Greetings from the West coast of Cyprus

Greetings from the West coast of Cyprus in the town of Paphos, which by all reports is feeling the effects of the global recession more than anywhere else on the Island of love.

Firstly the Real Estate situation is nothing short of drastic here. During the boom time over the last 5 - 10 years the property market was fueled by overseas residents (predominantly English) that purchased mainly for an investment or holiday home. This gave traction to the market and the established property Developers were joined with fly by night Developers that jumped on the bandwagon. Everyone thought that the boom would last forever! Some investors purchased to flip properties before they were even built and it appears that such over-confident risk taking has now taken its toll in the light of the global recession. Today, Paphos is full of empty Real Estate offices, there a number of small developers in financial trouble, many of the economicly beleaguered British either cannot afford to make payments or they are desperate to sell. What makes matters worse is that the banks are hiking interest rates, completely contrary to European trends and and in the face of euro interest rate decreases. This makes it somewhat complex to obtain new credit from any bank in Cyprus at anything like a reasonable rate, which is bad news for the Developers who are in dire straights and desperate to sell. In parallel, the Government is slow to process title deeds for owners, which creates a situation of insecurity. The current climate in Cyprus and Paphos in particular has reached a point whereby the British Government is warning its citizens of the risks of purchasing property in Cyprus. We can only hope that the Cypriot Government, Banks and Developers take heed and change the status quo.

The other challenge of Paphos is the outlook for the coming Tourism season, which at best will be a 10% drop in business and at worst a disaster. The reality will most likely be somewhere in between. The writing is on the wall however, because here we are at the weekend of the European Easter and the resort is anything but as busy. Lets hope that things pick up during Greek Easter next week. The true acid test however will be the volume of Tourists in high season (July / August / September) and here initial forecasts are bleak.

Meanwhile the very last thing that Paphos needs is a bad reputation, but unfortunately aggressive time-share touts have now resorted to using their pressure tactics towards unsuspecting Guests physically inside some of the higher quality hotels along the Paphos seafront as what can only be described as a desperate bid to drum up new business. A number of complaints from hotel guests and visitors alike to Paphos complained to the Tourism Board and commented they would never come back. An emergency meeting to discuss the situation was recently held at the Paphos Town hall. Lets trust that urgent steps will be taken to stop the behaviour of the Time Share Touts soon, which reflects the dark side of Tourism.

What about the Guests themselves? Are they perfect? Perpetual Traveller focuses this weeks feature article on the world's best and worst Tourists. Meanwhile the summer cruising season is about to kick start and we bring you the interesting article of Fjording around, compliments of La Dolce Vita. Alternatively Hypo Global looks at the topic of earthquakes, following the recent event in L' Aqula.

Happy Easter to all readers

Grant Holmes
Editor, Perpetual Traveller

Comments

  1. Everything you say makes sense and i find it so ignorant when people tell me this financial crises is all a dreamt up nightmare.
    Andreas Vassilades

    ReplyDelete

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