30 years ago I published my first article about the tourist area of Protaras, since then I often write, with the basic themes of the hotel and tourism industry, which I serve as an educator, as a writer and A researcher for 25 years.
My current article focuses on the Protaras area again. The reason, it concerns its rapid growth, which had to evolve into one of the most beautiful tourist resorts of our island. Instead, it brings many problems, which need to be resolved as soon as possible before we are faced with undesirable situations.
I quote below the most important problems that were presented in the area of Protaras in 1988 and still exist:
1. all other investments made and/or continued in Protaras are not made by rational planning because there is no proper tourist infrastructure. I regret to say that all the investments made for commercial purposes, were made without considering the requirements and needs of the tourist power in the Protaras area. The sole purpose of the region's investments and the emphasis given by entrepreneurs was to ensure as long as possible greater profit from the first year (this is not an investment), without anticipating the future impact of tourism. We have not realised how fragile the tourism industry is and we have not understood how much Our tourism needs special treatment. I believe, personally, that this is the main reason why there is no tourist current in the Protaras area and throughout our island. I am in favour of investment, but of investments made on the basis of the correct development planning of a region which includes the following elements: Feasibility Studies, Analysis of Economic at sociological impacts and Marketing and Promotion. Let this be taken very seriously by local authorities and related services, to solve this problem, it is possible not to repeat the mistakes made in other tourist areas of Cyprus (still nothing has been done by any competent authority for the most Up topic).
2. licenses Are granted for the operation of restaurants and pubs to persons who are not related to the hotel professions, now licensed functions are given to people from the European Union that are not related to the profession.
The immediate problems created by this unacceptable situation are:
(A) high food and beverage prices, as there is no correct costing,
(B) No quality service is offered to our tourists.
We are known as a people in Europe for good service and hospitality (Hospitality), These two great factors are a magnet for tourism. For this reason, we should not escape from the frameworks of hospitality and good service and to look at tourism as a source of easy profit. It is imperative to make special seminars to address this problem And the CTO is called to deal with the matter more seriously.
3. rents of restaurants, pubs and other micro-enterprises are inflated. Therefore, there are uncontrolled high prices in order to cover the costs, with the result that tourists restrict their purchases. The competent authorities must devise a uniform and stable policy for the Protaras region.
4. the lack of enough car parking, results in the creation of many problems in the streets as challenge nuisance by motorists and motorcyclists with immediate discomfort of visitors.
5. the lack of public spaces to serve tourists on the streets of the area so tourists can enter the various recreation centers or various hotel complexes. Also, the lack of tourist beach with modern Specifications (Sidewalks, snack – bar, etc.).
6. the operation of Nocturnal recreation centers until the morning hours without permission, the small episodes created do not find their solution, because there is no tourist police. The tourist police will put order in the tourist Our region and will convey the feeling of security to both locals and tourists.
7. the absence of the local tourism committee in the Protaras area. It is imperative that such a committee be set up by specialists in the profession so that we can upgrade the quality of our tourist Product. I believe that the use of people in the region who have enough experience in the hotel sector and generally in the tourism industry can help to achieve the tourism policy of the municipality
8. education and training of human resources. Still, an important role in the upgrading of our tourist services is the education and training of human resources employed or involved in the tourism sectors (e.g. hotel owners, hotel managers, staff Hotels, restaurants, pubs, taxi owners, etc). I emphasise once again and I will repeat it for as many times as necessary: without the skilled people on tourist issues, with proper planning and proper professional and tourist conscience nothing can be achieved.
9. The tourist policy of the organized and local organizations in the tourist development of the Protaras area is not as satisfactory as it should have been (since 1988 I have not seen any serious infrastructure work, except for the renovation of themainhotel in Protaras. I regret to say that income from tourism is not rationally invested, with a view to sustainable Development of the tourist product of Protaras. Some important projects need to be done such as a modern sports centre including basketball, football, Tennis, indoor swimming, an amphitheatre for artistic and cultural purposes. , a museum with our folk tradition, a popular neighbourhood that can makethe Cypriot culture, modernise the fishermen's shelters, and so much more.
10. all of us, in the Protaras area, pride ourselves on having quality tourism. I wonder now whether with these existing problems together with the basic lack of infrastructure and projects that we can create a qualitative tourist destination???
I personally believe without criticising anyone that we are all responsible and must face the truth. The Sun, the sea and the hospitality (slowly eliminated) are not enough factors to satisfy the demands AND NEEDS of quality tourism. I ask, does Protaras offer anything other than Sea, sun and some Hospitality, TO HAVE quality tourism: where is the Cyprus element in the entire Protaras region? Protaras has become an advertising sign: Menus on sidewalks, decoys, bad workmanship in buildings, illegalities in shops and Restaurants and many others that do not give the image of a qualitative tourist destination when one is giventhe beautiful protaras. It is serious problems that The local authority must deal with with proper planning.
11. Finishing with the most basic problems, I am alarm the risk for the Protaras area. I believe that all the above will be the subject of a serious thorough and systematic study, so as not to create the undesirable situations of Spanish tourism, but the tourist product of Spain has improved and even we will improve it!!!