The Akamas National Forest Park will be open to the public by the end of 2022 with the government committed to achieving this goal, said President Nicos Anastasiades.
The President was addressing a presentation on progress in implementing the park’s Sustainable Development Plan.
Anastasiades said progress in implementing the various projects foreseen in the plan will be closely monitored.
“The aim is to have a modern and functioning park fully operational in 2022, for the benefit of the local economy and society, and for improving the tourism product and the environment,” he said.
He also said that deadlines will be adhered to, to implement the government policy that has been set.
Anastasiades said that there is significant progress in implementing the plan, which demonstrates the determination and political willingness of the government in bringing about solutions to an issue that has stumped Cyprus for almost 40 years.
Following the completion of a tender regarding park infrastructure, contracts with the architects are expected to be signed in the next few weeks.
Construction is expected to start next year.
Visitors to the Akamas area exceed one million annually.
“This number alone shows the need to handle the great pressure on the region of Akamas and on the natural ecosystems.”
With Cyprus attracting 4 million tourists every year, there are potential benefits for local communities if one out of four tourists visits the park and the area, said Anastasiades.
Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis said consultations will continue throughout 2020 to regulate a number of other issues, such as the entry fee, park rules and other construction plans and infrastructure.
A survey showed that 38% of those asked said that they preferred the Akamas to stay the same and asked for improvements to the area’s road network and eco protection.
Most people believe that the most important issues in the Akamas were garbage disposal, fire hazards and the destruction of natural habitat.
Almost all Cypriots surveyed said they used the car to visit the Akamas.