31 May 2015

Russians & Ukrainians have lost trust in tourist companies

After a series of high-profile scandals in the Russian Tourism Sector, many Russians and Ukrainians have lost trust in their  tourist companies. During 2014 many large Tour Agencies and Operators went bust leaving many people stranded. There is no governing body with insurance to protect travellers.

VTSIOM conducted a public opinion poll among 1,600 people in 42 Russian regions about their foreign tourist trips.

According to the pollsters, 51% consider their Tourism Agencies to be unreliable crooks compared to 35% who said that Tourist Companies could be trusted. Most of those people are the agencies’ old customers 59%

84% of those who used to turn to tourist companies in the past said they would do that in future. On the whole, 45% said they did not totally exclude a possibility of turning to tourist companies.

70% of Russians spoke in favour of imprisoning tourist companies’ staff who intentionally violate their commitments to customers while 21% of respondents, predominantly the residents of Moscow and St. Petersburg (41%)  clients of tourism companies (31%) and respondents with high personal incomes (28%) who were opposed to such a strict punishment.

75% of Russians who travelled in summer 2014 had organised their trips independently. Only 5% of Russians asked their tourist agents for help in obtaining visas and buying tickets. Whereas 19% ordered a tourist company to organize full package tours. Most of them were Muscovites or residents of St. Petersburg 39% and affluent respondents 27%.
Cyprus has a huge Russian , Ukrainian and Eastern European Tourist market with flights arriving everyday at both Paphos and Larnaca International Airports. 
With the lack of confidence in Eastern European Tour operators and Agencies , more and more travellers and holiday makers are deciding to book their action independently themselves. it is easy to book online flights and accommodation in excellent value Villas and Apartments in Cyprus

30 May 2015

Europe's Best Swimming sites with High Quality Water

31st May  2015
New data and an easy-to-use map show where bathing water is safe in Europe.
Simila Cyprus Villa Holiday Rent
Fortunately for expats who like to swim in the sea or inland waters, the majority of European bathing sites have excellent water.
Only two percent of European bathing sites have poor quality bathing water; France and Italy have the most sites that are poor’, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA).
Every year, the EEA and the European Commission analyse inland and coastal bathing water at 21,000 sites across Europe, Switzerland and Albania.
Local authorities analyse bathing water for two types of bacteria from sewage or livestock. The level of the bacteria is then reported as ‘excellent’, ‘good’, ‘sufficient’ or ‘poor’.
Simila Cyprus Villa Rent Holiday Clean Sea Beach
This year’s findings for the samples, taken and analysed in 2014, show that 83 percent of bathing sites met the ‘excellent’ level and only 409 out of 21,000 sites were assessed as having poor quality bathing water.
The best quality bathing water
Cyprus and Malta had excellent water quality at 100 percent of their coastal sites. The next highest ratings for coastal water was given to Greece (97%) and Croatia (94%).
Cyprus has the highest number of CYPRUS BLUE FLAG BEACHES , with 57 in total awarded by EU again in 2015. Which makes Cyprus again the leader for the last 10 years. 
In Luxembourg and Bulgaria all inland bathing sites had ‘excellent’ water, followed by Denmark (95%) and Germany (90%).
An interactive map shows all 21,000 sites that were analysed and each site’s water quality information. Open link to see map. 
Poor quality bathing water
The highest numbers of bathing sites with poor water quality were found in Italy (107 bathing sites, 2%), France (105 bathing sites, 3%) and Spain (67 bathing sites, 3%).

29 May 2015

Nicosia Mayor pushes for Paphos Gate crossing to gain Religious access.

Nicosia Mayor pushes for Paphos Gate crossing
Nicosia Mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis has sent a letter to  President Nicos Anastasiades asking for the opening of all crossing points to the occupied areas within the Nicosia municipality’s city limits.
In a press release issued on Friday, Yiorkadjis stressed the necessity of opening a crossing at Paphos Gate in particular, noting that the area is a focal point for five religions (Christian Orthodox, Muslim, Maronite, Armenian Christian, and Roman Catholic).
The area near the Paphos Gate is the home of a number of churches, including the Church of the Holy Cross and the Virgin Mary Church.
Yiorkadjis argues that the area could be transformed into a “religious promenade” that if properly developed “could be a microcosm of multiculturalism and co-existence of the faithful.”
“Opening up the Paphos Gate crossing point will provide new opportunities to our town while at the same time allowing the faithful easy access to their worship sites, proving our respect towards that basic human right,” his letter said.
Yiorkajdis noted that his Turkish Cypriot counterpart Mehmet Harmanc─▒ was filing a similar request with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.
“Over the last ten months we had the opportunity to discuss different priorities with Harmanci so we could set up a common agenda. We believe that opening up all crossing points could positively contribute towards facilitating our common struggle for the financial, social and cultural revitalisation of our city” said Yiorkadjis.
Harmanci and Yiorkadjis are not alone in asking for the crossing points to be opened. The letter stresses that they had the support of all religious leaders on the island; Archbishop Chrysostomos, Mufti Talip Atalay, Armenian Archbishop Nareg Alemezian, Maronite Archbishop Joseph Soueif and the Latin representative of the Catholic Church, George Kraj.
By Constantinos Psilldes

25 May 2015


Hellenic Bank restarts lending to foreigners for first time in 4 years.

