Vueling operate a new route from Larnaca to Rome


Many feared that the closing of Cyprus Airways would lead to the risk of isolation, however thanks to the commitment of scheduled and low cost carriers, in may respects Cyprus is even better connected than before.

Now is the turn of Italy where the latest introduction of the route between Rome Fiumicino and Larnaca will be operated by Vueling as from June 19, with a frequency of twice a week.

This is in addition to the following existing routes

- easyJet (Malpensa-Larnaka)
- Ryanair (Rome-Ciampino Pafos)
- Aegean (Milan-Larnaca)

All the above feature 2 flights a week.

Fingers crossed that it will be a little cheaper to get off the Island this year during high season.

Free entry to archaeological sites on 18th April

There will be free entry to archaeological sites and ancient monuments on April 18 to celebrate the International Day of Monuments and Sites.

The Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works department have announced that the following places shall be free of charge

1. “Royal Chapel”, Pyrga
2. Neolithic site, Choirokoitia
3. Archaeological site of Kourion, Episkopi
4. Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates, Episkopi
5. Kolossi Castle
6. Archaeological site of Amathus, Ayios Tychon
7. Archaeological site of Kato Paphos (Mosaics)
8. Necropolis “The Tombs of the Kings”, Kato Paphos
9. Archaeological site of Palaepaphos, Kouklia
10. Archaeological site of Ayios Georgios, Pegia
11. Paphos Castle.

The International Day for Monuments and sites was established by UNESCO in 1983.
It aims to raise public awareness about the diversity and vulnerability of the world’s built monuments and heritage sites and the efforts required to protect and conserve them.

This day is also commonly known as World Heritage Day. However, whilst UNESCO is the organisation that lists World Heritage Sites, this day is not just about the listed sites, but concens all cultural heritage places and landscapes of international, national and local significance.

Source: in-cyprus

Startup Coach Kofteros: The ‘Cyprus dream’ is finally dead

The old saying ‘don’t let a good crisis go to waste’ is true, according to 41-year-old entrepreneurship coach and politician Stavriana Kofteros who believes the ‘Cyprus dream’ is finally dead.

“It was actually a nightmare, that hibernation that absorbed everyone, that mentality of everyone wanting to become a civil servant or a bank employee is finally over…the startup world in Cyprus is actually growing,” she adds.

Cypriots were keen to join the public service because of higher salaries and pensions, better working hours and benefits than in the private sector. The banking sector also offered better working hours and benefits.

Kofteros is quick to explain that it is fine to want to become a civil servant or a bank employee but it is not for everyone because it is counterproductive. And she agrees that it is a bit of a shock and quite unfair to young graduates with no experience who find it extremely hard to get a job these days.

“But now they are coming out of this hibernation, a crisis is such an abrupt shock to society that it is changing its culture a lot faster. So, we have seen amazing change over the past three to four years,” she says.

“It’s not a huge wave but it’s getting there. Slowly, slowly, young people are starting to realise that they can find money, that they can find an investor to invest in them, in their idea, it is not hard to do,” she adds.

However, commitment and enthusiasm is required, she says before referring to the island’s fledgling ‘business angels’.

“Business angels are people, investors, they are there to make a dream come true. They are called angels because they are the only ones to step in at that specific time, in the very early and risky stage of an idea, of a startup,” she adds.

Women and startups

As for women in Cyprus showing enough interest in startups which gurus describe as a temporary organisation searching for a scaleable and repeatable business model, Kofteros admits “we don’t have a lot”.

“Basically, the way you make money (with startups) has to be repeatable regardless whether you are addressing the Cyprus market, the European market or the entire-world market. We have interesting examples in Cyprus, and I do know women who are founders and also chief technical officers of startups but we don’t have a lot.”

She adds: “They are very dynamic young women, I know two, but this is the exception. Nonetheless, it is changing to the better, but not fast enough.”

She believes the reason for that lies with education and it is the same problem all over the world because women are not really encouraged to follow sciences and technology.

“We have to change the way we present the sciences to them, we have to make it fun, sexy. It is the way we teach sciences, there is no inspiration. We have to make sciences more attractive,” she says.

