Turkish Cypriot Hoteliers Association (KITOB) organized the opening ceremony of the 2018 Tourism Season at the Girne Dome Hotel yesterday evening (18th April) with a cocktail reception.

Tourism and Environment Minister Fikri Ataoglu, Girne Mayor Nidai Güngördü, KITOB President Fethi Özboğaç KITSAB President Erkan Kilim, Cyprus Health Tourism Council Vice President Dr.Ahmet Savaşan, Vakıflar Administration Board Members, Casino Operators Association, The Chamber of Industry, representatives of the Turkish Embassy in Nicosia and officials from the Ministry.

KITOB President Fethi Özboğaç, in his speech said North Cyprus is a tourism country with a 10,000 year historical heritage, 300 days of sunshine, seaside, natural beauty and rich culture, in the middle of the Mediterranean.   He said that tourism is a matter of great importance, and that sustainable tourism, which protects the cultures and the environment for future generations would be possible with sustainable strategies and plans.

Noting that promotion for successful tourism has been effective in areas of transportation hospitality, Özboğaç said that competition in tourism has increased with the development of internet technology.  In tourism, he said that a difference should be created in promotion, noting that Southern Cyprus has successfully used mythological stories, he expressed that North Cyprus should be marketed with the story of every destination.

Fikri Ataoğlu, Minister of Tourism and Environment, spoke during the evening and said that the hotels, which are indispensable for the tourism of the country, had a great sense of mutuality in that they made good organization in tourism week and brought tourism stakeholders together.

“Our goal is to increase the tourism season, and it makes this organization meaningful if we are to experience the most successful time of our country’s tourism.”  Ataoğlu continued to say – our goal is to increase the occupancy rate of the summer months in all of our activities to 12 months.  In addition to mass tourism the alternative tourism activities would raise occupancy to 80% and 90%, respectively.

Regarding the hotels and the services offered, the Northern Cyprus hotels had left the South Cypriots behind, and as a Ministry, he explained that they have done a lot of work to promote tourism abroad. He stated that there is a serious difference between the number of beds in the south and the number of beds in the north. In our country, Ataoğlu said that the bed capacity will increase by 4,000 in a short time.  Ataoğlu, stated that the bed capacity and the activities will add value to the tourism sector and the economy, and they are working to diversify alternative tourism models, to plan and determine the next 10 years of tourism.