A call has been made for the government to back new schemes for making Lefkoşa “beautiful, tourism friendly and attractive.”
The capital’s mayor, Mehmet Harmancı, visited Minister of Tourism Faiz Sucuoğlu to request financial and other support “to boost potential” within Lefkoşa’s inner walls.
Mr Harman told Cyprus Today: “We have developed numerous schemes aimed at boosting tourism, making the inner walls of Lefkoşa a centre of attraction for tourists and indeed locals.
“We visited Dr Sucuoğlu to ask for financial commitment and support for some of our plans, including a hop-on-hop-off train project that will take visitors around the sights of the walled city; the pedestrianisation and construction of pavements to make the city modern; and the White Jasmine Project given to businesses and restaurants for food hygiene and safety when conditions are met.”
Mr Harmanci said he wanted establishments that had attained the municipality’s White Jasmine certificate to feature on tourism maps.
“I also told Dr Sucuoğlu that the coming into being of the hop-on-hop-off train service would bring about serious changes to the region.
In reply, he said the inner walls of Lefkoşa had ancient buildings, structures and monuments which were very important for tourism.
“Once the Gamblers’ Inn is also opened very shortly, the centre will become even more of a centre of attraction.”
Dr Sucuoğlu told the newspaper that electricity to the Inn was connected on Tuesday, with plans now underway for a grand opening ceremony.
“We have reached consensus in having cobble stones from Sarayönü all the way to the municipal market and we agreed on the need to have landscaping done in the square between the Kumarcılar Han (Gamblers’ Inn) and the Büyük Han (Great Inn), with benches allowing people to sit right in the middle of history and enjoy the surroundings,” he said.
He added that the Kumarcilar Han, once opened, would have regular live musical entertainment.
By Kerem Hasan for Cyprus Today