A message from the Mayor of Ayia Napa, Mr Giannis Karousosto the international business community.
Cyprus, a relatively small island in the Mediterranean Sea with an area of 9,251km2 and a population under one million, is known around the world for multiple reasons. Historians and archaeologists have noted its history spanning 10 millennia. To holiday travellers, it’s the island that offers 326 days of sunshine a year.
The business community values Cyprus’s strategic location at the crossroads between East and West, and its status as a member of the European Union. In recent years, Cyprus has also established itself as a stable destination in an unstable region. For investors, the combination of all the above translates into a destination that deserves a closer look.
Tourism and the economy
For the past four decades, Cyprus has been welcoming an influx of visitors who are initially attracted to the island’s beaches and beautiful hotels. Often, what they discover upon arrival is even more appreciated: genuine hospitality that is embedded in the local culture, a European lifestyle at a more relaxed pace, and most importantly a safe environment.
So it is not surprising that visitors tend to return, often year after year. Holidaymakers acquire a second home in Cyprus, and business travellers establish a base on the island. In Cyprus ‘business and pleasure’ is not just a phrase; it’s a way of life – and ultimately it is the reason why tourism always was, is, and is likely to remain the backbone of the Cyprus economy.
According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) report of 2013, travel and tourism accounted for 20,6% of Cyprus GDP, with projections reaching 30,9% of GDP by 2024. Another contributing factor to this projection is the success of the Citizenship by investment scheme that grants Cyprus Citizenship to those who invest on the island.
Perhaps even more convincing than the WTTC report is the actual crash test that Cyprus tourism was exposed to during the economic crisis that hit the island hard in March 2013. Although every sector of the economy suffered acutely, tourism demonstrated extreme resilience and is making an astounding recovery. During the ‘low-season’ first quarter of 2016, Cyprus witnessed a record number of arrivals – and equivalent revenue – which can be safely regarded as the prelude to even better performance in the months to come.
Ayia Napa, a destination that has it all
Although the southern coast of Cyprus is dotted with high-intensity resorts as well as more peaceful retreats, Ayia Napa has developed its own brand. Only half an hour from the island’s main airport at Larnaca, Ayia Napa is synonymous with Cyprus nature at its best, in tandem with an Ibiza-style atmosphere of high-energy entertainment.
The Ayia Napa area boasts a dense cluster of beaches bearing ‘Blue Flag’ certification – an eco-label that is awarded to beaches and marinas around the world which comply with high standards of water quality, safety, environmental education and information, the provision of services and general environmental management. The resort’s trademark sugary sands and sapphire waters melt into the unspoiled and protected natural beauty of Cape Greco with its unmistakable cliffs and sea caves.
Balancing the resort’s natural blessings are the island’s biggest luna park and most elaborate water park, as well as an endless variety of cafés, restaurants and evening entertainment hot spots. A luxury marina complex is already in the pipeline. Once completed it will add a new dimension to Ayia Napa and attract yet another segment of the tourism industry.
Room for investment
If tourism is the skeleton of Ayia Napa, real estate is its muscle power – and that power is being developed more strategically than ever before, with Ayia Napa poised to grow in two directions. On the one hand, there is a clear demand for more upscale accommodation; on the other hand, infrastructure that will appeal to the ‘special interest’ travel market would diversify Ayia Napa’s appeal and extend the tourist season.
To attract investors, a number of recently introduced incentives include a significant increase in building coefficient; capital gains free sale of real estate; and a 50% reduction in transfer fees. The last two measures are valid until December 2016, but are likely to be extended. Furthermore, the government’s ‘Open Skies’ policy aims to increase traffic to the island’s airports, while tax incentives and/or reductions in airport landing charges during the quieter periods are under consideration.
The right time and place
In and around Ayia Napa, a number of real estate projects are already taking shape, in particular high-end residential developments, from luxurious, centrally located compact apartments to exclusive mansions in picturesque settings, either directly on the seafront or with easy access to it. SkyPrime developments are taking shape all along the southeastern coast of Cyprus and are proving to be extremely desirable and popular among investors.
This is where keen investors will recognize the singular opportunity that is rooted in a simple fact: the coastline that borders Ayia Napa is finite, and land parcels that are available for sale and suitable for development are therefore naturally limited. Since demand for prime properties near the sea is historically greater than supply, it follows that the value of projects in coastal areas is bound to increase as availability shrinks.
As the property market in Cyprus is just turning the corner, now is the time to invest in seafront villas for sale Cyprus Ayia Napa. A beautiful home in the sun will serve its owners well. For regular holidays or retirement, it will always be a source of pride and pleasure, and an asset that will appreciate over time. As an investment, it can be a source of income from holiday rentals to satisfy the growing demand.
One thing is clear: After the financial crisis brought Cyprus to its knees, the island is emerging stronger in many ways. Ayia Napa is as attractive as ever and holds the promise of a bright and prosperous future.