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A welcome era of innovation

By Paula Manoli-Gray
There is a general opinion that the island is not by and large a place of innovation and forward thinking compared to other countries, and granted, one cannot really say that Cyprus is a major innovator as such, but I think it will surprise us yet!

I can really feel that we are entering a new era of bolder, more groundbreaking practices, spearheaded by the new generation of artists and entrepreneurs who are doing great things independently instead of waiting for good things to come from authorities, and for this they should be applauded.

In Larnaca, a slew of new hoteliers have embraced the boutique and niche side of accommodation, making the most of small, old buildings in the town centre, employing sustainable practices, and even growing their own produce.

The mountainous villages have also seen an increase in agrotourism establishments. As such, travellers who don’t want the usual tourist accommodation have more choice than ever now, whilst there is a better balance of the types of accommodation available in Larnaca.

In terms of sport, individuals who are aficionados of certain sports that were not previously present on the island have worked hard to establish them in the region, to the point of giving Larnaca the reputation for having the best conditions for certain sports.

And in terms of additional things to see and do, innovative individuals have created cuisine tours, private museums, traditional excursions, animal parks and a whole range of other authentic experiences and attractions.

And then we have events, such as the forthcoming music festival taking place in Kato Drys complete with a big-name British female artist… and the use of the old airport as a clubbing venue, where a major international DJ will perform this summer, using air travel as the theme, complete with attendees ‘checking in’ to the event. It is this wonderfully creative idea that got me thinking about the new wave of innovation.

Using the old airport as an event venue is one of those things you hear and think ‘why didn’t anyone think of that before!’ The building and its location are absolutely perfect for big club events; they accommodate large numbers of both people and cars, and are far out enough not to pose a nuisance to others.

This particular event will no doubt attract people from all over the island, who may decide to book a night at one of the hotels or apartments in the vicinity, thus giving the area a financial boost, too.

I really hope that the Ministry of Transport and Hermes Airports will see this pilot event as an opportunity to utilise the airport as such a venue rather than for other options, such as retail, of which we already have more than enough.
And we, too, should support all these amazing ventures – and the risks that forward- thinking individuals are taking – so that more and more of them will be encouraged. After all, if you are a citizen of Larnaca, it’s a win-win situation!

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