafos Regional Tourism Committee are heavily promoting Cyprus as a golf destination.
3. Incoming tourism arrivals to Cyprus and Paphos are growing. Arrivals grew by 9% in 2015, to 2.659 million, while revenue grew to nearly € 2.2 billion. Arrivals are expected to grow still further in 2016, based on early block bookings from European tour operators.
4. The use of villa rentals as a substitute for hotel accommodation is growing. AirBNB and Booking.com are both heavily promoting villa and apartment rentals in Paphos, and the available stock of rental properties on both websites is increasing.
5. Paphos International Airport is seeing a surge in passenger traffic. Total passenger traffic rose from 2.097 million in 2014 to 2.278 million in 2015. A growing number of carriers are flying into Pafos International Airport, including Ryanair, Easyjet, Nikki, Germania, Air Jordan, Finnair, Arkia, TUI, Thomas Cook and Thomson Airways.
6. Banks have resumed mortgage lending for Cyprus residents.
7. Foreign investors are buying Cyprus properties in Pafos for the investor citizenship and residency programmes.
These factors are combining to create an interesting set of signals for property investors and owners. Together with the stock of distressed or unfinished properties, there are significant commercial opportunities available in Paphos.
I was also recently interviewed by a great new destination portal, www.pafoscity.com. Check the video interview here.
(c) Philip Ammerman, 2016
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