The Protaras/Famagusta region is one of the most favorite summer resorts in terms of holiday and holiday homes. This is quite rightly so, since it has the most attractive sandy beaches of Cyprus, an easy access (1 hour) from Nicosia, all the way motorway and the most calm and clean sea. We will say that approximately 70% of those who buy holiday/summer homes from Nicosia, choose the Famagusta region and with the recession, prices appear to be more affordable than ever. Apartments off the beach have a sales price of approximately 3000/sq.m., on the beach approximately 5000/sq.m., on the beach houses (if found) approximately 6000/sq.m. and off the beach at a distance of around 500-1000 sq.mts., approximately 2500/sq.m., depending on sea distance and quality of beach.
Localities such as Sotira seaside region have a reduced price of -10%-20% from that of Protaras. During the initial “shock” year of 2009 the market was saved by the Nicosia town’s people, who took on the opportunities of reduced prices, which has appeared at the time forthcoming mainly from the resales disposed by the British buyers. Indeed good value for money property has been sold, but this experience was not repeated to the same extent during the summer period of 2010. First because the “golden” opportunities that appeared during the year 2009 did not repeat themselves, the best value for money units have gone and the banks during this year became more strict with their credit policy for buyers to buy. Notwithstanding the price attraction, the Protaras/Famagusta region remains however a very short seasonal place, with an “active” sales period between June-October (at most) and that interest is forthcoming from home buyers who are interested primarily over the weekends during the months of July/August. The region has good, still, opportunities however to become more attractive by elongating its summer period and become even attractive for the more permanent residents. The region could become a “sports” area for all ages, but most importantly and fairs using sports as an entertainment, it keeps the retirement age to be (Nicosia buyers mainly) happy.
- Beach Volley already in existence prepared at cost of 500.000 for the international games of 2008, has been left abandoned since.
- There is no sailing shelter, whereas the extensive Government owned beach could be utilized for the purpose with an estimated budget of 1.0 mil. (with the club house).
- The creation of futsals, tennis, basket and volley ball courts set in the extensive beach area owned by Government, is another alternative.
- The beautiful Cavo Greco park with its breathless walkways, as well as the (pending) completion of the seaside promenades, will be an addition during the winter period (see Limassol and its huge attraction for its promenade).
- Cycling and motorbike games around the Paralimni “lake” is another option, as is the creation of a horse/games racing (organize by the Nicosia racing club) with seasonal games of donkeys/camel racing, coupled with a local fair in addition is an option.
- Scuba diving could be encouraged with the sinking of added vessels and even the creation of an underwater Olympus Gods park etc.
All these and other ideas will attract more tourists, will keep them busy, it will promote sports and it will add to the local employment. The total estimated cost of all the above will not exceed 5.0 mil., a very small cost in relation to the benefits, bearing in mind the millions of hotel and other investment being idle for long periods of time. Regrettably the much published golf project at Ayia Napa does not seem to be going ahead, whereas the Ayia Napa Marina will not happen earlier than the year 2013.
Whatever the ideas are for this or other regions, God forbid if these projects are undertaken by the Governmental Departments/Civil Servants. This job requires private enterprise with the involvement of the local tour operators/hoteliers/ Municipalities/local authorities. The creation of a Protaras Promotion Group may be a start and at this initial stage, leadership is what is needed. The Mayor of Paralimni has the first say on this in terms of initiative and it is hoped that others will follow. Regarding the cash needed we do not feel this is not an issue, since Paralimni must be the wealthiest Municipality in Cyprus and the funds available by the Government/E.U./Sport KOA/CTO could help.
So Protaras has very good prospects for an elongated holiday home/permanent living and hopefully the market during 2011 will be better than that of 2010. Much of this will depend on the foreign demand (from the pre recession 50% share, reduced now to 15% of the total) and the state of the Cyprus economy. The region will never realize the demand of the years 2007/2008, but if the Famagusta region plays its cards right, there is no reason why not to have a rebirth at some short period of time.