Date: 25/05/15
The second biggest bank in Cyprus by market share, Hellenic bank, announced today that it would offer mortgages to foreigners for the purchase of properties in Cyprus.

The headline requirements state a minimum contribution of 30% of the purchase price and the current interest rate stands at 5,3%.

The latest development of Hellenic’s offer represents a welcome overture to the return of financial support to overseas buyers, unavailable since 2012. However we expect the application process to be quite strict and thus our recommendation would be to look for 50% rather than 30% of contribution of the property price to avoid disappointment. 

It comes as no surprise that properties with title deeds will have the best chance of obtaining bank finance. While Hellenic bank is the first we would expect Bank of Cyprus to follow suit for the of fear losing market share.

Capital controls are now gone and Cypriot economy is now showing the first growth in 4 years. It’s pretty plain that the market bottom has been reached and that there is no better time to buy your home in Cyprus. Given the favorable exchange rate of euro against sterling and the rapidly recovering Russian rouble don’t miss this unique opportunity to find your bargain Cypriot property.

22 May 2015

Cyprus Beaches top EU Blue Flag ranking 10 years running. 

Beaches top EU Blue Flag rankingCYPRUS
Agriculture Minister Nicos Kouyialis raises the Blue Flag for clean beaches in Paphos
BEACHES in Cyprus were awarded a total of 57 Blue Flags, ranking the island on the top of the EU for ten consecutive years, according to Agriculture and Environment minister Nicos Kouyialis, adding that the awards will greatly aid the tourist industry.
The Blue Flag is a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) that a beach or marina meets its standards in water quality, safety, environmental education and information, the provision of services and general environmental management criteria.
Speaking at the award ceremony held in Paphos on Thursday, Kouyialis said that keeping beaches to high environmental standard is a top priority for his ministry.

20 May 2015

Special Offer to boost Paphos Airport Shuttle Route

Special offers to boost Paphos airport shuttle routeNEWS IN BRIEF
To celebrate its one-year anniversary of the commencement of routes to and from Paphos airport, the head of Kapnos Airport Shuttle Pambos Kapnos, on Wednesday announced a series of special offers for families, groups and students.
London Cypriot, Tonia Buxton, is a woman of many talents, keeping herself busy as a presenter, historian, writer, gourmet cook and beauty expert. And she balances it all with being a wife and mum to four children! Presenter and producer of The Discovery Channel’s award winning My Greek Kitchen, the series was such a success that she went on to make series two of My Greek Kitchen with the follow up, My Cypriot Kitchen. It has since received global acclaim, shown in 17 different countries and airing again in the UK this October.
Tonia is passionate about Greek food, inspired by her mother’s kitchen from a very young age, and believes Greek food is a big undiscovered secret! Having written on healthy eating and mood foods for years, she wrote her own Greek Cookery book, Tonia’s Greek Kitchen in October 2012.

19 May 2015

Mini Heat Wave hits Cyprus as Nicosia sizzles at 38C !

Temperatures topped 38C in the capital today !
Tuesday, 19 May, 2015

A mini heat wave is expected to begin sweeping over Cyprus today with temperatures touching 38C in the Capital of Nicosia.

Residents are braced for the most extreme heat with top temperatures in the high thirties, with coastal areas touching 33C and the mountain districts expected to reach 29C. Temperatures were recorded today in Paphos at 39C in direct sunlight.

Tonight will be mild, with temperatures in Nicosia dropping to 20C and 22C on the west and eastern coasts.

The May sunny conditions are expected to continue until the end of the week, but there is a chance of thunderstorms and showers inland on Friday.

Summer has arrived in Cyprus !

18 May 2015

Cyprus Energy pins hopes on Australian Solar Technology

To reform its oil-dependent economy and meet a European Union target
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Cyprus pins hopes on Australian solar technology
The solar thermal field in Pentakomo, on the southern coasof Cyprus. [Photo18 May 2015
Australian scientists have designed and installed solar energy technology in Cyprus to help the island nation shift away from fossil fuels and also to tackle its chronic water shortages.
A team from the CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, took five weeks to construct a 'solar thermal field' containing 50 heliostats - large mirrors that reflect the power of the sun. The solar thermal field lies in Pentakomo, on the southern coast of Cyprus and places the country at the frontier of solar energy research in Europe.

15 May 2015

Britons give Cyprus tourism a lift

A surge in British tourists helped ensure visitors to Cyprus rose 11.3 percent in April to help the bailed-out economy buffer nearly four years of recession, official data showed Friday.
In April arrivals increased 11.3 percent to 201,495 from 180,998 in the same month of 2014, statistical service figures showed.
Last year tourist arrivals totalled 2.44 million compared to 2.40 million the year before, recording an increase of 1.5 percent.
The island’s main tourist market Britain rose 13.3 percent to 83,361) and there was an 71.8 percent spike from Greece (17,825) helping arrivals stay in positive territory.
But there was a 22.5 percent decline from the key Russian market dipping to 25,149.
For the period January – April tourist arrivals totalled 391,483 compared to 344.435 in the same period of 2014, recording an increase of 13.7%.
In 2014 Britain remained in top spot, followed by Russia, Sweden (106,666) and Greece (100,955) in fourth.
Cyprus is benefitting from more direct flights but industry experts say the falling rouble and the demise of national carrier Cyprus Airways could have an impact in 2015.