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Reviving Platres, the former jewel of the mountains.

President NicosAnastasiades is anxious to develop the mountain resorts which were thepioneersof tourism in Cyprus. He is the first president to show a positive interest in the mountain resorts.

He has appointedYiannakis Papadouris -- who was successful in developingagrotourisminKalopanayiotis --to submit proposals butPapadourisis said to have stated that he will not prepare and submit a proposal for the development ofPlatres.

Platres saw very successful days in luxury hotel development and tourist arrivals from overseas until the Second World War. The tourists came mainly from amongst the Greek settlers in Egypt and Sudan until Colonel Nasser ejected the Greek community from Egypt and the political situation in Sudan made the Greek community leave the country.

In its glory days, Platres attracted kings, like Farouk of Egypt, and international writers and artists.

Well-to-do Cypriots built houses inPlatres, used mainly during the summer months, as did the British civil servants before them.

Platres is definitely a unique beautiful gift of God to us. With its extensive forests, its impressive waterfalls, its cool refreshing climate, it stands ahead as a tourist resort. The revival of Platres would also reflect on the other resorts in the area.Platres must be revived because it would benefit Cyprus as a whole.

The followingthree-pointplan could bring about the desired change.

First, improve town planning: enlarge the main roads, erect parking places and increase public squares.

Second, expand what is on offer for tourists. Platres has extensive football and tennis courts.Tournaments with nearby countries would attract much attention.Organise visits to Troodos and other nearby villages. Small buses can be used for visits to the unique Unesco mediaeval churches, the nature museum and the botanic gardens. Other organised trips could include walks on the nature trails, visits to the over one-thousand-year old trees and tasting local preparations like Soutzouko, palouze and other delicacies.

Platrescan also operate during the winter when there is snow on Mount Troodos. It is only a 10-minute drive.Thus,the season can be extended.

The third and most important point is to bring thetourists toPlatres.

In the past, the clients of thePlatreshotels came from hot countries,likeEgypt and Sudan. We could still aim to attract the inhabitants from these hot countrieswhose inhabitants go to cooler destinations during the summerand have high incomes per capita.

Bahrain. Israel, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are all high earning countries with a population of over 52 million prospective tourists.

The Deputy Minister of TourismSavvasPerdiosshould organise the necessary publicity in such countries while hoteliers should visit the staff of important companies and make presentations.

What about the ageing Platres hotels? The Pendeli closed down several years ago. It must be financed to be repaired. The Petit Palais was recently renovated but due to lack of custom it was sold, and it is closed. The extensive Forest Park Hotel with a value of e1/425,000,000 and an area of 27 donums has been let for a mere e1/420,000 a month.

With the presently over capitalised Cyprus banks and the deposit interest rate of at 0.5 per cent, we have a rare opportunity to finance the resurrection of several Platres hotels. It is a good chance, but we need to bring in the tourists.

I appeal to President Anastasiades to implement our suggestions.Platrescan and must be revived for the benefit ofallthe mountain resorts and the benefit of Cyprus.

NicosRossos economist

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Geographic Code:6SUDA
Date:Aug 25, 2019
Words:596
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