“We have an amazing percentage of people with university degrees but degrees in what? No offence, but we have so many people with literature degrees which is fine if they are aware that they will never, ever, get hired to do that,” she adds.

Cyprus lacks support system

Kofteros is fully aware that Cyprus does not have the support system for startups and business incubation and says that one serious obstacle is society’s inability to be implementation-oriented.

“We produce documents we call strategy for this and strategy for that, we print them and bind them nicely and we put them on shelves. And we kind of think and hope that they will implement themselves, but it doesn’t work like that. We need to have implementation, we need to be committed to implementation,” she says.

“It’s not just the government, the state. It is everybody. We have never really involved the stakeholders which is the private sector. It is the private sector that will achieve the impact the government wants, we need to involve them and listen to them,” she adds.

Kofteros believes the state’s responsibility is to offer a more attractive incentives tax package to investors in startups. As well as incentives to attract foreign innovative companies to operate from Cyprus.

“Just like in Israel…what happens is that people get educated (from innovative companies) and in a few years down the line your work force is much more open-minded,” she says.

“We can compete in quality. The intellectual capacity is there but we have to harvest it,” she adds.

Disy are concentrating in policy recommendation as regards startups and entrepreneurship because they consider these to be drivers of growth.

And they are all aware that the redundant red tape needs to be cut but as Kofteros said: “Rome was not built in a day, it is a cliché but it is also true”.

Who is Stavriana

Stavriana Kofteros comes from occupied Famagusta and studied political sciences and business administration at the Athens campus of California-based University of Laverne.

She also studied entrepreneurial development at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston.

“I’ve always been politically oriented, I consider it essential if you are an active citizen… Keeping in touch with the growing entrepreneurial world is what I do professionally, I coach, I give lectures,” she says.

“It is an amazing community, in the startup world everything is positive, you see a different mentality… it appeals to young people and young at heart,” she adds.

One remarkable startup in Cyprus is the application that makes young ones carry out their chores in a fun way.

“The guys (behind it) realised that parents have a hard time having their kids doing chores and they figured out a way – using technology – to turn this into a fun process and one that brings the family together,” she says.

Source: in-cyprus

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Travel agents expecting more tourists

Cyprus is expecting a significant increase in the number of visitors from the United Kingdom and Germany this summer according to predictions from the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (ACTA).

Speaking on state radio on Tuesday morning, ACTA Chairman Dinos Kakkouras said that although Russian arrivals had dropped, it appeared that Cyprus had once again become an attractive destination for visitors from England, Germany and even countries in central Europe like Austria and Switzerland.

“The arrivals of Russian and British visitors vary a lot,” commented Kakkouras. “Russian visits have dropped some 25% and perhaps even lower. These figures are at the moment in time just estimates as we need to wait until May to get the concrete figures. But we have also seen a huge rise in the number of British and German visitors. We have also seen a rise of visits of people from countries from central and eastern Europe like Austria so we can expect a good year for tourism.”

He added: “There was always a target in place – dating back from a few years back – to increase the number of visitors to the island. The plan has so far worked but we expect even more arrivals. But of course, we mustn’t forget that outside factors can greatly affect the number of arrivals into Cyprus.

“With Russia, for example, the current political situation there has obviously resulted in the number of Russian visits dropping.”

Commenting on the current travel habits of permanent residents on the island, Kakkouras said it appeared that most locals had not been deterred by the current economic problems in Cyprus and were still opting to pack up their suitcases and dash to the airport more than just once a year.

“Traveling is still a high priority for locals in Cyprus,” continued Kakkouras. “They still save money with the intention of traveling abroad. The numbers show that there was an increase in the number of Cypriot travelers of 8% when compared to 2013 which as we know was not a good year at all. The rise has continued for January and February this year too when compared to the relative months in 2014.”

“The last few years has seen most locals chose cheaper destinations when compared to travel habits of previous years. Many choose to go away to closer destinations for few days. The habits may have changed, but Cypriots still love to travel. Our numbers show that most locals travel more than just once a year.”

Kakkouras went on to say that it was too early to find out how many locals went abroad for Easter saying that those figures will be ready by the end of April, early May.

Source: in-cyprus
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