Any social or cultural event that takes place in Cyprus attracts with it benefits for the town/location where it is organised.
This is especially important for the seaside towns which attract a lot of visitors (local and foreign) and it helps towards the elongation of the tourist season.
If we are to examine the Paphos opera event, the wine festival, the Cyprus Rally and even the marathon events the first to benefit are the hoteliers and the local service industry (restaurants/bars/Airbnb/short lets).
The most successful carnival takes place in Limassol which helps the town’s economy:
- Hotel bookings near 80% of their occupancy rate (as opposed to their ordinary 60%).
- The Limassol marina and the fishing port restaurants have experienced a 50% increase in their bookings during the festivities
- Car rentals increased (+20%)
- A notable upgrading of self-confidence and the creation of a family/friendship/ bonding through this fun period of enjoyment
In general, the town is in festive mode, spreading to all aspects of life and for all pockets.
The Limassol Carnival is considered to be the tenth-largest in the world, be it that the parade lags behind Rio and Patra both in volume and spirit.
Parade participants are approximately 10,000 (according to the organisers) and spectators are 2-3 times more.
One wonders how this helps the real estate market.
This event is a part of life for Limassol and it is a “free” advert for foreign investors who know little about Cyprus.
Limassol with its foreign community, foreign schools and the existence of numerous facilities has a lot going for it.
Recent developments, such as the Marina and now the Casino, the expected Fasouri golf course are pluses for its future.
Limassol was not always regarded as tourism centre but following the invasion, the tourists came as did the hotels.
The real estate boom that Limassol is experiencing has caused prices to increase at a level that the locals cannot afford (both in terms of purchases and rent) with the locals being pushed away from the town centre and the seaside area to the periphery of Limassol such as Kolossi, Erimi and Moni-Ayios Tychonas.
Not a healthy situation for the locals, having to travel both for their work and children’s school. The sales prices for seaside Limassol towers range from €10,000-€15,000/sqm, whereas off the beach but near, are now at €7,000-€8,000/sqm.
Both types are now expected to go down since demand has reduced dramatically since the Passports saga started.
By projection, we expect, at this point, values will start to reduce at an unpredictable rate over the next 2-3 years.
The town’s real estate popularity has a lot to do with cultural events, such as the wine festival, the Marathon and the activities that local councils promote.
Notably, that ex-Limassolians living in other towns (primarily Nicosia) are yearning for a return.
Those of an older generation must remember the 1960’s Carnival dancing events at Rialto and Yiordamli cinemas for the 15-day carnival period as an introduction to the carnival parade.
Young men serenading to their love ones during the evening was a unique experience at the time (regrettably not now).
It is notable that other towns adopt the carnival spirit, but without the emotion that the Limassol one has.
Other towns such as Paphos, Paralimni and even the parade at the Aglandjia Municipality is an effort, but it is not the same.
When Lellos Demetriades, ex-Mayor of Nicosia for 20 years, was asked why Nicosia does not have the same carnival, he replied: “I want to do it, but I need the Limassolian people to attend”. A memorable statement and quite true.
All these events and the support that they are given has made the town better known and foreign investors in particular wish to reside/do business there.
Our clients whom we suggest staying in Nicosia at a hotel so that they are close to our office for a meeting the next day object by saying: “I want to wake up and look at the sea and in any case, it is only 40 minutes away”.
Hence office rents in Limassol are now €20-€50/sqm and those of Nicosia at the top end €15/sqm.
Similar rentals for 2 bedroom apartments are around €1,100 p/m and in Nicosia €700 p/m – let alone the villa rentals.
In a very recent enquiry that we have had from an Israeli company to rent a 5 bedroom villa for its staff we “pushed” the enquiry to our Nicosia office and the asking rental was €3,500 p/m, whereas for a similar property in Limassol the starting rental required was €7,000 p/m. They have opted for Limassol much to the dismay of our Nicosia office staff and the joy of those in Limassol!!).
So, does the Carnival and the various other events pay? Definitely yes.