Tourism Festival was held in Girne

Ministry of Tourism and Environment, organised festivals for Tourism Week during 15th – 22nd April 2019 with artists, artisans and universities.

Following the Tourism Festival in Famagusta, a Tourism Festival was held in Girne.  The event was held in order to draw attention to domestic tourism in the country during the period 15th to 22nd April, which was accepted as the opening of the tourism season, and to instil tourism awareness in our country.

Organized under the sponsorship of Girne American University and the Dome Hotel, the festival started with a cortege walk between Ramadan Cemil Square and the Ancient Port organised by the Ministry of Tourism and Environment.

Minister of Tourism and Environment Fikri Ataoğlu, Minister of Labour and Social Security Zeki Celer, Kyrenia District Governor Sinan Gunes, Lapta Mayor Mustafa Aktug, Ministry Undersecretary Ismet Esenyel, Ministry Directors, Kyrenia Police Director Sitki Erkivanc, citizens and tourists attended.

At the event, there was a concert by the Band of the Turkish Cypriot Peace Forces at the entrance of the Ancient Port.

Tourism and Environment Minister Fikri Ataoğlu emphasized that tourism is the main sector of the country’s economy and emphasized that tourism is a matter that concerns the whole country.  He thanked everyone who had contributed to the organisation of the tourism festival, pointing out that some sectors were trying to undermine tourism, which is the main sector of the country.

The Ministry and its stakeholders’ aim is to develop tourism, to diversify, to encourage tourists and increase the number of beds and local employment. Many studies have been carried out across the country to increase the use of local produce.  Ataoğlu said that as well as the work being done in the country, promotions are taking place at international fairs and various provinces of Turkey, and stressed that they are trying to develop tourism.

Ataoğlu, stated that the Ministry started to organize the tourism festival again during the week of 15th to 22nd April, which for the last 2 years has been accepted as the start of tourism week, but the festival received criticism and boycotts.  One day a year for tourism is arranged and someone comes out and says that they will not contribute to the festival.

As the Ministry of Tourism and Environment, we consider both the port and the breakwater, and while working on them, we also make the effort to take tourism further across the country.

Mr. Ataoğlu stated that despite the criticism and boycotts, the festival took place without any problems, thanks to the cooperation of the main sponsors, ministry staff and stakeholders.

Tourism, which is the leading sector of the country, met 50 percent of the budget deficit last year, and Ataoğlu said that they are proud of this, and emphasized that the new projects they will implement soon will bring tourism revenues to 65 percent of the budget deficit.

In the last 3 months, there has been a decrease in the number of tourists compared to last year.  South Cyprus try to prevent tourists coming to the north from countries outside the EU and also endeavour to blockade every platform in which we participate.  Despite this, with Turkey’s support, we continue to work tirelessly to develop tourism, Ataoğlu said.

Speaking at the opening of the Tourism Festival, Labour and Social Security Minister Zeki Çeler emphasized the importance of tourism for the country and being aware of what it adds to the country.

Çeler said that they have contributed to the promotion of the culture of the country by promoting the folklore groups in similar festivals held in the past and said that they are very proud to show the culture of the country to tourists visiting the country.

Tourism is the main sector of the economy and efforts are being made to improve the number of tourists visiting the country.  The Ministry of Labour and Social Security, work in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism, to promote the culture of the country.

Stating that they will share the common projects with the community in the near future, Çeler wished all the participants a good day at the tourism festival.

Following the opening speeches, the Turkish Cypriot Comedy Theater show, Laren Hastunç Modern Dance show, various folk dances, hip hop, modern dance, Sema, illusion, Nejla Egemen music concert, İllizyon, Pelin Kutluba and Ahmet Evan concert took place.

In addition, hotels operating in the country established stands in Kordonboyu and visitors were introduced to their facilities.

Girne Tourism Festival ended with a concert of Group Frequency and a cocktail reception was organised by the Dome Hotel to honour the opening of the tourism season.