Moves are underway to introduce caravan holidays to the TRNC as part of an initiative by Tourism Minister Faiz Sucuoğlu to attract two million tourists a year to the country.
Dr Sucuoğlu met Alsancak Mayor Fırat Ataser and Lapta Mayor Fuat Namsoy this week to discuss working together to create “new, alternative tourism.”
“North Cyprus has serious potential for caravan tourism,” Dr Sucuoglu told Cyprus Today. “We spoke about how we can work to introduce caravan bungalow, cycling and walking tourism.
“We have asked Lapta and Alsancak municipalities to start work on allocating areas for caravan tourism in particular, which generates between 30 to 40 billion euros a year in Europe.
“These are all alternative tourism branches and we are exploring ways where we can work together with our municipalities to introduce these branches.
“In order for caravan tourism to expand in North Cyprus, there is a need for big areas that have full infrastructure to provide electricity, water and septic tanks.
“We have recently spoken with officials from the [Turkish based] Silifke Chamber of Commerce which has expressed interest in developing caravan tourism here, where caravans would be shipped from Turkey to tour the island to and from specially-designated areas controlled by municipalities.
In response, Cyprus Turkish Travel Agents’ Union chairman Orhan Tolun said: “We don’t understand how caravan tourism would operate in North Cyprus, which is an island.
“Tourists are more inclined to simply rent a car and tour the country.”
However, Dr Sucuoğlu said the ministry was looking to introduce new types of tourism as part of a programme to attract two million tourists a year to the TRNC, adding: “If we do not open our vision and discuss new tourism alternatives, we will never open the true potential of North Cyprus to tourists who have different interests.”
By Kerem Hasan for Cyprus Today