Cyprus has been dealing with wildfires weeks after Melco Crown Entertainment launched the City of Dreams in the Mediterranean (CoDM). Additionally, logistical issues and a lack of infrastructure make it difficult to attract high-paying players, although CoDM may have the power to change that.
Like many other places, Cyprus is dealing with its longest heatwave on record. Greece and its islands have been facing ongoing wildfires, while Italy, Algeria, the United States and other countries have been similarly troubled.
A serious fire broke out in Cyprus last week as firefighters struggled to extinguish it, according to government officials. Fortunately, due to the scattered locations of the fire, there were no casualties and property damage was contained. Still, this does little to improve Cyprus’ image.
Too Hot To Handle
In Cyprus this summer, average daily temperatures have topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit and are showing no sign of dropping. As dry conditions continue, the likelihood of wildfires will increase.
In one instance last week, a fire burned nearly 50 acres of forest before firefighters got it under control. The fire broke out in the central mountainous area of the Paphos Forest, in the southwest of the country.
Although most of the area is uninhabited, there are still potential threats to residents. The site is less than an hour’s drive from Limassol, where CoDM is located.
Firefighters began battling the blaze on Monday and, after working through the night, finally brought it under control. With the participation of 100 firefighters and seven aircraft, the fire was extinguished, but due to the raging fire, a large amount of woodland was burned. These places are home to pine trees, oak trees and countless wildlife.
Alexandru, director of the Cyprus Forest Department, blamed the fire on uninsulated overhead power lines. He said it could happen again, and if it happened once, it could happen again. The Department of Forestry told local media CyBC that the power lines were in such a bad state that even a single bird landing on them could start a fire.
CoDM Could Boost Cyprus
According to the status quo, Cyprus has failed to attract wealthy people mainly due to poor infrastructure and unsatisfactory location. This makes the island less attractive overall to the high-end crowd.
Edward Granville, chief executive of British boutique travel company RedSavannah, told the Financial Mirror that Greece is an ideal travel destination, with the country overtaking Italy as the top choice for wealthy tourists. Italy has long been a popular destination for travelers from all over the world.
Granville pointed out that the wealthy typically spend around $44,000, while some are extravagant, spending as much as $1.1 million. He emphasized that Cyprus is different from the Greek islands because of the distance between Cyprus and the surrounding islands. Traveling to Greece and island hopping is easy, while Cyprus is pretty much an isolated place. “Cyprus cannot meet the needs of these clients,” Granville asserted.
Thanos Michaelides, president of the Cyprus Hotels Association, supports this view to some extent. He acknowledged that visits by the rich and famous to Cyprus were “rare exceptions”, but was more optimistic about its future.
McKrides sees CoDM as having a major appeal to the ultra-wealthy, a class that primarily includes gamblers who can put more money at the casino table and keep it there. He believes this will provide tourists with an experience that cannot be found in other regions, while also giving Cyprus a boost. However, for this to happen, greater efforts will be needed in terms of infrastructure and the protection of Cyprus’ resources.