World Cyprus showcases ancient undersea harbor to draw tourists
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AMATHUS, Cyprus (AP) — It’s said that Demetrius the Besieger, a mighty warrior king and one of Alexander the Great’s successors, built this harbor on Cyprus’ southern coast 2,400 years ago to thwart a potential naval invasion from the ruler of Egypt, Ptolemy I, another of Alexander’s heirs.
French archaeologists who initially studied the ancient harbor of Amathus believe it to be an incomplete military fortification work, the three piers of which would have accommodated the best of the ancient world’s naval ships, ready to repel an attacking force.
Cyprus: a Turkish vessel draws towards Cypriot coast guards
© Provided by the point u n Turkish ship pulled Friday of semonce strokes towards a boat of Cypriot coast guards leading an operation against the illegal immigration from the Turkey off the north coast of the island divided, on increasing tension fund between Nicosia and Ankara. This incident occurs a few days before the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan , in the Autoproclamed Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (RTCN).
Lying just a few feet underwater a mere 200 feet off the coastline near the resort town of Limassol, the harbor will soon be Cyprus’ newest tourist attraction where adventurous holidaymakers can snorkel over its submerged stone remains.
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan heads to breakaway north Cyprus Tuesday, to mark the anniversary of Turkey's 1974 invasion, a visit infuriating Greek Cypriots with island reunification talks in limbo. "Erdogan believes Greek Cypriots do not want the peace, but to keep the status quo," Ioannou said, accusing the Turkish president of exploiting Varosha as a "card" for "retaliation".Erdogan's visit is seen as a show of strength to support a two-state solution to the island's decades-long division, but also to bolster his ambitions to dominate the strategic eastern Mediterranean.
It’s a novel direction for Cyprus’ tourism authorities, who are looking beyond the east Mediterranean island nation's long-held “sun and surf” product to reach out to specialized tourism markets.
The COVID-19 pandemic has slashed tourism arrivals for an island that relies much on that revenue, so Cyprus authorities are taking a fresh look at what the island has to offer visitors, to re-ignite interest among those who do opt to travel.
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A chemical spill at a water park in Texas sent dozens of people to the hospital, according to officials. Your browser does not support this video The incident began around 2:30 p.m. Saturday in a children's pool at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Splashtown in Spring, Texas, when a lifeguard and several guests started to get sick, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo told reporters. © Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle via AP Children and their parents were experiencing "respiratory issues," and 28 of them were transported to hospitals, the Harris County Fire Marshal's office said.
Cyprus Antiquities department official Yiannis Violaris says what makes the harbor unique to the entire eastern Mediterranean is its state of preservation, combined with its proximity to the coastline.
He says those attributes could bring more people amid a global surge of interest in diving tourism. The fact that Cyprus has earned top marks for the cleanest waters among all other European Union nations for the second year running is also a big bonus.
“Tourists as well as local visitors will have the opportunity to see this impressive ancient harbor, to swim over it and to see how it was constructed, with three moles enclosing it,” Violaris told the Associated Press.
Specialist diving crews are currently cleaning the harbor of vegetation and will mark underwater routes that swimmers can follow on their tour.
Diving tourism isn't entirely new for the island. Divers have for years been flocking to the wreck of the MS Zenobia, a Swedish-built ferry that sank in about 140 feet of water just over a mile off the coastal town of Larnaca in 1980.
In the ghost town of Varosha, Cypriots-Greek and Turkish hand in hand
© provided by the point the echo of their voices rises in the middle of the abandoned buildings before dissipating. In Varosha, ghost city put under the Turkish army in 1974, about fifty Cypriotes-Greek and Turks hold hands in order to form a human chain. "We are in front of our houses looted 47 years ago, our houses inaccessible, and we say: The Cypriots-Turks are our friends, we will fight for a reunited country", hammered Nikos Karoullas, sixty.
The wreck has been ranked as one of the world's best for divers. But diving shop owner Michalis Sinopouris says authorities need to do a lot more to put Cyprus solidly on the global diving map like scuttling larger ships near the coasts to create artificial reefs.
Tourism directly accounts for around 13% of Cyprus’ economy. According to the latest available figures, tourist arrivals between January and February this year marked an 86% drop from the same period in 2019 when Cyprus hit an all-time high in the number of travelers who opted to holiday on the island.
Tourism officials had hoped for the industry to rebound this month once the U.K. and Russia — Cyprus’ top two markets — had put the island on their “green” list of safe destinations. Now they’re hoping that August may be the turnaround month.
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© Iakovos Hatzistavrou The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) and the "President" of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (Right) Ersin Tatar, In the north of the divided capital of Nicosia, at a military parade, on July 20, 2021 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, reaffirmed Tuesday during a visit to Cyprus North his attachment to a two-state solution And accused the Cypriot-Greek government of "dishonesty" to solve the problem of the partition of the Mediterrane
Industry bosses recognize that the sector is hardly “out of the woods” and are urging a re-think on how to market Cyprus’ tourism product.
Hotels Association Chief Haris Loizides told an industry conference last week that the country’s tourism “needs to adapt dramatically to survive and continue its critical contribution” to the economy.
He proposed a greater focus on the “big picture” of what Cyprus has to offer, like local culture and cuisine, while reaching out to niche markets through digital marketing.
“The sustainability of the mass market is being questioned,” Loizides said. “I dare say massive gatherings will gradually become things of the past.”
It’s a message that Cyprus’ Deputy Ministry for Tourism has taken to heart, redesigning its logo and reaching out to new markets.
Nicosia International Airport - Cyprus Ghost-Airport
Since 1974, the island of Cyprus has been divided into a Greek and a Turkish half. A military conflict also brought the end to the first airport of the island, the Nicosia International Airport. For almost 50 years he has been completely orphaned. © Getty Images Nicosia International Airport Near the city of Nicosia on the island of Cyprus is one of the sadest places of the island divided since 1974.
“I don’t lose my courage and my optimism because the EU is a big market, so many, many countries, and they feel that the psychology for travel is only now starting to pick up in Europe,” Tourism Deputy Minister Savvas Perdios told The Associated Press.
Perdios said authorities are working to extend the holiday season with the launch of a “game changing” campaign dubbed “Heartland of Legends” where tourists can visit a village and witness locals making the island’s world-famous Halloumi cheese, among other experiences.
Perdios said despite the drop in arrivals from the U.K. and Russia, he’s encouraged by the digital interest that potential holidaymakers from nontraditional markets such as France and Germany are showing in traveling to Cyprus.
“We have been working on these markets. ... Things won’t happen from just one day to the next, so I’m still optimistic,” said Perdios.
Perhaps Demetrius the Besieger would have approved.
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