Article of the newspaper "SIMERINI" of Sunday 5/5/2019
The grandiose projects that are being created in the neighborhood but also the "auspicious" policy of the local Authority created in Sotira the suitable ground for tourist and economic development. In recent years, the small coastal Municipality of Famagusta has attracted intense and increased interest in investing in the region, a fact that poses great challenges for the type of development policy that will be pursued.
When the foundation stone was laid in September 2016 for the start of construction of the Ayia Napa Marina, which next summer will be ready to receive the first boats, the foundations were also laid for a rapid growth, which is welcomed by the region. Three months after the laying of the foundation stone in the Ayia Napa Marina, the cornerstone of Sun City Spa Resorts and Residences, a luxury hotel by the Chinese group JimChang Global and the construction group Giovani, which covers an area of 23 thousand square meters, was laid. , will be the largest hotel development in the province of Famagusta and the first in the Municipality of Sotira.
The project, whose construction is expected to be completed next winter, will include more than 200 rooms, luxury apartments and houses, while it is expected to exceed 50 million euros. The area benefits from this development with the tourist development, something that was an ardent desire for the local Authority.
"Union" with Ayia Napa
On the one hand, the Ayia Napa Marina, the grand project of approximately 250 million, and on the other hand, the neighboring Sun City, lay the foundations for the realization of the Savior's vision for uniting the tourist progress of Ayia Napa with the coastal area of Ayia Thekla. And for this reason, the local Authority, trying to prevent the continuation of anarchic building development, implements its long-term strategic planning with plans focused on sustainable development, regeneration plans of its coastal front.
As the Mayor of Sotira, Georgios Takkas, reports in "Simerini", the interest from investors is intense. Two more applications have been submitted for the construction of hotel units in the area, one of which concerns a hotel that specializes in medical tourism. The interest for the construction of this tourist unit, noted Mr. Takkas, arose from the physiognomy of the area but also the policy of the Municipality, which focuses on attracting quality tourism, something that will be possible with the licensing of luxury tourist units . An application has also been submitted for the construction of a four-star hotel unit.
The proposals coming to the Municipality, stressed Mayor Sotiras, are being studied in detail, as the transformation of the coastal area from an area which consists exclusively of residential units to a tourist one, must occur smoothly but with emphasis on sustainable development and the character of the area. that the local authority wants to form in the long run.
Restaurant by the sea
Recently, the Municipality of Sotiras presented the plans that it has prepared in collaboration with the design office of Architects-Civil Engineers "George Karras & Associates" and concern the regeneration and shaping of the coastal front of the Municipality.
This is a project which, according to Mayor Sotiras, lays the foundations for the future development of the Municipality and its coastal front. The plan aims, he said, to link the development of the Ayia Napa Marina to the east with the Liopetri River to the west on a three-kilometer-long coastal front.
The project includes, among other things, a pedestrian and bicycle path along the entire coastal front, an interactive learning room for marine and coastal life and a plant and bird park, since the area is included as a Special Protection Zone in the Natura 2000 project. It also includes a park specialized for People with disabilities, fitness and leisure facilities, and outdoor fitness equipment.
There is also provision in the plans to protect with improvement measures the famous island of Agia Thekla, which is in danger of erosion, while it is proposed to create breakwaters. Also, the renovation of the archeological site "Tombs of the Greeks", the creation of infrastructure for water sports and the creation of restaurants are proposed, while the focus is on the innovative proposal to create a restaurant in the sea, which will be the only reference point for the region.
Mayor Georgios Takkas said that this is a project, which lays the foundations for the tourism development of Sotira and contributes to the creation of new jobs, while noting that the presentation was attended by investors who have expressed interest in the area.
Highlighting the Natura 2000 protected area
The general philosophy of the project, said Mayor Sotiras, is to create a plan so that any development in the coastal area of Sotiras is structured and based on a specific strategy, to limit the anarchic housing development, which was presented in previous decades and with which the area was burdened.
On the other hand, he stressed, the character of the area as a Special Protection Zone integrated in the Natura 2000 network is highlighted. Through these plans, said Mr. Takkas, it is proposed to create sustainable development, which will not only fully respect the main characteristics of flora and fauna, but will highlight them with the aim of acquainting locals and foreigners with the value of the coastal area of Agia Thekla and the main guide is the absolute respect and promotion of the environment.
With this planning, continued the Mayor Sotiras, the bases are created so that the area is accessible by locals and foreigners but also by people with disabilities.
Regeneration of the central nucleus
Nevertheless, Sotira's plans do not remain only on the coastal front, but also focus on the core of the Municipality with the aim of attracting tourism to the center and creating infrastructure that will contribute to the socio-economic development of Sotira.
Based on the vision of the Municipality the strengthening of the identity as a destination with main characteristics the traditional culture, the important religious monuments but also the gastronomy, the plan of regeneration of the core was formed in such a way that it foresees even the regeneration of the facades of the buildings in the center, in order to form a completely traditional form that composes a special branding to the visitors. The plan also envisages the creation of a square aiming at encouraging the creation of new catering businesses, while the whole design focuses on accessibility for the disabled.
According to Mr. Takkas, the entire design of the central core of Sotira took into account the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SBAK), which aims to improve the quality of life of citizens and visitors but also to meet the needs for human mobility. and transport of goods, based on a targeted effort by the European Union to achieve the Sustainable Mobility and Development Goal.
Source: SIMERINI newspaper of Sunday 5/5/2019