AMATHUS, Cyprus — It’s mentioned that Demetrius the Besieger, a mighty warrior king and one in every of Alexander the Nice’s successors, constructed this harbor on Cyprus’ southern coast 2,400 years in the past to thwart a possible naval invasion from the ruler of Egypt, Ptolemy I, one other of Alexander’s heirs.
French archaeologists who initially studied the traditional harbor of Amathus consider it to be an incomplete navy fortification work, the three piers of which might have accommodated the perfect of the traditional world’s naval ships, able to repel an attacking drive.
Mendacity just some ft underwater a mere 200 ft off the shoreline close to the resort city of Limassol, the harbor will quickly be Cyprus’ latest vacationer attraction the place adventurous holidaymakers can snorkel over its submerged stone stays.
It’s a novel course for Cyprus’ tourism authorities, who’re wanting past the east Mediterranean island nation’s long-held “solar and surf” product to achieve out to specialised tourism markets.
The COVID-19 pandemic has slashed tourism arrivals for an island that depends a lot on that income, so Cyprus authorities are taking a recent have a look at what the island has to supply guests, to re-ignite curiosity amongst those that do decide to journey.
Cyprus Antiquities division official Yiannis Violaris says what makes the harbor distinctive to the complete japanese Mediterranean is its state of preservation, mixed with its proximity to the shoreline.
He says these attributes may convey extra individuals amid a world surge of curiosity in diving tourism. The truth that Cyprus has earned high marks for the cleanest waters amongst all different European Union nations for the second 12 months operating can be a giant bonus.
“Vacationers in addition to native guests may have the chance to see this spectacular historical harbor, to swim over it and to see the way it was constructed, with three moles enclosing it,” Violaris informed the Related Press.
Specialist diving crews are at present cleansing the harbor of vegetation and can mark underwater routes that swimmers can observe on their tour.
Diving tourism isn’t completely 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 ft of water simply over a mile off the coastal city of Larnaca in 1980.
The wreck has been ranked as one of many world’s finest for divers. However diving store proprietor Michalis Sinopouris says authorities must do much more to place Cyprus solidly on the worldwide diving map like scuttling bigger ships close to the coasts to create synthetic reefs.
Tourism straight accounts for round 13 % of Cyprus’ financial system. In keeping with the newest obtainable figures, vacationer arrivals between January and February this 12 months marked an 86 % drop from the identical interval in 2019 when Cyprus hit an all-time excessive within the variety of vacationers who opted to vacation on the island.
Tourism officers had hoped for the trade to rebound this month as soon as the UK and Russia — Cyprus’ high two markets — had put the island on their “inexperienced” checklist of secure locations. Now they’re hoping that August will be the turnaround month.
Trade bosses acknowledge that the sector is hardly “out of the woods” and are urging a re-think on the best way to market Cyprus’ tourism product.
Resorts Affiliation Chief Haris Loizides informed an trade convention final week that the nation’s tourism “must adapt dramatically to outlive and proceed its important contribution” to the financial system.
He proposed a better deal with the “huge image” of what Cyprus has to supply, like native tradition and delicacies, whereas reaching out to area of interest markets via digital advertising and marketing.
“The sustainability of the mass market is being questioned,” Loizides mentioned. “I dare say large gatherings will step by step develop into issues of the previous.”
It’s a message that Cyprus’ Deputy Ministry for Tourism has taken to coronary heart, redesigning its emblem and reaching out to new markets.
“I don’t lose my braveness and my optimism as a result of the EU is a giant market, so many, many international locations they usually really feel that the psychology for journey is simply now beginning to decide up in Europe,” Tourism Deputy Minister Savvas Perdios informed The Related Press.
Perdios mentioned authorities are working to increase the vacation season with the launch of a “recreation altering” marketing campaign dubbed “Heartland of Legends” the place vacationers can go to a village and witness locals making the island’s world-famous Halloumi cheese, amongst different experiences.
Perdios mentioned regardless of the drop in arrivals from the UK and Russia, he’s inspired by the digital curiosity that potential holidaymakers from nontraditional markets corresponding to France and Germany are exhibiting in touring to Cyprus.
“We’ve got been engaged on these markets. … Issues received’t occur from simply at some point to the following, so I’m nonetheless optimistic,” mentioned Perdios.
Maybe Demetrius the Besieger would have permitted.